2022 Record: 33-4 (17-1 AAC)
Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson (Career Record 731-345) (Houston Record 232-74)
PG: Jamal Shead (10.5 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 5.4 Ast)
SG: LJ Cryer (Baylor 15.0 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 2.0 Ast)
SF: Damian Dunn (Temple 15.3 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 3.0 Ast
PF: J’Wan Roberts (10.0 Pts, 7.7 Reb, 1.2 Ast)
C: Ja’Vier Francis (4.3 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 0.2 Ast)
6: SG Emanuel Sharp (5.9 Pts, 2.2 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
7: SF Terrence Arceneaux (3.7 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 0.6 Ast)
8: PG Mylik Wilson (2021-22 Texas Tech 2.5 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 1.7 Ast) (Injured)
9: PF Joseph Tugler
10: SG Ramon Walker Jr (2.9 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 0.4 Ast)
11: PF Cedric Lath
12: C Jacob McFarland
13: SG Kordelius Jefferson
Houston lost a lot from last year team that won 33 games but they also brought back some solid talent and made additions via the transfer portal that will make them a competitive team once again. Houston returns starting point guard Jamal Shead who is an elite passer and takes care of the ball very well. He isn’t a high level three point shooter, but he’s been starting to develop a shot from beyond the arc. Shead is also exceptional on the defensive side of the ball and will have no problem adjusting to the increase in level with joining the Big 12. Houston also returns guards Terrence Arceneaux and Emanuel Sharp. Both players were highly ranked recruits who should really break out this season with more minutes coming their way. Arceneaux is the player with the most breakout hype and he’s already on some NBA radars for 2024 due to his pure talent despite only averaging 4 and 3 in the 2022-23 season. Sharp is going to be a solid scoring threat off the bench who will also see a huge increase in minutes.
The Cougars also return J’Wan Roberts and Ja’Vier Francis. Roberts was a full time starter last season. He was a very efficient scorer on the interior for the Cougars and was also a high level rebounder. He dominated in the interior in the AAC night in and night out. He’s a career 61% shooter from the floor and plays very physical on both ends of the court. Francis now gets his chance with a full time starter role following Jarace Walker’s decision to declare for the NBA Draft. Francis was a very efficient player when he got a chance to play shooting over 70% from the floor last year. Now that he has the chance to be a full time starter, he’s expected to make massive strides in his game. Houston also returns guards Ramon Walker Jr and Mylik Wilson. Walker missed most of last season, but when healthy he can provide some solid minutes off the bench at the SG spot. Mylik Wilson was with the team last season, but took a redshirt year and didn’t play. The former Louisiana and Texas Tech transfer is a high level perimeter defender who will play some key minutes once he recovers from his injury.
Houston took to the transfer portal where they were able to add talented guard with Damian Dunn from Temple and LJ Cryer from Baylor. Dunn has a knack for scoring and he will bring that efficient offensive game to the Cougars. Dunn is going into his 5th season of CBB and also brings the experience necessary. There’s a chance shooting is an issue with this Cougars team and Cryer combined with Dunn will likely be the best three point shooters on the team. Cryer was a much needed addition for a team that really needed another outside shooter. He is a career 42% three point shooter and even shot 47% in the 2021-22 season. Houston also added 3 freshman in the class of 2023. PF Joseph Tugler is ranked as the #68 prospect in the 2023 class. C Jacob McFarland is ranked as the #92 player. SG Kordelius Jefferson is ranked as the #149 player. Cedric Lath was part of the class of 2022 and redshirted this past season.
Kelvin Sampson is one of the best coaches in the country and will have Houston towards the top of the rankings nationally once again. Shooting might be an issue and they will be reliant on the transfers they brought in to carry the load. Houston is also in for another challenge with joining the Big 12 arguably the best conference in the country. Houston will battle with teams like Kansas and Baylor all season. Houston has been knocking on the door in recent years but has always fell short of a national championship. The Cougars once again have a roster that will be very competitive on the national landscape.