Midyear enrollee Cedric Lath jump-starts career

Middle-aged UH entrant Cedric Rath warms up for the Cougars at the Fertitta Center before their game against South Florida on Jan. 11.

Karen Warren/Staff Photographer

After a recent practice, new addition to the University of Houston’s basketball roster, Cedric Rath, rushed off the court inside the Guy V. Lewis Development Facility. There was a lot left to do.

Since Russ joined the top-ranked Cougars as an intermediate entrant on Jan. 11, his schedule has been a mix of academic meetings, paperwork, doctor’s appointments, on-court practices and training with the Cougars’ strong staff. The spring semester began on Tuesday, also the day of the Cougars’ game at Tulane, Russ’ first road trip with the team.

Rather than wait until the summer, Russ, who is rated one of the nation’s top centers in the 2023 signing class, is “off to a head start” by becoming more common in college basketball, said Kelvin. Mr Sampson said. The second half of the season uses red shirts early on.

“These kids aren’t ready today,” Sampson said. “All we want to do is roll up our sleeves, put on our gloves and go to work. Get in that gym and grow.”

Here’s a recipe that’s worked in the past for the Cougars, who welcomed Caleb Mills (2019) and Emmanuel Sharpe (2022) at the semester break. , a 260-pound center, Russ (via Henderson, Nevada, Canada, and Escondido, Calif.) is ready to adjust to college life and receive a hand. -Learn about strength and nutrition coaching and the day-to-day inside and outside of a basketball program.

“In so many ways, it’s invaluable,” says Sampson. “He gets 10 months of work and progress. He starts in his January, not his June, so from January he has a head start going into June. And obviously And we have a plan on how to handle it.”

Mills joined the team in January 2019 and had a program-high 33-win season, running all the way to the Sweet 16. The next season, he averaged 13.2 points, making him the second freshman to lead the team in scoring. All 31 games.

Another circumstance led to Sharp’s early arrival. He suffered a fractured fibula and a dislocated ankle, and Alan Bishop, UH’s Director of Sports for his performance, described the injury as “one of the worst leg injuries I’ve seen of him.” expressed.

“It was probably the best decision I could have made,” Sharpe said, adding that being around the team allowed him to see “how the college game works.”

In addition to accompanying the team on road trips, Russ will be able to set himself apart for next season with personalized coaching from the coaching staff and practice time with the rest of the Cougars’ front court. .

“He’ll jump in there with Reggie (Cheney), Javier (Francis) and (Darius) Bowser,” Sampson said. “Bumped, give me some lessons. They’re good players and he’ll learn from them.”

According to Bishop, Russ has been introduced to the “cultural stuff” within the program, covering everything from proper training habits to nutrition to other details expected of each student-athlete.

“It pays off,” said Bishop, who coordinates the Cougars’ strength and conditioning program. I added that I am.

In one of his first interactions with Bishop, Russ provided the following revelation.

Despite only playing organized basketball for three years, Russ was rated the 15th-best center in the nation in his 2023 class, according to On3 Consensus. He chose Cougars over Texas and BYU, and had offers from Arizona and Connecticut. He will have his four-year eligibility from the 2023-24 season and will be UH’s first in the Big 12.

Sampson said more players are considering the option of enrolling in the middle of the school year.

“Kids have to want to do it,” Sampson said. “Lazy kids don’t get better. You have to want to work.”

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