Men's Basketball Opens Kelvin Sampson Era

Nov. 6, 2014

Tickets Register for FREE Exhibition Tickets
BUY Season TicketsTickets Info
Time Noon • Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014
Location Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston
Television None
Radio None
Live Stats GameTracker
Social Media Facebook   Twitter

HOUSTON - The University of Houston Men's Basketball begins a new era as the Cougars play host to North Alabama at noon, Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Two-time National Coach of the Year and 500-game winning head coach Kelvin Sampson will make his debut with the Cougars. In a little more than seventh months, Sampson has energized the Houston fan base.

During an award-winning career over 25 years, Sampson has led three programs to 13 NCAA Tournaments, including the 2002 NCAA Final Four with Oklahoma. His teams earned six conference titles and reeled off 12 straight seasons of 20+ wins from 1996 to 2008.

Five lettermen return for the Cougars in 2014-15, led by junior guard Jherrod Stiggers. The Terrell, Texas, native posted 11.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game and has already established himself as one of the premier 3-point shooters in school history.

Stiggers also is poised to join the Houston records book, needing only 362 points to become the 45th 1,000-point scorer in school history.

Sophomore forward Danrad Knowles gave glimpses of a promising future a year ago, averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The Nassau, Bahamas, native was a two-time American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week and scored a career-high 19 points in wins at Temple and Alcorn State.

Joining the program in early April, Sampson worked quickly to hire his staff and recruit nine newcomers. That group includes junior guards Cavon Baker, Torian Graham, Ronnie Johnson and Eric Weary, Jr., junior forwards Bertrand Nkali and Devonta Pollard, sophomore forward Egi Gjikondi, freshman forward JC Washington and freshman guard Wes VanBeck.

Saturday will be a busy day around the Houston Athletic complex. In addition to the Men's Basketball game, Houston Football plays host to Tulane at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, in its annual Homecoming game inside TDECU Stadium.

Due to the Football game, the Football Game Day Parking Plan will apply for the Men's Basketball exhibition game vs. North Alabama. Fans can review the Football Game Day Parking Plan by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.

Admission is free to the Men's Basketball exhibition game, but fans must register here to receive free tickets. All fans are invited to register online and attend the game.

Season ticket holders do NOT need to register for free tickets for the Nov. 8 exhibition game. An email will be sent to each season-ticket account holder with print-at-home tickets.

For the Men's Basketball game, seating will be general admission in the bowl with the Cullen Boulevard and Holman Street entrances open for all fans.

North Alabama returns seven lettermen, including one starter from last season's team, which posted a 23-10 overall record, captured the Gulf South Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.

Senior guard Nathan Spehr returns as the Lion's leading scorer with 12.2 points per game. Senior forward Calvin Dade averaged 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, while forward Jere Vucica totaled 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Now in his 12th year at North Alabama, head coach Bobby Champagne has posted a 187-137 career record. However, he is no stranger to Sampson. Champagne was a member of Sampson's Washington State (1991-94) and Oklahoma (1994-97) teams before joining the Lions.

Following Saturday's exhibition game, the Cougars open the 2014-15 regular season when they travel to face Murray State at 7 p.m., Nov. 14, in Murray, Ky. It will be the first time the Cougars have faced the Racers on the hardwood since 1955.

From there, the Cougars return to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to open their home schedule against Morgan State on Saturday, Nov. 22. That game time has not yet been determined and will be announced after the game time for Houston Football's home finale against Tulsa has been released.

Season ticket packages start for as low as $99 in the Reserved 3 section for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Memorial Hermann Family Plan, which includes two adult and two kids' season tickets, can be purchased for only $399 in the Reserved 2 section for the entire regular-season home schedule.

Fans can purchase season tickets online by visiting uhcougars.com/mbbtickets and following the appropriate links or by clicking here. To view a map of Hofheinz Pavilion with season ticket pricing, fans can click here.

Fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office from 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge.

All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season Men's Basketball home games with a valid student ID.

Fans also have a choice of a pair of mini plans when choosing their ticket options. With the Conference Pack, fans can purchase tickets to each of the Cougars' nine American Athletic Conference home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion, starting at only $8 per game in the Reserved 3 section.

Fans can choose the 3-Point Pack and pick any three of the Cougars' 17 regular-season home games with prices starting as low as $9 per game in the Reserved 3 section.

To order mini-plans online, fans can visit UHCougars.com/mbbtickets and follow the appropriate links or click here.

Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased for as low as $9 per ticket in Reserved 3 (Section 101-102, 115-116, 126-128) for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets for only $14 per ticket in the Reserved 2 (Sections 103-104, 109-111, 117-119 and 124-125), while Reserved 3 seats (Section 105-108, 120-123) are available at $19 per ticket.

The ticket cost per person falls even more for groups of 25 or more. Group administrators are encouraged to call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office soon to secure their seats.

For a map of Hofheinz Pavilion group seating sections and prices, fans can click here. Fans can purchase group tickets online by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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.



There are no upcoming events.




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago