Texas A&M Basketball is about to turn the clock on 2017. When this happens, we start talking about March and seeding. The Aggies are ready to make a run.
Texas A&M Basketball is 9-1 and have just three more non-conference games on the schedule. Those games are against Northern Kentucky, Buffalo and Kansas. Conference play starts Dec. 30 against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The SEC conference slate consists of 18 games, the Aggies play several teams twice which include Alabama, LSU, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas. The other eight games are Florida (home), Tennessee (away), Ole Miss (home), South Carolina (home), Auburn (away), Mississippi State (home), Vanderbilt (away) and Georgia (away).
One site that I started to pay attention to several years ago was Warren Nolan. That started mainly for his college baseball coverage, but I liked how his site breaks down college basketball. For example, the site as of Dec. 14 projects the Aggies final record as 29-2. That really got me excited to look at the schedule, look at the stats and see if that really can happen.
If 29-2 does happen, the Aggies will be a No. 1 seed regardless of what happens in the SEC tournament. Their regular season RPI would be three, their strength of schedule would be one and their record away from Reed would be 13-2. How fun would a Dallas, Atlanta and San Antonio trip be come March and April?
Before we start scheduling flight and hotels, let’s breakdown the first 10 games and see if a top 10 ranking is really correct.
Aggies stack up well statistically in the national rankings
Division one basketball currently sits with 351 teams. As of Dec. 14, the Aggies rank 46th in scoring offense, 40th in scoring defense and 15th in scoring margin. They are 43rd in field goal percentage and fifth in field goal percentage defense.
A couple of other stats that jump off the page. The Aggies rank 13th in rebounding margin, sixth in assists per game, eighth in blocks per game and lead the country in defensive rebounds per game.
A couple of areas of concern are centered around turnovers. The Aggies rank 308th in turnover margin (-2.7 per game) and rank 311th in turnovers forced. As competition improves pay attention to see if the turnover margin as we do in football moves to a wash or into the positive somehow.
Aggies near the top of the SEC statistical lead board
Among the SEC the Aggies’ scoring offense is fifth, scoring defense is second and scoring margin leads the conference. Field goal percentage offense is fourth and field goal percentage defense leads the conference. The Aggies lead the conference in rebounding and assists and are tied with Tennessee for second in blocks.
I believe these stats, while early in the season, tell us this team should win the conference and I predict they win the conference by two or three games. One area that is a concern for me being an Aggie for 28 years is our attendance.
Currently, the Aggies rank 10th in home attendance. Teams in the bottom four are Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Georgia. Everyone needs to get out and support this team that I believe is destined to do something they’ve never done.
I remember how packed the Alamodome was in 2007, Reed Arena should be filled to the brim the rest of the season. If Alabama and South Carolina can draw 11,000 or 12,000 why not Texas A&M? Let’s make Reed Arena a wild place the next three months and make it really hard for teams to come into College Station. This starts next week against Northern Kentucky.