Several members of the University of Houston basketball team took home big postseason American Athletic Conference honors, including senior guard Marcus Sasser who was named Player of the Year and head coach Kelvin Sampson was picked as conference’s Coach of the Year.
The University of Houston Cougars dominated the American Athletic Conference this season, so it only made sense that they would bring home some major postseason honors.
Senior guard Marcus Sasser led the No.1 Coogs in postseason recognition Wednesday when he was named AAC Player of the Year and a unanimous First Team All-Conference selection after averaging 17.1 points per game and 3.3 assists while shooting 38% from 3-point range during the regular season.
Coach Kelvin Sampson, who has led the Cougars (29-2 overall, 17-1 ACC) to their first No.1 ranking in the national polls since 1984, was recognized as the AAC Coach of the Year. Sampson led his team to two nine-game winning streaks and currently has the Cougars on an 11-game winning streak as they enter AAC Tournament play Friday.
Junior point guard Jamal Shead was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Second Team. Shead led the Cougars this season with 56 steals and ranks sixth in the AAC with 1.8 steals per game, while averaging 5.4 assists per game and topping the league with a 2.93 assist-turnover ratio.
But UH wasn’t done with the postseason honors, with freshman sensation Jarace Walker adding Freshman of the Year after averaging 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds. Walker, who also made the All-AAC Second Team and was a unanimous selection for the All-Freshman Team, was named the conference’s Freshman of the Week six times this season.
In addition to Walker, Terrance Arceneaux and Emanual Sharp made the All-Freshman Team from the Cougars heralded class.
Junior forward J’Wan Roberts was named the Most Improved Player of the Year and also made the All-AAC Second Team. Senior forward Reggie Chaney took home Sixth Man of the Year honors.
The only real surprise to come out of the postseason honors is that Sasser was the Cougars’ only First Team player in a year in which they dominated the league. The postseason honors are voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches.