Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced Tuesday that the team has added invitees center Omar Samhan and forward Damian Saunders to the 2011 training camp roster. In addition, the Rockets have waived guard Casey Mitchell.
Samhan (6-11, 265, Saint Mary’s) was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a First-Team All-WCC selection as a senior (2009-10) at St. Mary’s. He also led the WCC in scoring (21.5 ppg), rebounds (11.1 rpg) and blocks (2.9 bpg) in 2009-10. Samhan was second on the Gaels in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg) in 2008-09, earning First-Team All-WCC after finishing 10th in the conference in scoring and third in rebounds. He also garnered Honorable Mention All-WCC honors as a sophomore and was named to the WCC All-Freshmen Team.
Saunders (6-7, 210, Duquesne) was a two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year (2010, 2011), finishing his career as the only player in NCAA history with over 250 total assists (281), steals (277) and blocks (300). He also set Duquesne career records for games (127), starts (116), steals, blocks and dunks (166). In addition, Saunders posted the third-most rebounds (1,019) and double-doubles (36) in school history, while his 1,511 points ranked 11th on the DU career list.