2. Take the “free” points
Texas A&M has never been a great free throw shooting team under Billy Kennedy. Not every NCAA Tournament champion has been automatic from the charity stripe, but more often than not the best teams can make the free baskets. If that’s the mountain Texas A&M wants to climb they need to demonstrate they can make their free throws.
The Aggies entered Saturday’s game ranked 276th in the nation in free throw percentage, converting 68.1 percent of their opportunities. The top 50 teams all shoot better than 75 percent from the stripe.
This team isn’t going to start draining all their free throws overnight. They don’t need to be perfect, just average. In their last three games (one win and two losses) the Aggies shot 70.0 percent, 63.6 percent and 56.0 percent. They shot 18-24 from the line on Saturday. It’s not elite, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Hogg, Williams, TJ Starks, Tonny Trocha-Morelos and Jay-Jay Chanlder were all perfect from the line. Only two Aggies, out of nine that attempted at least one free throw, shot worse than 65 percent from the line.