Kelvin Sampson hire earns Houston high grade in offseason rankings

insider.espn.go.com Published: May 19, 2014
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ESPN.com college basketball writer Jeff Goodman put together his personal rankings of 2014 college basketball hires and Houston's hire of former OU coach Kelvin Sampson was graded as one of the best pickups of the offseason.



Goodman gave the Cougars a "B+" for luring Sampson away from the NBA and back into the college game. According to Goodman, only two high-major schools -- Virginia Tech (Buzz Williams) and Auburn (Bruce Pearl) -- made better hires than Houston did by grabbing Sampson.

From Goodman: "Remember, this is a guy who took Oklahoma to the Final Four and also had the Sooners in the NCAA tourney in 11 of his 12 seasons in Norman. Sampson can recruit, can coach and now will have years of NBA experience from Gregg Popovich, Scott Skiles and Kevin McHale to implement into his system and style."

Goodman rated Wake Forest's hire of Danny Manning a "B," saying the Demon Deacons and the former Tulsa coach are a good fit. He graded Tulsa's hiring of former Missouri coach Frank Haith a "C-".

"The Missouri coach made a smart move by getting out of Dodge, or in this case, Columbia before he was run out of town," Goodman said. "Personally, if I were hiring at Tulsa, I would have gone with an up-and-comer in a job like this one."

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