Texas A&M Basketball (11-3 and 0-2 in SEC) is off to a very slow start in conference play. After an 0-2 start, the Aggies are now in must win mode.
Texas A&M Basketball has struggled since conference play began before the New Year. The Aggies opened on the road in Tuscaloosa and lost to Alabama by 22. They welcomed Florida to Reed and lost by 17.
Yes, they have an excuse, but when it comes time to look at resumes against other teams it was the way they lost that concerns me. The inability to shoot the basketball was the problem in the Alabama game. A&M went 21-for-70 from the field and 2-for-21 from three in the game. One of the threes made was by Tyler Davis. The other starters (Savion Flagg, Jay Jay Chandler, Duane Wilson) for that game were a combined 7-for-26 and 0-for-10 from three.
This result gave Mike White and the Florida Gators the blueprint on how to defend A&M. The Gators packed the paint to see if the young Aggies minus DJ Hogg and Admon Gilder could shoot the basketball. Texas A&M shot the ball better, the problem the Aggies had was Florida shot the lights out. The Gators shot 33-for-64 and 17-for-28 from three. Could you believe the Gators came to town, won by 17 and only shot one free throw in the entire game?
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Now the Aggies are 0-2 in conference play, the next three games are against LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee. The games against Kentucky and Tennessee are both on the road. I predicted the Aggies to go 15-3 in conference play, that will not happen so the question is, can the Aggies get to 11 or 12 wins? The answer is yes, but they will need to beat both Kentucky and Tennessee to get there.
It’s not quite time to panic, but that day is approaching. Hogg will be back for LSU following his second suspension of the year. Gilder could be back as he continues to rehab from knee surgery in December. More than anything coach Billy Kennedy and the Aggies need some stability. Suspensions and injuries have plagued this team all year. The fortunate part of this two game slide is it’s occurring in January and not February. That still does not change the fact a 2-3 or 1-4 start will hurt their chances of winning the regular season SEC title.
In my opinion, if they want to win this thing, they need to win these next three. I thought they would beat LSU and Kentucky, but lose to Tennessee. The Kentucky game will be tough since it’s in Lexington and the Tennessee game will be tough but they just lost to Auburn at home.
I expect the Aggies to get back on track and silence several of the critics. Everyone around college basketball believes the Aggies can make a final four run when healthy, let’s wait and see when healthy if this is true.