NCAA Notes: Houston, Marquette, Tennessee


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College basketball notes on three schools hoping for longer NCAA tourney runs this season.

  • Head coach Kelvin Sampson’s Houston group has put up over 30 wins in each of the last two seasons, and should have a deep enough roster to do it again in 2023-24. The Cougars return Jamal Shead, J’Wan Roberts, Emanuel Sharp, Ja’Vier Francis, and Terrance Arceneaux while adding transfers LJ Cryer (Baylor) & Damian Dunn (Temple) and signing freshmen Joseph Tugler, Jacob McFarland, and Kordelius Jefferson. Despite making the Sweet 16 last year, they should be hungry in 2024 to get much further.
  • The Marquette Golden Eagles lost Olivier-Maxence Prosper to the NBA, but still bring back core players like Kam Jones, Tyler Kolek, Oso Ighodaro, David Joplin, Stevie Mitchell, and Chase Ross. Also head coach Shaka Smart brings in talented freshmen Tre Norman, Zaide Lowery, and Al Amadou. An early second round NCAA tournament loss like last year vs. Michigan State (tough matchup) is something I’m sure the team doesn’t want to happen again.
  • Head coach Rick Barnes’ Tennessee Volunteers return Santiago Vescovi, Zakai Zeigler, Josiah-Jordan James, and Jonas Aidoo, pick up transfer Dalton Knecht (Northern Colorado), and add freshmen Cameron Carr, JP Estrella, and Cade Phillps. Hopefully Zeigler stays healthy so that he can help the Vols during March Madness this time around (tore ACL on February 28th vs. Arkansas/Tenn. made Sweet 16).

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