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UH Cougars climb to No. 10 in new AP basketball poll

Cougars host South Carolina on Saturday

Head coach Kelvin Sampson of the Houston Cougars looks on during a semifinal game of the 2018 AAC Basketball Championship against the Wichita State Shockers at Amway Center on March 10, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.
Head coach Kelvin Sampson of the Houston Cougars looks on during a semifinal game of the 2018 AAC Basketball Championship against the Wichita State Shockers at Amway Center on March 10, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Kelvin Sampson has taken the University of Houston Cougars from the bottom to national respect during his seven years as head coach.

For the second time in three years UH has also earned a spot in the Top 10 of the Associated Press poll. After winning three games during the first five days of the season, UH jumped seven spots this week to check in at No. 10 in the poll released Monday.

The Cougars, who are off to a 3-0 start, earned 949 points from AP writers to jump into the top of the poll.

During the 2018-19 season, the Cougars appeared in the AP Top 10 for three straight weeks, eventually finishing at No. 11, after advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984. Under the leadership of Sampson, the Cougars stood in both national preseason polls released in mid-November for the first time since the start of the 1983-84 season.

Next up for the Cougars is a home date Saturday at the Fertitta Center against South Carolina. They will tip-off at 5 p.m. which is a new starting time announced by UH Athletics.