Staying optimistic is the goal

Nate Hinton on COVID-19 and the short ending season

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Having a discussion with Nate Hinton, a potential upcoming draftee in the 2020 NBA Draft, on his short ending season because of COVID-19, was very resourceful. He was still able to stay very optimistic and promising towards the future. Hinton looks forward to seeing his teammates, coaches, and the NCAA come back stronger than ever from this.

As the discussion ran, Hinton expressed his shock for the NBA shutting down, although he knew the league would make the right decision so the virus would not spread.

"I was kind of in shock but when of the members caught it, I knew we were next. I also knew the knew the NCAA was going to take the same precaution."

Hinton has declared for the NBA Draft, but will keep his eligibility at UH just in case it does not work out.

Hinton also expressed his feelings towards his potential last season being cancelled. The team was on the way to the conference tournament when the news hit the surface. Hinton was able to keep a calm demeanor and not act bizarre.

"Just one of those numb feelings knowing we couldn't play no more. It was basically out of are hands. We were on the way to the conference tourney when we found out."

Hinton did mention that he was not too worried at first because of the unknowing of the virus. His main concern was being well educated on the situation before decisions were made. Hinton wanted to know the correct actions to take when told how to move through this pandemic.

"I wasn't too worried because I didn't know how serious it was. I didn't want to panic because things were shutting down. I just wanted to take it day to day and wait for the right outcome."

Hinton liked the idea of the NCAA shutting down because of COVID-19. He felt like it was the right action to take towards this virus. Hinton's concerns was for his family, friends, and fans to say safe through this epidemic.

"Since the NBA shutdown, it was cool that that the NCAA took precautionary measures. Because there a lot of fans that come to the event; including family that plan all year to come."

Hinton did make a great compliment on Coach Sampson's composure through the unsure times of the pandemic. He loved the fact that Sampson was able to stay calm when waiting on the information. Sampson did make sure that every kid made it home safely.

"He was like everybody else because he didn't know how serious it was. He needed more information on it. He was calm about the situation and was able to get us home safely. He was great throughout the process"

Hinton was very sympathetic towards the senior on his team. He really expressed his heart to Chris Harris, a friend on the team. Hinton wanted to see his friend finish strong because it was his last season.

"Chris Harris is a senior for our team, and he had realized that he played his last game. I assumed he was sad because he put a lot into the university and culture."

Hinton felt very confident that this Cougar basketball team was going to have a good run at March Madness this year. The Cougars were 23-8 on the season and 13-5 in conference. The Cougars lost last year in March Madness to the Kentucky Wildcats. People were concerned when the Cougars lost Corey Davis because he was the leading scorer last year. The team was still able to dominate conference with a young team and great coaching staff. They were able to become back to back American conference champs.

"We were very confident, and we were going to create buzz. We were going to be that team we expected no matter how young we were."

While playing with this university, he has played with two great teams, but which team was better? Hinton was very humble when he answered that question.

"Last year was much more senior lead and this year was young a team so we had to grow up together."

Hinton's game has improved a lot from last season. He was shooting the three ball at 38.7% this season and shot for 33.7% last year. Hinton also grabbed more boards this season than last season by averaging 8.7 rebounds a game. He was even the third leading scorer on his team this season. Hinton's biggest successes this season was making first team all-district for the NABC and second team all-conference in the American conference.


Nate Hinton Highlights vs UCF 20 points 1 3 2020 youtu.be


"I just worked and wanted to be dependable for my teammates and coaches. I learned from the seniors last year and teammates as well."

Hinton even expressed his gratitude on playing for Coach Sampson. He talked about how mentally tough players had to be to play with Coach Sampson.

"He wants us to play hard and compete second we're on the court. He demands perfection in imperfect game. He pushes you to be great at all cost. You got to be built different to play for him."

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After splitting the first two games of the series, including the extra-inning affair on Saturday, the Astros looked to defeat the Angels on Saturday to secure the series win and leave Los Angeles with a winning record. On the mound were two pitchers looking to shrug off bad debuts to the season. Here is how the game went on Sunday afternoon:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 6, Angels 5.

Record: 5-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Blake Taylor (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jacob Barnes (0-2, 3.86 ERA).

James walks his way into trouble

After a disastrous start to his pitching season where he was unable to record an out, Shohei Ohtani was able to sit down the Astros 1-2-3 on just eight pitches in the top of the first. However, Houston would take advantage of his struggling command in the top of the second, working three straight walks to load the bases with no outs. They then would get two more walks with two outs to grab an early 2-0 lead and end Ohtani's day early yet again.

Meanwhile, on the mound for Houston was Josh James. He, too, allowed some walks but was able to work around them in the first two innings, erasing two in the bottom of the first and one in the second for two scoreless innings.

That changed in the third when he would walk the bases loaded with two outs before Albert Pujols continued his nearly twenty-year reign of being a thorn in Houston's side, hitting a grand slam, Los Angeles' first hit of the day, to put the Angels up 4-2. James would get the final out of the third, but that would conclude his day, making it two straight starts he would be unable to reach the fourth inning. His final line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4K, 1 HR.

Valdez impresses as Bregman makes it a one-run game in the seventh

Framber Valdez was first out of Houston' bullpen, likely to try and eat up several innings. He would accomplish that mission, getting through the next three innings scoreless, holding the 4-2 score. It remained locked on that score despite Houston getting runners on base in each of those innings, as they would struggle to turn players on base into runs yet again in this series.

Alex Bregman gave the Astros a spark in the top of the seventh, leading off the inning with a solo home run to straightaway center to make it a one-run game. Valdez returned for yet another inning, another scoreless frame to keep it 4-3 going to the eighth.

Reddick ties it in the ninth, Astros win in extras

Houston would threaten to tie in the top of the eighth, getting a pinch-hitting Carlos Correa to third base after a single to leadoff the inning, but would be unable to score him, leaving it at 4-3. Valdez would record another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Astros one more chance to tie or go ahead in the top of the ninth.

Michael Brantley led off the inning with a double and was pinch-run by Myles Straw, who would score the tying run on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, but the Angels would hold the Astros there. Valdez remained in the game trying to push extra innings and would do so, erasing a leadoff walk.

Kyle Tucker started the top of the tenth on second base and moved to third on a sac fly by Carlos Correa to start the inning before scoring on another sac fly, this time from pinch-hitting Garrett Stubbs to give Houston a 5-4 lead. Valdez, well above his comfortable pitch count, was still on the mound in the bottom of the tenth, and allowed his first run, though unearned, on a leadoff RBI-single to tie the game again at 5-5. He would get one more out before Houston moved to another reliever, bringing in Andre Scrubb.

After an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, Scrubb would walk the bases loaded before getting a popout, then Houston would turn to Blake Taylor. Taylor would come through, getting a big strikeout to send the game to the eleventh. Springer started on second in the top of the inning and would score and put the Astros back in front on a one-out RBI-single by Alex Bregman. In the bottom half, Taylor would get through the inning, giving Houston the win and series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will have a day off tomorrow before picking up a three-game set with the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Tuesday. The opening game of that series will be at 8:10 PM Central. While Arizona is expected to start Madison Bumgarner, the Astros will have to pivot as they had Framber Valdez slated for that start, who made a lengthy appearance out of the bullpen on Sunday.

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