Saturday afternoon Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson landed his first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016, as 6-foot-4 shooting guard Armoni Brooks announced that he’ll be a Cougar via his Twitter account. Brooks, who’s from Round Rock, Texas, made the decision to remain in his home state while officially visiting the American Athletic Conference program.
His decision comes despite having visits scheduled for Kansas State (September 10) and Creighton (September 16) over the next two weekends in September.
As a junior at McNeil HS, Brooks was a first team Region II all-region selection by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, and he played his grassroots basketball for the THP Elite program.
Brooks’ commitment gives Houston additional depth at a position where they’ll lose two seniors at the end of the 2015-16 season in LeRon Barnes and Eric Weary Jr., and the presence of redshirt junior Damyean Dotson will help Houston’s newest commit with his adjustment to the college game.
Video credit: TexasHoops Television
Houston starting point guard likely to make season debut this weekend
Under first-year head coach Kelvin Sampson, Houston is off to a 4-1 start on the season and the Cougars will get a big boost as starting point guard L.J. Rose is expected to return this weekend following a broken foot. Sampson told CBSSports.com‘s Jon Rothstein that Rose is expected to debut on Saturday against South Carolina State.
The 6-foot-4 junior’s return should be a nice addition for Houston. The pass-first point averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore and should make the Cougars’ other players better by getting them open looks. The former Baylor transfer had been replaced in the lineup by Cavon Baker, who filled in admirably early this season coming from the junior-college ranks.
Now the question becomes how Rose’s addition changes Houston’s rotation? Sampson currently has seven players averaging at least 20 minutes per game and Rose will obviously take a large chunk of minutes away from some of those players. This is a “good” problem to have though and with the American Athletic Conference looking wide open early in the season, Rose’s return could give Houston a chance to be a conference contender.
New Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson relied heavily on junior college transfers to rebuild the Cougar roster this spring when he took over the job. One of those key junior college signees was guard Torian Graham, a former N.C. State signee out of high school who ended up at Chipola College in Florida after not being cleared by the NCAA.
Graham did not play in Houston’s season opener against Murray State and is opting to leave the program for personal reasons.
“Though disappointed with his decision, I enjoyed working with Torian and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Sampson said to Duarte.
The 6-foot-4 Graham averaged 12.4 points per game at Chipola last season and was a highly-regarded prospect out of high school. Rivals regarded Graham as a four-star prospect out of high school and he was rated as the No. 67 overall player in the 2012 class.
Graham is a native of Durham, NC and could opt to play closer to home. Although Houston could have used Graham’s athleticism and scoring punch in its back court this season, it’s probably best to allow him to leave if he doesn’t want to be there before the season truly gets rolling.