UH basketball heading to China in August

Kelvin Sampson's club will depart for China on August 11 and come back to Houston on August 20. In between, they'll play four games against professional teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, a league that features players such as Stephon Marbury and former Houston Rocket Von Wafer.

"Tiananmen Square, being able to go see a lot of different things - museums, churches, being able to see things these kids would only dream about," Sampson said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "So to take a kid from some of these guys' backgrounds and being able to go to China, that's something they'll remember for the rest of their lives."

Sampson views this also being extremely beneficial to the Cougars' on-court progress.

"I think the biggest thing is we get to have 10 practices," Sampson said. "So starting July 27 to August 10, we can practice 10 times and then go play four games.

"This gives us a head start, jump start on the season, build some chemistry, team bonding, get really acquainted with each other, and those 10 practices will really prove to be beneficial early in the season," Sampson said.

The Cougars are trying to build off a 2015 season where the team went 13-19, but they did win four of their last five games.

"Our guys gained a lot of confidence," Sampson said. "But also, from a credibility standpoint, they really bought into our system.

"With this new recruiting class, we're going to have the team that will play more in the style we want to play, which is fast."