Dusty Vandenberg: One play defines what this Cougars team is about

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP/Shutterstock (13722007al) Houston guard Emanuel Sharp (21) moves the ball down court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tulane in New Orleans Houston Tulane Basketball, New Orleans, United States – 17 Jan 2023

Dusty Vandenberg: One play defines what this Cougars team is about


The Oxford dictionary defines effort as “a vigorous or determined attempt.”

I witnessed such a vigorous and determined attempt Wednesday night in the second half of Houston’s win over Tulane.

Houston freshman guard Emanuel Sharp is one of the best 3-point shooters on the team. I like to call him the SHARPSHOOTER.

He struggled from beyond the arc against Tulane, only hitting 1-of-6. Kelvin Sampson said after the game, “One of the things we preach constantly to our kids is there’s a lot of ways to impact winning, it’s not just making shots, I don’t judge how good you play based on how many points you have.”

Sharp demonstrated this in one singular play on Wednesday night. He missed a 3, hustled back on defense, got in perfect position, planted, and drew a charge, giving the Cougars another possession. That, for me, really typifies what he and this entire Houston Cougar basketball team are all about. They don’t care who scores. They just want to play hard and win for each other. That is the culture Coach Sampson has installed.

The win took 40 minutes of just that, but the reason why the Cougars won was demonstrated in a 15-second sequence involving Sharp.

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