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Cougars’ Sasser: ‘100 percent’ playing vs. Auburn


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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Houston Cougars standout Marcus Sasser, who was knocked out of Thursday’s win over Northern Kentucky after aggravating a groin damage, stated he expects to play Saturday towards Auburn within the second spherical of the NCAA match.

“I am 100% enjoying tomorrow,” the American Athletic Convention Participant of the 12 months informed reporters Friday. “I have been doing a whole lot of remedy and stretching and massages and issues like that to prepare.”

Sasser has averaged 16.7 factors and three.1 rebounds for the No.1-seeded Cougars this season.

He initially injured the groin Saturday throughout the AAC match. He did not play in Sunday’s championship sport loss to Memphis and didn’t take part in follow Monday or Tuesday.

Coach Kelvin Sampson stated Sasser practiced for the primary time Wednesday and wasn’t sure to play towards Northern Kentucky till Thursday morning. Had he determined to take a seat out due to the damage, Sampson stated, he would have accepted the choice.

However Sasser tried to play and aggravated the damage when he landed arduous on a midrange leap shot throughout the first half. He performed solely 14 minutes, scoring 5 factors on 2-5 capturing from the ground.

With out Sasser at full energy, Houston struggled to place away No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky, giving up 21 second-chance factors and committing 17 turnovers earlier than finally successful 63-52.

Sasser stated Friday that he is making an attempt not to consider the damage.

Whereas there’s all the time a worry of aggravating the damage once more, he stated, “I simply wish to give it my all as a result of you do not know when your final sport is.”

Sampson stated Friday that he’ll take care of Sasser’s damage the identical approach he has each different damage throughout his three a long time as a coach: “It is as much as him and the coach.”

“I do not make any choices,” he stated. “Folks stated, ‘Why did you play him?’ I did not. I play him if he is wholesome. The coach thinks he can go and the child thinks he can go. I belief Marcus. … If Marcus is damage, he’ll say, ‘Coach, I am unable to go,’ after which I will not play him. If he is on the market and he can play, then meaning he can play. So he’ll play as many minutes as he can tomorrow evening. I do not know what number of minutes that’ll be, however that’ll be as much as Marcus.

“He is our greatest participant, I do know that. However I do not deal with him any completely different than I deal with anyone else in the event that they’re injured. I deal with all of them the identical.”

Jamal Shead, one among 4 Houston gamers who averaged greater than 10 factors per sport this season, additionally stated he’ll play. Shead hyperextended a knee in Thursday evening’s win.

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