Houston star Sasser pulled at half; status in air

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.– Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, fresh off a closer than expected win over No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky throughout the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night, safeguarded the decision to play star guard Marcus Sasser, who recently suffered a groin injury.Sasser– the American Conference Gamer of the Year, All-American and one of the very best scorers in college basketball– injured his groin throughout the conference competition less than a week earlier. He began versus Northern Kentucky however played only 14 minutes before aggravating the injury, hopping to the bench and being pulled from the game.Houston struggled to pull away from Northern Kentucky and ultimately held on to win 63-52 to advance in the tournament.Editor’s Picks 2 Related Sasser informed press reporters after the game that there was “certainly”a chance for him to bet No. 9 seed Auburn on Saturday.Sampson said that Sasser, who did not play in Houston’s game on Sunday, didn’t take part in practice until Wednesday. Sampson said he didn’t know Sasser

would play up until Thursday morning which he would have been fine had Sasser selected to sit out.”I’ve been with Marcus for 4 years,”he said.” I rely on Marcus and I trust our fitness instructor. I leave those choices up to them. Marcus knows his body much better than anyone in this space, including me.”So I would have been fine if Marcus had actually decided not to play tonight, however he wished to offer it a shot because he believed he was at a high enough percentage out of 100 that he could go.” Sampson believed his team was deflated when Sasser was sidelined in the 2nd half. Without him– and without a fully healthy lineup top to bottom– Sampson said Houston isn’t No. 1 seed product. “We do not have another Marcus Sasser,”

he stated. “But everyone has to stay in their lane.” Jamal Shead, among four Houston players who balanced more than 10 points per game this season, hyperextended his knee in Thursday night’s win. He told reporters

he anticipates to play on Saturday.Auburn will enjoy a favorable crowd being only 100 miles from school, however Sampson minimized the benefit.”We got to go see the number of healthy bodies we have right now, “he stated.”That’s most likely our essential thing. “Sampson instead turned the focus to the strong play of Northern Kentucky, which kept the game close throughout.”I don’t coach Northern Kentucky, but I took pride in their group this evening,”he said.” They combated. They’re well-coached.” Sampson cited the Norse scoring 21 points on second-chance opportunities.”

They were tougher than we were tonight, “he stated.” Which’s not easy for me to state.”

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