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What’s Phi Slama Jama? Remembering Houston’s high-flying Nineteen Eighties groups, legendary gamers



The reminiscence of Phi Slama Jama will likely be handed on to a different technology when Houston takes on Baylor in a Last 4 nationwide semifinal Saturday in Indianapolis.  

The phrase was coined by Houston Put up columnist Thomas Bonk throughout the Cougars’ run to a few consecutive Last 4 appearances from 1982-84. These groups, coached by Man Lewis, produced Corridor of Fame gamers comparable to Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, to not point out a few of the most memorable moments in NCAA Event historical past. 

Right here is all the pieces you could find out about Phi Slama Jama:  

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Who coached Phi Slama Jama?  

Man Lewis coached the Cougars for 11 seasons from 1956-86, and he led this system to 5 Last 4 appearances. The Cougars made back-to-back appearances in 1967-68 with two-time All-American Elvin Hayes. 

This system peaked, nonetheless, throughout the Phi Slama Years from 1981-84. Houston was 88-16 over that three-year stretch with a 42-16 document in Southwest Convention play. The Cougars reached the Last 4 in three consecutive seasons. 

Phi Slama Jama gamers

In 2011, Bleacher Report ranked Houston’s 1982-83 group because the third-best beginning 5 lineup of all time. That is as a result of it featured two members of the Basketball Corridor of Fame.  

Hakeem Olajuwon, a 7-0 heart, was a member of all three groups. He averaged 13.3 factors, 10.7 rebounds and 4.5 blocks for his faculty profession. “The Dream” went on to be a No. 1 general choose and two-time NBA champion with the Rockets. 

Houston Athetlics

Clyde Drexler, a 6-7 ahead, starred on the 1982 and 1983 Last 4 groups. Drexler averaged 14.4 factors per sport. “The Glide” was an NBA champion with the Rockets in 1995 (Olajuwon was on that group, too) and a member of the 1992 Dream Group. He returned to educate Houston from 1998 to 2000.  

Different NBA gamers included Michael Younger, a member of all three groups; Rob Williams, Larry Micheaux, Rickie Winslow and Greg Anderson.  

Reid Gettys, Alvin Franklin and Dave Rose have been function gamers throughout the Phi Slama Jama period, and Benny Anders — a 6-5, 200-pound ahead — was a fan favourite and a key determine within the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary “Phi Slama Jama.” 

Why have been they known as Phi Slama Jama?  

The Cougars performed an up-tempo type that produced 78.8 factors per sport by that three-year stretch, and so they did that with the slam dunk.  

Houston Put up columnist Thomas Bonk coined the time period “Phi Slama Jama” after the Cougars routed Pacific 112-58 on Jan. 2, 1983. Their reputation soared from there, and the group grew to become a cult phenomenon by the 1983-84 season.  

Did Phi Slama Jama win a nationwide title?  

No. Houston suffered three consecutive losses within the Last 4 from 1982-84. A have a look at these video games:  

No. 1 North Carolina 68, No. 6 Houston (March 27, 1982)  

The Tar Heels — who went on to win the nationwide championship underneath coach Dean Smith — outlasted the Cougars in a Last 4 nationwide semifinal at the New Orleans Superdome. Sam Perkins scored 25 factors, and James Worthy and Michael Jordan had 18 and 14 factors, respectively. North Carolina restricted Williams, Houston’s main scorer, to 2 factors on 0-of-8 capturing.   

No. 6 N.C. State 54, No. 1 Houston 52 (April 4, 1983) 

In one of the crucial memorable upsets of all time, Jim Valvano led the Wolfpack previous the Cougars in a nationwide championship thriller at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. Drexler bumped into foul bother within the first half, and N.C. State withstood a 20-point, 18-rebound efficiency from Olajuwon. The Wolfpack received on Lorenzo Charles’ last-second dunk.  

No. 1 Georgetown 84, No. 2 Houston 75 (April 2, 1984) 

Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing clashed in a dynamic matchup of facilities in a nationwide championship sport on the Kingdome in Seattle. Olajuwon had 15 factors and 9 boards, whereas Ewing had 10 factors and 9 boards. 5 Hoyas scored in double figures and Georgetown received the nationwide championship underneath coach John Thompson.  

What’s Phi Slama Jama’s legacy? 

These Houston groups are among the many finest groups to by no means win a nationwide championship, and the Cougars’ run ended the yr earlier than the NCAA Event expanded to 64 groups.  

Houston is one in every of 10 colleges to achieve the Last 4 in three consecutive seasons, however eight of these colleges received nationwide championships. UCLA (2006-08) is the one different faculty to tug off that feat with out profitable the nationwide title.  

Now, Houston is within the Last 4 for the primary time since 1984, and that can deliver these recollections again. 

What will we bear in mind most about Phi Slama Jama? It’s finest to only watch quarter-hour of dunks:  


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