Sampson: Not ‘fair fight’ after Shead out vs

  • Adam Teicher, ESPN Personnel WriterMar 30, 2024, 01:57 AM ET


    • Covered Chiefs for 20 seasons for Kansas City Star
    • Joined ESPN in 2013

DALLAS– Kelvin Sampson said there is no player in the country more valuable to his group than Jamal Shead is to Houston. Shead is the Huge 12 player of the year, a first-team All-American and Houston’s best protector.

“He’s the heart and soul of this group,” Sampson stated. “We do not have another Jamal. He was the best player on the flooring tonight. He’s been the very best player on the flooring every game we played this year except a couple of.

“We got a 1-seed because of his management, his toughness, his capability to make everyone better.”

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The Cougars, the top seed in the South Region, played without Shead for much of their Sweet 16 loss to fourth-seeded Duke. Shead played 13 minutes in the first half and scored 2 points before spraining his ankle.He didn’t

return, enjoying the second half from the bench as Houston lost 54-51. Duke carries on to Sunday’s Elite Eight game versus NC State.Sampson stated Shead would have missed the remainder of the competition even if Houston had actually advanced.” I could not truly put any pressure on

it or walk,” Shead said. “I could not go back out there. I hate that it ended like this. I want I could have gotten back out there and a minimum of been in the fight. “I understood that if I played it most likely

would have been a various result or I hope it would have.”The Cougars kept the game close, however Emanuel Sharp missed a 3-point shot in the last seconds that would have sent out the game to overtime.” We remained in a position to win the game without Jamal

,”Sampson said.”With Jamal, it’s a completely different story, but that’s neither here nor there, is it?”It does not feel like a reasonable battle. You would have to take possibly 2 of theirs to equal one of Jamal. That’s how great he was. He’s a first-team All American. You do not have another among those. You don’t have the best protective player in the Huge 12. You do not have a guy that made all the big shots at the end.”

Nearly echoing Sampson, Duke coach Jon Scheyer said, “Shead is the ultimate competitor and winner. There’s no replacement for him.”

Sampson stated he thought the Cougars were good enough to reach the Last 4 but for injuries. The Cougars lost guards Terrance Arceneaux and Joseph Tugler to injuries previously in the season.Instead, Houston failed to reach the Final Four for the 2nd straight season as a No. 1 seed.

“Often that’s simply God’s work,”Sampson said. “It simply wasn’t our time.”

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