HOUSTON — The University of Houston Cougars, a Final Four team last season, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament with a 68-53 win Sunday over Illinois.
The fifth-seeded Cougars (31-5) are making another serious run at a national title despite losing their two best players to season-ending injuries. Now, with a trio of transfers and a defense with some serious teeth, they're headed home to Texas for the next round — in San Antonio, against top-seeded Arizona.
Here's a look at the players who led the Cougars to this position.
White is listed at 230 pounds and is from Atascocita, Texas. He's a 6-foot-8-inch grad student who has won numerous awards during his five seasons with the Cougars. Last year, White Jr. was expected to sit out the season after tearing his ACL during a workout, but he made a complete recovery a little under nine months and was able to return to help propel the Cougars to a Final Four appearance.
- 12 points per game
- 6 rebounds per game
- 1.3 assists per game
Shead is listed at 190 pounds and is from Manor, Texas. He's a 6-foot-1-inch tall sophomore who played more than 28 minutes per game this season and nearly 10 minutes per game during his freshman season.
- 9.3 points per game
- 5.3 assists per game
- 2.7 rebounds per game
Moore is listed at 195 pounds and is from Southaven, Mississippi. He's a 6-foot-5-inch graduate student who has had a number of surgeries on his leg. He transferred from the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners after leading the team in scoring in the 2020-21 season.
- 9 points per game
- 4.9 rebounds per game
- 2.6 assists per game
Edwards is listed at 205 pounds and is from Arlington, Texas. He's a 6-foot-4-inch senior who played high school basketball at a prep school in Nevada. Edwards played his freshman, sophomore and junior years at Texas Tech before transferring to UH. He chose the Cougars over UT and LSU.
- 13.8 points per game
- 5.7 rebounds per game
- 2.7 assists per game
Carlton is listed at 245 pounds and is from Winterville, North Carolina. He's a 6-foot-10-inch graduate student who transferred to UH from UConn ahead of the 2021-22 season. He was a three-year starter at UConn. He played his high school ball at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland.
- 11.7 points per game
- 6.3 rebounds per game
- 1 assist per game
Chaney is listed at 230 pounds and is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He's a 6-foot-8-inch senior who played two seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks before transferring to UH before his junior season. He played at the same prep school in Nevada as Edwards.
- 4.2 points per game
- 2.5 rebounds per game
Roberts is listed at 230 pounds and is from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's a 6-foot-7-inch redshirt sophomore. He was a three-star recruit who was also recruited by Oklahoma, Baylor, St. John’s, Sam Houston State, Texas A&M and Seton Hall.
- 2.5 points per game
- 4.8 rebounds per game
Walker Jr. is listed at 210 pounds. He's a 6-foot-4-inch freshman from Pearland, Texas. He played his high school ball at Shadow Creek High School. As a senior in high school, he received the Guy V. Lewis Award as Houston's top high school player.
- 3.3 points per game
- 2.5 rebounds per game
Sampson is from Pembroke, N.C. He took the helm at UH on April 3, 2014, becoming the program's ninth head coach. Sampson is one of only 15 coaches in NCAA history to lead four or more schools to the NCAA Tournament.
"In only seven seasons at Houston, Sampson is the only coach in school history to lead the Cougars to five, six consecutive 20-win seasons and became the second-winningest coach in program history during the 2020-21 season. He already ranks as the school’s career leader with a .723 winning percentage," according to the UH website.