The Houston Cougars will have one of their most reliable players last season back in the fold to help them out on the court in the program's first season in the Big 12. Jamal Shead, who started 37 games for Houston basketball in the 2022-23 season, has made the decision to return to Kelvin Sampson's squad after withdrawing his application for the 2023 NBA Draft, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Houston's Jamal Shead tells me that he will withdraw from the 2023 NBA Draft and will return to school next season.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 31, 2023
This is terrific news for Houston basketball, especially with stars Marcus Sasser and Jarace Walker Walker leaving the team for the NBA. Sasser and Walker are expected to go in the first round of the upcoming NBA Draft while Tramon Mark, who played last season for the Cougars, has also parted ways with the team via the transfer portal. That means Houston basketball will not have three of their top four scorers from last season back. Jamal Shead is the only top-four scorer returning to Houston.
Back in the 2022-23 college basketball season, Jamal Shead averaged 10.5 points, 5.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. He shot just 41.5 percent from the field and only 29.0 percent from behind the arc. Giving it another go with Houston basketball offers Shead an opportunity to further work on his shooting accuracy to also improve his future NBA Draft stock.
Houston basketball was among the best teams in the nation last season but only lasted until the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA tournament, where it got eliminated by the Miami Hurricanes. Nevertheless, the Cougars are still viewed as a team to watch out for in the coming season.