The Houston Cougars will have their star player for Saturday second round game against the Auburn Tigers.
Marcus Sasser, Houston leading scorerwill begin on Saturday without restriction of minutes, as reported by Stadium.
Sasser injured his groin in the AAC tournament and did not play in the Cougars’ championship loss to the Memphis Tigers.
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On Thursday, Sasser played but seemed aggravate the wound in the first half against No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky, ending the game with just 14 minutes left.
Sasser, who is averaging 16.7 points, said Friday that he will play Saturday against the Razorbacks.
«I’m playing 100%. It’s not a game time decision,» Sasser told Fox26 on Friday. «I’m going to go through practice today, I’ll go through warmups tomorrow and I’ll be ready.
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«You can injure him again,» he added. «You aggravate it, but that’s not in my head. I just say my prayers. And I just have to try to go out there and play with all my might.»
cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson told reporters On Friday he would leave the decision to play to Sasser and the Houston coaching staff.
«I deal with his injury like I have every child injury we’ve ever had… I don’t make any decisions,» Sampson said, according to ESPN. «People were like, ‘Why did you play it?’ I didn’t. I play him if he’s healthy. The coach thinks he can go, and the kid thinks he can go. I trust Marcus… If Marcus is hurt, he’ll say, ‘Coach, I can’t go,’ and then I won’t play him. If he’s out there and he can play, then that means he can play. So he’ll play as many minutes as he can tomorrow night. I don’t know how many minutes it will be, but that’s up to Marcus.
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«He’s our best player, I know. But I don’t treat him any differently than I treat other guys if they’re injured. I treat them all the same.»
The No. 1 seed Cougars and No. 9 seed Auburn Tigers kick off at 7:10 p.m. ET in Birmingham, Alabama.