Fred Faour: 3 things to be excited about in Houston sports for 2023

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13710493q) Houston coach Kelvin Sampson encourages his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the South Florida, in Houston. Houston won 83-77 South Florida Basketball, Houston, United States – 11 Jan 2023

Fred Faour: 3 things to be excited about in Houston sports for 2023

Being a Houston sports fan can be rough. If you don’t like baseball, there is not a lot to be positive about right now. However, the beauty of sports is there is always something going on. Here are three things to be excited about in 2023:

  1. UH basketball. The Cougars are one of the best teams in the country. You don’t get voted No. 1 in the polls if you are a fraud (unless you are Purdue). This team is so talented and so much fun to watch. The scary thing? We have not seen their best yet. Tuesday night, they went to New Orleans and housed a good Tulane team. They are growing up before our eyes. Coach Kelvin Sampson has done an amazing job on Cullen, and we have not seen college basketball in this city at this level since the Phi Slama Jama days. Marcus Sasser is a legit NBA talent and shooter. Freshman five-star Jarace Walker is turning into a monster before our eyes. Sampson has built a talented, gritty group that wins every ball on the floor and battles for every rebound. And unlike last year’s team, this group is nine or 10 deep with legitimate players. Get on board now.
  2. Spring training for the Astros is less than a month away. I know that sounds weird since we are all still celebrating the World Series win. But the 2023 season is right around the corner. There is so much to be excited about this season. Yes, Justin Verlander is gone and will be missed in the regular season. But this team is loaded with pitching, and every other key player is back. The questions are so small they barely matter. Will Michael Brantley be healthy? Can Chas McCormick lock down center field? Who will be the backup catcher? That’s it, and those are things that can be addressed at the trade deadline if need be. Maybe you can wonder about who will fill out the rotation, but with six solid options? They will be OK. It’s Hunter Brown time, one way or another. Jim Crane is an amazing owner who pushes all the right buttons. Get ready for another incredible run.
  3. Have the Texans finally gotten less dumb? Let’s be honest; this franchise has turned into a joke over the last few years. And it is hard to trust anyone involved in that. But this latest coaching search has involved all the hottest coordinators, and even Sean Payton. While it’s hard to believe Payton would really be interested in this franchise, the fact that he even interviewed is a huge step. The draft will be fun this year with two potential franchise quarterbacks at the top, and if the Texans can get this right, the lead-up to 2023 will be awesome. Can they pull a Jacksonville and go from worst to first? Probably not. But this offseason has so far been promising. If they don’t mess it up, the Texans could actually be interesting again.

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