Texas A&M Basketball (7-1) looks to bounce back from a tough loss to Arizona against the Prairie View A&M Panthers. Here’s everything you need to know.
The seventh-ranked Texas A&M basketball team suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday, falling 67-64 to the Arizona Wildcats in Phoenix. Outside of Tyler Davis the offense had trouble getting going.
Davis’ one man offense kept the game very even throughout, however. Time – and the refs – just weren’t on the Aggies side. Texas A&M (7-1) didn’t reach the bonus until the final 30 seconds of the game. The Aggies return home this Saturday to take on the Prairie View A&M Panthers.
Buried in all of the Jimbo Fisher hype is the fact that this team started 7-0 with major non-conference victories and haven’t played one game with a full roster. That is incredibly impressive given who the Aggies have played and the fact that only three of their games have been played at Reed Arena this season. Every win over a major non-conference opponent had come on the road. Tuesday’s game against Arizona was the first time the Aggies were playing at full strength this season.
System school Prairie View A&M comes to College Station with a 2-6 record this season. Their only wins are over Eastern Kentucky and Georgia State. They are led by third year head coach Byron Smith.
Here’s how to watch the Aggies take on the Panthers:
Date: Saturday, Dec. 9
Time: 4:30 p.m. EST.
Location: College Station, TX
Venue: Reed Arena
Keys to Victory
The Aggies played pretty sloppy on Tuesday and will be looking to fix recent offensive problems. DJ Hogg was held to just nine points, by far his lowest of the season. The only offense the Aggies seemed to be able to find against Arizona was Tyler Davis, who led all scorers with 21 points.
Keeping Davis going and getting the rest of the team more involved again will be huge. Until this week the Aggies had five players averaging double-digit points. They will need that kind of offense throughout the season to truly become the Final Four team many people expect them to be.
The Panthers have three players averaging double figures. 6-foot-4 senior forward Zachary Hamilton is averaging 17.3 points per game, 6-foot-2 junior guard Gary Blackston is averaging 16.4, and 6-foot-1 redshirt junior guard Dennis Jones is averaging 11.6. The Panthers are also a fairly good free throw shooting team, so the Aggies will need to find a way to limit Hamilton, Blackston, and Jones while also staying out of foul trouble.
The Aggies nearly tripped themselves up at home against UTRGV last weekend, though they would end up winning by double-digits. After a tough road game in a hostile environment they may start slow again, but I don’t expect that to last for long.
Regardless of how slow they may or may not start, I don’t expect the Aggies to get surprised by the Panthers. They will bounce back easily from the Arizona loss and move to 8-1 on the season.