Houston Basketball to Participate in Final Four "Come Ready to Play" Tipoff Party

Sept. 24, 2015

HOUSTON – The University of Houston Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams will participate in the 2016 Final Four “Come Ready to Play” tipoff party, to be held 5-9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2, at Market Square Park in Houston. Houston Basketball student-athletes will meet and greet fans as the city of Houston officially starts the 2016 NCAA Final Four celebration.

In addition to appearances by both Houston Basketball teams, “Come Ready to Play” will feature Final Four Fan Fest ticket giveaways, live music, band performances, a fan experience park and more. Admission is free to the event, which will be held at 301 Milam Street in Houston.

The University of Houston will serve as a host for the 2016 Men’s Final Four, to be held April 2 & 4, 2016 at NRG Stadium. This will be the third time that Houston has staged the final event of the NCAA men’s basketball season. UConn won the national championship at NRG Stadium in 2010, and UCLA was crowned champion at the 1971 tournament, held at the Astrodome.


Houston Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson returns six lettermen and four starters from last year's team, which recorded 13 wins and knocked off defending national champion UConn inside Hofheinz Pavilion for the second consecutive year.

Battling injuries throughout the season, the Cougars enjoyed a late-season surge, winning four of their final five games, including the lone upset in the American Athletic Conference Championship First Round in Hartford, Conn.

Senior guard LeRon Barnes, the Cougars' lone 3-year letterwinner, returns after ranking among The American's top-10 leaders in both offensive and defensive rebounding, while senior forward Devonta Pollard enters the 2015-16 campaign as the Cougars' top returning scorer with 11.4 points per game.

Junior forward Danrad Knowles ranked third on the team in both scoring and rebounding, and senior guard L.J. Rose looks for his third 100+ assist season while wearing the Scarlet and White.

Houston also welcomes the return of junior guard Ronnie Johnson and junior forward Bertrand Nkali to competition. Both players practiced with the Cougars but sat out the 2014-15 season after Johnson transferred from Purdue and Nkali missed the year with an injury.

The Cougars will be boosted by the addition of five newcomers to the team, including freshman guard Galen Robinson (Westbury Christian/Houston); sophomore guard Rob Gray, Jr. (Howard JC/Forest City, N.C.); junior guard Damyean Dotson (Oregon/Houston); junior forward Xavier Dupree (Paris JC/Houston) and junior center Kyle Meyer (Eastern Florida State College/Atlanta).


Houston fans can connect with Fan Experience Headquarters by phone, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at 713-462-6647 and can purchase tickets online 24/7 at UHCougars.com/tickets.

Reserved 1 season tickets are now available for $250 per seat for all 18 regular-season home games, while Reserved 2 season tickets can be purchased for $150 per seat, a cost of $8.33 per game.

As an added benefit, fans who purchase Reserved 1 Men’s Basketball season tickets will receive the same number of Houston Women’s Basketball season tickets FREE.

For the first time in 2015-16, fans also can purchase $99 Anytime season tickets. With Anytime season tickets, fans will receive one ticket for each of the 18 regular-season home games.

From there, fans can use their Anytime tickets any way they like. They can use one ticket for each home game or take 17 friends to one home game or any combination in between. As always, current University of Houston students are admitted free with valid IDs to Houston Men’s Basketball games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Fans can view a Hofheinz Pavilion map with season-ticket pricing by clicking here.

Fans should also stay tuned to UHCougars.com and Houston Men’s Basketball social media sites for the latest information about ticket sales.


Houston Women’s Basketball Head Coach Ronald Hughey’s team returns six letterwinners, including all five starters, from last season's roster. Leading the way for Hughey's club is senior Jessieka Palmer, who paced the Cougars with 9.6 points per game last season and was a two-time American Honor Roll selection.

Seniors Marche' Amerson, Tyler Gilbert and Alecia Smith look to continue their assault on the Houston record books in 2014-15. Amerson opens the season with 859 career points and needs just 141 more to become Houston's 23rd 1,000-point scorer. Smith enters the year with 111 career 3-pointers, seventh in program history, while Gilbert has blocked 82 shots, UH's ninth-highest career total.

Senior Bianca Winslow and sophomore Mariah Mitchell round out Houston's returning talent. Winslow started the final 13 games of the season as a junior and set career highs in scoring, assists and steals, while Mitchell hit 23 3-pointers, the 10th-best freshman mark in UH history.

2014-15 junior college All-Americans Dionna Collins and Kierra Graves will add major scoring ability to the Houston backcourt after both players averaged over 20 points per game last season. Fellow JuCo transfer Jacqueline Blake looks to add a scoring punch to the post after averaging a double-double in her sophomore season.

Transfers Chyanne Butler and Brianne Coffman will also continue their collegiate careers under Hughey's watch. Butler, a sophomore from USC, practiced with the Cougars for the second half of 2014-15 and will join the active roster for the second semester in 2015-16. Coffman, out of Oklahoma State, will sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer requirements and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Three true freshmen round Hughey's group of newcomers. Oklahoma natives Sharayla Brown and Serithia Hawkins each earned All-State selections in their final prep seasons, and Cedar Hill, Texas, product Cenecia Newman was a district MVP. All three of the rookies were ESPN Hoopgurlz Class of 2015 top-100 recruits at their positions.

For a complete listing of Houston’s 2015-16 schedule, CLICK HERE.


The Houston Fan Experience Headquarters is proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2015-16 athletic season. For only $50, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Women’s Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer and Softball home games.

The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial savings as single-game tickets start at $8 for all four sports. Fans can save $126 alone during the Houston Volleyball and Soccer seasons. To purchase a Shasta Pass, CLICK HERE.




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