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The Basketball Podcast

Oct 23, 2019

Kelvin Sampson, Defensive Disruption and Building a Culture of Toughness

Guest: Kelvin Sampson, Houston Cougars Men’s Basketball Head Coach 


In this week’s coaching conversation, Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson joins the Basketball Podcast to defensive disruption and building a culture of toughness. A veteran of 15 NCAA Tournaments longtime college veteran Sampson led the 2018-19 Houston team to one of the greatest seasons in school history. He guided the Cougars to a 33-4 overall record with a 16-2 mark in American Athletic Conference play, the league’s regular-season title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984.


As a 30-year head coaching veteran at Houston, Indiana, Oklahoma, Washington State, and Montana Tech, Sampson has compiled a 616-322 record during his career. He has led his teams to 15 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 11 in 12 years with the Sooners from 1994 to 2006. During his Oklahoma tenure, he guided the Sooners to 10 consecutive 20-win seasons, the 1999 Sweet 16, the 2002 Final Four and an Elite Eight appearance in 2003. He has also been an assistant coach for National Basketball Association (NBA) teams including the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets.


With the Cougars’ appearance in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Sampson became only the 14th coach in NCAA history to lead 4+ schools to the NCAA Tournament.

In his career, he has been named a National Coach of the Year three times. Sampson has received six conference Coach of the Year awards from four different leagues and guided every program he has led to multiple 20-win seasons during his stints.



1:00 - Appeared to Disrupt Defensively

3:00 - Determining the Retreat and Leaving the Double

4:30 - Doubling Opponents

6:00 - Pass Out of the Post

7:30 - Absorbing the Ball-Side Cut and Stopping the Ball and Stomp the Pass

10:00 - Knowing the Responsibility and Help

11:30 - Locking Down Their Strong Hand

12:30 - One Side Easier on Individual or Team Defense

14:30 - Mindset of Talking

16:00 - Philosophy of Side Pick and Roll

19:40 - Recovery Cue for the Big Gun

20:30 - Changing Mid Guy's Position on a Screen

22:00 - Keys to Build Culture

25:00 - Talent, Toughness, and Togetherness

26:30 - Sometimes Playing hard is Not Enough

28:00 - Standards

32:30 - Things that are not good in his team

34:30 - In Front of the Rim

37:00 - Basketball is Evolving at People's Mind

40:00 - Connecting the Value of 3's to his Players

41:30 - Things that he focuses on as a coach


Kelvin Sampson’s Bio




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