Manor’s Jamal Shead returns to Houston with legacy, Big 12 title in mind

Kelvin Sampson Reveals Interesting Factoid About Houston Basketball

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – During the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tipoff press conference, Houston coach Kelvin Sampson shared a fascinating fact about his team. Since taking over in 2014, Sampson has only had three point guards leading the team. Galen Robinson was the first, followed by DeJon Jarreau. The current high-level point guard is Jamal Shead, who has been running the offense since the 2021-22 season.

Shead, a native of Manor, considered pursuing a professional career but ultimately decided to return to Houston. Explaining his decision, Shead stated, “When writing your story, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. This chapter has pages left to be written.” He expressed his belief that success requires patience and that he has a better opportunity to showcase his skills at a higher level this year.

Last season, Shead became just the second Cougar to achieve 200 assists in multiple seasons. His 460 assists currently rank seventh all-time at Houston, and he has a chance to move into the top three with another 200-assist season. Shead also boasts 146 steals, surpassing notable players like Hakeem Olajuwon in that statistical category.

While Houston focuses on their team goals and a conference championship, Shead acknowledges that he has begun thinking about his legacy at the university. He aims to leave his mark on the school in a positive way and believes he is headed in the right direction to achieve that.

Recruits Choose Texas Over Oklahoma Due to Sneaky Tactics

During the press conference, Kelvin Sampson amused reporters by sharing a story about an old rivalry with Texas head coach Rick Barnes. Sampson revealed that when he was at Oklahoma, he wanted to hire Texas coach Rodney Terry as an assistant. However, Barnes somehow managed to prevent the hiring, causing Sampson to jokingly remark that Barnes always outsmarted him. Terry confirmed the story, explaining that he turned down the Sooners’ offer and joined another team instead. Years later, both Sampson and Terry maintain a respectful friendship.

Newcomers BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston Describe Their Basketball Styles

As BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston enter the Big 12 conference this season, they introduce themselves with their unique basketball styles. When asked about their calling cards, players and coaches from each school shared their thoughts:

  • BYU guard Spencer Johnson described their team as united, confident, resilient, and exceptional at shooting.
  • Cincinnati wing John Newman III emphasized their commitment to playing the full 40 minutes with a blue-collar, tough, and cohesive approach.
  • Houston guard L.J. Cryer highlighted their hard-nosed style, focusing on rebounding, defensive intensity, and fast-paced play.
  • UCF coach Johnny Dawkins emphasized the importance of defense and rebounding for their success, especially in a competitive conference like the Big 12.

Mark Pope Finds Taylor Swift’s Lucky Number Encouraging for BYU Basketball

Despite being picked 13th in the Big 12 preseason poll, BYU coach Mark Pope remains optimistic. Pope jokingly mentioned that his daughters, who are fans of Taylor Swift, attended a couple of her concerts this year. Since Swift’s favorite number is 13, Pope believes it bodes well for BYU basketball. On a serious note, Pope emphasized that his team is entering the conference to compete and prove themselves.

Baylor Excited to Open New Arena and Benefit from Fan Support

Both Baylor basketball coaches, Scott Drew and Nicki Collen, expressed their excitement about the upcoming move to the new Foster Pavilion. The men’s team is set to play their first game in the new arena on January 2. The coaching staff and players anticipate a homecourt advantage due to the intimate size of the arena, where fans will be closer to the action. The women’s team also looks forward to the change, connecting the arena’s modern features with the downtown scene and generating excitement about Baylor basketball.

The Foster Pavilion has a listed capacity of 7,000, which is smaller compared to the Ferrell Center’s capacity of over 10,000. Both coaches believe that the more compact arena will create a better atmosphere for fans and support the success of Baylor basketball.


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