Kelvin Sampson welcomes Damian Dunn, LJ Cryer to Houston Cougars basketball

Feb 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson talks with players during a timeout in the second half against the Tulane Green Wave at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Sampson welcomes Damian Dunn, LJ Cryer to Houston Cougars basketball

Houston Cougars men’s basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson officially announced the additions of transfers Damian Dunn and LJ Cryer on Wednesday afternoon.

Both players committed to the Cougars over the weekend, and they officially signed their scholarship agreements this week, the program announced in a news release. Cryer, who is joining Houston after three seasons with Baylor, committed on Sunday.

“LJ’s greatest strength is he is a bucket-getter. He can make shots. He gets to the free-throw line, and he makes 3s,” Sampson said in the release.

Sampson said he already had an established relationship with Cryer and his family, which began when he came out of Morton Ranch High School in Katy. Cryer was a part of the 2020-21 Baylor team that won the national championship.

“I want LJ to come in here as part of a culture that breeds togetherness and toughness,” Sampson said. “With the talent that he has, LJ can be an outstanding addition for our program.”

As for Dunn, Sampson and the Cougars are familiar with his game after playing against him for the past three seasons at Temple. Dunn has played against Houston six times.

“One of the things about Damian that jumped out at me after competing against him for three years was the way he carried himself,” Sampson said in the release. “He is a tough kid, but he is a mature kid. Basketball is his life.”

When Houston prepared for Temple earlier in the season, Sampson pointed out Dunn’s ability to get to the free-throw line. The head coach touted that ability again as he introduced the Kinston, North Carolina native to the Cougars in the release.

It is a skill set that prevents teams from going on long-scoring droughts, Sampson stated. Dunn’s game is a slow, methodical pace that is an old-man style, Sampson added.

“He wanted to come to Houston. He knew what he was getting into here. He feels like this will elevate his game and help him reach his goals … We expect him to come in here and impact winning from day one,” Sampson said.

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