The rest of the country considered Houston's win over UTEP in the Conference USA tournament to be an upset. After all, UTEP had won 16 games in a row and was ranked 25th nationally.
But Houston coach Tom Penders said the win was not an upset. I profiled Penders and Houston in today's paper. Here are some quotes not in the article.
"I told the team going into the playoffs that we had the best team in the conference. We had beaten UTEP in the regular season," Penders said.
Prior to the title game, the team had battled injuries. Leading scorer Aubrey Coleman had leg cramps. Guard Zamal Nixon got mono.Another player, Mauice McNeil, left to tend to his ailing mother.
"For the first time all year we had our team as a whole all together" for the championship game, Penders said.
Penders said he's familiar to a point with Maryland's flex offense, but that the offense is a little different than what it used to be.
"He (Gary Williams) is doing a doing a lot more ball screening and things for (Greivis) Vasquez. He let Juan Dixon do things outside that offense, too," Penders said. "But his teams always played hard."