University of Houston ranked 2nd in the country in ESPN’s early poll for next college hoops season

Houston guard Jamal Shead celebrates after scoring with head coach Kelvin Sampson during the first half of a college basketball game against Arizona in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, March 24, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The college basketball season just ended, but it’s never too early to dream about next season’s possibilities, especially with such a bright future expected for University of Houston men’s basketball!

It turns out Houstonians and Cougar fans aren’t alone with their optimism.

Shortly after Kansas won the national title over North Carolina on Monday evening, ESPN released their “way too early” poll for the 2022-23 season predicting which teams might be the best in the nation, and UH was second in their rankings, with Arkansas taking their top prognosticated spot.

In the article, ESPN writer Jeff Borzello cited the return of top scorers Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark, both of whom were lost to injury this past year, as well as highly-touted incoming freshmen Jarace Walker and Terrance Arceneaux as big reasons for the optimism, combined with head coach Kelvin Sampson’s proven track record for success.

Houston is coming off three straight trips to at least the Sweet 16 and two straight appearances in at least the Elite Eight with a Final Four berth mixed in. This past season, despite the injuries in December to both Sasser and Mark, the Cougars still finished with a 32-6 record with a conference title and that run to the Elite Eight.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!