HOUSTON - Seventeen home games with a minimum of 20 contests airing on the ESPN and CBS Sports families of networks highlight the University of Houston 2014-15 Men's Basketball schedule, head coach Kelvin Sampson announced Thursday afternoon.
All 18 American Athletic Conference games will be shown live on the ESPN and CBS Sports network of families. The Cougars can also be seen on FOX Sports 1 during the final day of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic on Dec. 23.
Additional television games will be announced in the near future. Administrators also are working to finalize game times that will best avoid conflicts with Houston Football games. Fans should stay tuned to UHCougars.com and Houston Athletics' various social media platforms for the latest information.
All Houston Men's Basketball games also can be heard live on 950 AM KPRC with Matt Thomas calling the play-by-play action and Houston legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis.
The Cougars welcome defending NCAA national champion UConn back to Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 1, 2015, and meet defending American Athletic Conference regular-season champion Cincinnati on Feb. 21, 2015. A year ago, the Cougars opened The American play with a 75-71 win over the Huskies in Houston.
Eight teams on Houston's schedule - UConn (32), Cincinnati (27), Harvard (27), SMU (27), Memphis (24), Murray State (23), Boise State (21) and Tulsa (21) - won at least 20 games a year ago with five of those - UConn, Harvard, Memphis, Cincinnati and Tulsa - competing in the NCAA Tournament.
UConn captured the national championship, while Harvard and Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament Third Round. SMU also advanced deep in the postseason before bowing out in the NIT Championship game.
"We have had the national champion for the last two years come out of this conference. Any time you have a national champion in your conference, you know you are playing in one of the best leagues in America," said Sampson, who was introduced as the Cougars' head coach in April. "We are looking forward to going into some new arenas against new fanbases, but more importantly, we are looking forward to developing our program."
MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON TICKET DEPOSITS
Fans can take the first step toward the 2014-15 Houston Men's Basketball season by placing deposits for new season tickets with the Athletics Ticket Office at UHCougars.com or by clicking here. The deposit is not a fee and will go toward the cost of season tickets.
Season-ticket holders from the 2013-14 season will receive invoices to renew in the near future.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
Sampson became the ninth coach in school history with his hiring in April. In 25 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has compiled 500 victories while leading his teams to 13 NCAA Tournaments, including the 2002 NCAA Final Four.
As head coach at Oklahoma from 1994 to 2006, he guided the Sooners to four conference titles and 10 consecutive 20-win seasons.
Sampson inherits a team that returns five lettermen and three starters. Junior guard Jherrod Stiggers enters 2014-15 as the Cougars' leading returning scorer with 11.2 points per game and has established himself as one of the premier 3-point shooters in school history.
Junior point guard L.J. Rose totaled 8.9 points per game and led Houston and the American Athletic Conference with 5.5 assists per contest during his first season in the Scarlet and White. Sophomore forward Danrad Knowles gave Houston fans glimpses of a promising future with 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman in 2013-14.
Houston takes its first step in 2014-15 with an exhibition contest against North Alabama on Nov. 8 inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars open the regular season at Murray State on Nov. 14, marking the first time Houston has started the regular season on the road since facing Georgia Southern in Durham, N.C., to begin the 2008-09 campaign.
From there, the Cougars will meet a pair of first-time opponents. Houston plays host to Morgan State on Nov. 22 and then heads to the Northeast to face Harvard at 6 p.m. (CST), Nov. 25.
Fans will have plenty of chances to see their Cougars in action in December with six home contests inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Houston plays host to Texas-Pan American (Dec. 4) and Abilene Christian (Dec. 6) before competing in three games during a four-day stretch, starting with Houston Baptist (Dec. 16) and followed by Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 17) and South Carolina State (Dec. 19) in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Regional Round.
From there, the Cougars advance to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Championship Rounds at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Houston meets Boise State at 9:30 p.m. (CST) on Dec. 22 and will play the winner-loser of Texas Tech-Loyola (Ill.) on Dec. 23 to wrap up the tournament.
The Cougars face Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 28 and meet crosstown rival Rice at 7 p.m., Jan. 28, inside Hofheinz Pavilion in the final two non-conferences games.
For the second straight season, the Cougars open American Athletic Conference play on New Year's Eve, facing Memphis at 1 p.m., Dec. 31, inside FedExForum. Houston begins league play at Hofheinz Pavilion with a showdown against UCF at 6 p.m., Jan. 6.
In league play, Houston also welcomes Memphis (Jan. 11), Tulane (Jan. 17), UConn (Feb. 1), Tulsa (Feb. 5), SMU (Feb. 12), Cincinnati (Feb. 21), USF (March 1) and East Carolina (March 8) to Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars hit the road to meet Memphis (Dec. 31), Tulsa (Jan. 4), East Carolina (Jan. 14), Cincinnati (Jan. 21), SMU (Jan. 24), UCF (Feb. 15), USF (Feb. 17), Temple (Feb. 26), and Tulane (March 4).
Following the regular season, the Cougars return to the Northeast to compete at the American Athletic Conference Championship, hosted by UConn at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
All 11 American Athletic Conference schools will participate in the championship with the format calling for three First-Round games on March 12; followed by four Quarterfinal games on March 13; two Semifinal games on March 14 and the Championship Game on March 15. The entire American Men's Basketball Championship will be available across ESPN's national outlets.
The winner of the league's postseason event receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which begins March 17-18 with the NCAA Tournament First Round in Dayton, Ohio.
Fans can receive the latest news and notes by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest Houston Men's Basketball news and notes on the team's Facebook page by clicking LIKE at HoustonCougarMensHoops.