The Houston Cougars will person their prima subordinate for Saturday’s second-round game against nan Auburn Tigers.
Marcus Sasser, Houston’s starring scorer, will commencement connected Saturday without a minutes restriction, according to a study by Stadium.
Houston Cougars defender Marcus Sasser (0) celebrates hitting a cardinal 3-pointer during a crippled against nan Tulane Green Wave astatine nan Fertitta Center Feb 22, 2023, successful Houston. (Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Sasser injured his groin successful nan AAC tourney and did not play successful nan Cougars' title crippled nonaccomplishment to nan Memphis Tigers.
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On Thursday, Sasser played but appeared to aggravate nan injury successful nan first half against No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky, finishing nan crippled pinch conscionable 14 minutes.
Sasser, who averages 16.7 points, said Friday he’ll beryllium playing travel tipoff Saturday against nan Razorbacks.
"I’m playing 100%. It’s not a game-time decision," Sasser told Fox26 Friday. "I’m going to spell done believe today, spell done warmups tomorrow and conscionable beryllium ready.
Marcus Sasser (0) of nan Houston Cougars looks to sprout successful nan first half during nan first information of nan 2023 NCAA Tournament astatine Legacy Arena astatine nan BJCC March 16, 2023, successful Birmingham, Ala. (Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
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"You tin reinjure it," he added. "You reaggravate it, but that’s not successful my head. I’m conscionable saying my prayers. And conscionable sewage to effort to spell retired location and play to my afloat strength."
Cougars caput coach Kelvin Sampson told reporters Friday he’d time off nan determination to play to Sasser and nan Houston training staff.
Houston defender Marcus Sasser brings nan shot up during nan first half of a first-round NCAA Tournament crippled against Northern Kentucky successful Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, March 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
"I woody pinch his wounded for illustration I've dealt pinch each wounded of a kid that we've had. … I don't make immoderate decisions," Sampson said, according to ESPN. "People said, 'Why did you play him?' I didn't. I play him if he's healthy. The trainer thinks he tin go, and nan kid thinks he tin go. I spot Marcus. ... If Marcus is hurt, he'll say, 'Coach, I can't go,' and past I won't play him. If he's retired location and he tin play, past that intends he tin play. So he'll play arsenic galore minutes arsenic he tin tomorrow night. I don't cognize really galore minutes that'll be, but that'll beryllium up to Marcus.
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"He's our champion player, I cognize that. But I don't dainty him immoderate different than I dainty anybody other if they're injured. I dainty them each nan same."
The No. 1 seed Cougars and nan No. 9 seed Auburn Tigers extremity disconnected astatine 7:10 p.m. ET successful Birmingham, Alabama.
Joe Morgan is simply a Sports Reporter for Fox News.