Culture / Sporting Life

Kelvin Sampson’s New X-Factor — Texas Tech transfer Mylik Wilson Gives UH a New Smooth, Athletic Marvel

Inspired by Kyler Edwards With Shades of Taze Moore?

BY // 07.21.22

Wearing shades that could make even Tom Cruise jealous, Mylik Wilson looks as smooth and relaxed as could be. Wilson may be the new guy, the Texas Tech transfer that some University of Houston basketball fans don’t seem quite what to make of, but he doesn’t seem stressed by it. Instead, he comes across as the coolest guy in the room.

Wilson isn’t the biggest of transfer names. He averaged just 2.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game at Texas Tech last season. It’s fair to wonder where Wilson will fit into an ultra-talented Houston guard rotation that includes Jamal Shead, Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark. Three potential All-American level players.

But the super athletic 6-foot-3 Wilson, who prides himself on defense (he averaged a block and 2.3 steals per game during his two seasons at Louisiana) could surprise. In fact, Wilson seems to have a lot of similarities to recent UH guard Taze Moore, who played a critical role on last year’s unexpected Elite Eight team.

And Wilson is eager to be part of an elite team with the potential to win even bigger.

“I feel like we’ve got the talent to be a Final Four team,” he tells PaperCity. “And with the Final Four in Houston, that’d be really special to be a part of that.”

Wilson was the No. 1 ranked player in Louisiana coming out of high school. He won Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year honors and averaged 12.9 points per game his second season at Louisiana. This is a player who figures he has much more to give than what he was able to show at Texas Tech.

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And Wilson is looking at another recent Texas Tech transfer to Houston as inspiration. That’d be Kyler Edwards, who led UH in scoring in his lone season after transferring in from the Red Raiders.

“I’d seen how he played, how much confidence he played with coming from Texas Tech,” Wilson says of Edwards. “He just looked like a different player.

“I wanted to kind of start to play the same way. And Houston was the best spot to do it.”

It certainly helps that UH assistant coach Quannas White never lost touch with Wilson. No matter how many basketball stops he made.

“Really, Coach Q’s been recruiting me since high school,” Wilson tells PaperCity. “When they offered me (out of high school), I was going to come here. But then things happened and I hit the (transfer) portal twice.

“And they’ve been recruiting me ever since.”

Wilson figures he’s waited a long time to work with Quannas White and UH head man Kelvin Sampson, who’s something of a guard whisperer with the way he’s prepared guys like Eric Gordon and Quentin Grimes for the NBA in relatively short periods of time.

Sampson believes in giving his guards freedom on offense — as long as they bring it on defense.

University of Houston Cougars men’s basketball team opened their 2021-2022 season with an overtime victory over the HofstraPride, complete with the presentation of a banner commemorating their trip to last season’s Final Four, Tuesday night at the Fer
Jamal Shead and UH assistant coach Quannas White are always working on the guard’s game. And mindset. Now, he’ll have a new pupil in Mylik Wilson. (Photo by F. Carter Smith)

The new guy’s already seen that in UH’s summer workouts and practice sessions.

“It’s just how hard they go in practice,” Wilson says. “Everything is hard — and fast. Just keep going fast. They want you to mess up, just got to get it right later. But as long as you’re going hard, you good.”

Wilson does not see any politically game playing or favoritism in Sampson’s program. Everyone gets the chance to compete.

The new guy figures this is the perfect basketball environment for him. One where he can make an impact.

“I think I really bring a winning attitude,” Wilson says. “Like just making plays when needed. Whatever that is.”

Mylik Wilson, a Big 12 Building Piece

With two years of eligibility left at Houston, Mylik Wilson could make an even greater impact in the Cougars’ first season in the Big 12 next season. It’s highly unlikely that Sasser, Shead and Mark all will be back for the 2023-24 season. Having a proven Big 12 battler like Wilson could be invaluable.

“I feel like we’ve got the talent to be a Final Four team. And with the Final Four in Houston, that’d be really special to be a part of that.” — UH guard Mylik Wilson

“It just helped me playing on that level,” Wilson says of his season in the power 5 conference. “The Big 12 is a warrior league. There’s no off nights in that conference. I feel like playing in that conference will really help me a lot playing here.”

Mylik Wilson is a Cougar now, cool sunglasses and all. It’s about time.

For more of Chris Baldwin’s extensive, detailed and unique insider coverage of UH sports — stories you cannot read anywhere else — bookmark this page. Follow Baldwin on Twitter here.

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