Texas A&M basketball (11-6) is in free fall. A win against Ole Miss on Tuesday is critical if the team wants to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Rain, sleet or snow Aggie basketball is going to go. As of the most recent reports from the university, the game between Texas A&M and Ole Miss is still scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening. Classes have been cancelled and people have been warned to stay off the roads, meaning there isn’t likely to be much of a home field advantage at Reed Arena this time.
That hasn’t mattered much to the team so far. Texas A&M is 0-2 at home against SEC opponents this season and 0-5 in conference play overall. Contending for an SEC regular season championship seems like a pipe dream at the moment. The goal now is to start picking up wins and build momentum for a late season run.
That task couldn’t get much easier than a home tilt with the Ole Miss Rebels. Their 3-2 record in the SEC puts them in the middle of the pack, but their 10-7 overall record is the worst winning percentage in the conference. They’re 0-3 in true road games so far this season.
Nothing can be taken for granted with this Texas A&M team. But, it’s either now or never. Here’s how to watch the game.
How to watch
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: College Station, Tx
Venue: Reed Arena
Keys to Victory
Texas A&M needs to stick to what works and that’s Tyler Davis in the interior. Davis was held to nine points on 4-for-8 from the field against Tennessee on Saturday. That included two attempts from three, not exactly the optimal strategy when the DJ Hogg and Admon Gilder are waiting in the wings.
Good defense and a strong interior presence should be second nature to this team, but that’s not been the case over their 5-game losing streak. The Aggies were out-rebounded by the Vols. That can’t happen against Ole Miss if the Aggies want to earn their first conference win.
Ole Miss will attack with a pair of experience guards. Seniors Deandre Burnett and Markel Crawford lead the team in minutes, each averaging more than 10 points per game. Burnett is a dangerous three-point shooter, connecting on 31 of 76 attempts (40.8 percent) while Crawford does his damage in the midrange (48.8 percent from inside the three-point line).
If Texas A&M can force them into low-percentage shots they should be able to outpace the Rebels. They cannot afford to let either of them get hot and start knocking down shot after shot.
Texas A&M has been within striking distance of each of their last three opponents but wasn’t able to close it out. The Rebels are in the middle of the pack in the SEC, but don’t have any one player that is likely to put the team on his back and carry them to their first SEC road win.
Texas A&M 81, Ole Miss 75