Feb 1, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Billy Kennedy reacts against the Florida Gators during the first half at Stephen C. O

Mental Mistakes in Crunch Time Doom Texas A&M Against Mizzou


Texas A&M held a 10-point lead at halftime, but let it slip away in the second half to lose 57-56 to Missouri. The Aggies fell to 17-13, 8-9 in conference play. Three turnovers, a bad foul by Jordan Green and a controversial call in the final seconds cost this team a huge road win.

With 2.2 ticks to go, Alex Caruso tried to inbound the ball to a streaking Green in the paint. Missouri’s Earnest Ross batted the ball away from Green and appeared to go out-of-bounds while doing so. After a lengthy official review, the zebras called it a ballgame. Billy Kennedy had every right to give the refs his best Jim Boeheim/ Mick Cronin impression, but he took the high road. I can’t say I would have done this same.

Here are some more notes from tonight’s loss:

  • Missouri is shooting 36.3 percent from beyond the arc as a team, which is second in the SEC. During this game, they made only one of their 11 three-point attempts (Via Statsheet).
  • Missouri tied their lowest amount of first half points this season with 20.
  • Early in the second half, Caruso passed the ball through a Tiger defender’s leg to Kourtney Roberson for an easy layup that he somehow missed. On the next possession, he stole the ball from Jordan Clarkson and drew a foul on a made layup. The sophomore guard finished with 13 points on five of eight shooting, four assists and five steals. Despite a terrible turnover in the final minute of play, Caruso still managed a terrific performance. His versatility makes him the most valuable player on this team.
  • Senior Fabyon Harris (illness) and Freshman Shawn Smith (personal reasons) both missed their second consecutive games. Their absences forced Kennedy to give guys like Dylan Johns 18 minutes of playing time, which was his career high. Johns needs to go on the Michaels Phelps diet as soon as possible. I know the Englishman is a project, but he was tossed around like a rag doll in the paint. On a brighter note, kenpom.com reports that Johns scored a 97 offensive rating, another career high. Cheers Dylan!
  • Texas A&M is 1-11 away from Reed Arena this season.
  • Missouri killed Texas A&M on the boards, outrebounding them 39-24. The Tigers grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, the same number of defensive rebounds as the Aggies.
  • The foul count and free throw numbers counted just as lopsided as the rebounding. Missouri committed 13 fouls and shot 30 free throws. Texas A&M “committed” 21 fouls and shot 10 free throws. These are a few more reasons why Kennedy should have revealed his own Jim Boeheim/ Mick Cronin impression.
  • Ross made a layup with about 16 seconds to go to cut the lead to 56-55. After a careless Jamal Jones turnover, Missouri coach Frank Haith called a timeout to set up the go ahead play. Kennedy used the timeout to set up a zone, forcing a  Jabari Brown travel with about eight seconds to go. At the time, this was the play of the game. Kennedy doesn’t receive too much praise for his coaching these days, but he did a great job of confusing the Tigers out of the timeout.
  • Well said, Alex:
  • Here’s Robert Cessna’s analysis from AggieSports.com
  • The Aggies host Auburn on Saturday at 3:00 PM CST. This will be their final regular season contest before the SEC Tournament begins on March 12. It’s also Senior Day, so all I really want is a Blake McDonald buzzer-beating trey as time expires to move to .500 in conference play. Is that too much to ask?
  • Keep the faith, Ags.

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Tags: Alex Caruso Billy Kennedy Texas A&M Basketball

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