The future of Texas A&M basketball is still very much in doubt, but at least Billy Kennedy’s squad gave Florida its best shot on Tuesday.
While it may feel pointless to find positives in games when Texas A&M basketball‘s fate as a non-tournament and even non-post season team is all but sealed, such is the case after last Saturday’s rock bottom moment in Billy Kennedy’s tenure.
The Aggies looked lifeless in a 23-point home loss to Missouri last Saturday. One thing you could never say about any of Kennedy’s teams is they lacked effort. Once the Tigers parked themselves in the paint and the Aggies didn’t know how to respond, they seemed to pack it in. All this to a team that came in with no conference wins and with the Aggies favored by 4.5 points.
It was supposed to be the one real opportunity for a win with a brutal chunk of the schedule coming up.
How they came out against Florida very may well have been a final straw for Kennedy if it went poorly. Even though they wound up blowing a 13-point halftime lead thanks to KeVaughn Allen and Noah Locke combining for the most threes ever by two Florida players and A&M going cold in the second half, at least Florida got our best shot, and that’s all anyone is asking of this team.
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Wendell Mitchell played great, leading the way for the Aggies with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, Jay Jay Chandler couldn’t miss and had 15 points, and Josh Nebo continued to be a valuable weapon off the bench, making all four of his shots and grabbing nine rebounds.
This was going to be a tough game for the Aggies no matter what. It was on the road against a formidable SEC opponent. The fact they were even able to build that 13-point halftime lead is encouraging.
However, they still lost. Kennedy isn’t going to keep his job stringing together moral victories. That he got the guys up for this game may simply be a stay of execution. It doesn’t take away from the free fall. The Aggies have still lost six of their last seven games and opened 1-5 in conference. The 7-10 start is simply unacceptable for a program that made the tournament for six straight years before Kennedy took over.
Kennedy has brought the Aggies two of its five Sweet 16 appearances, but only made the tournament in those two seasons out of his first seven, and won’t make it in his eighth. It’s hard to see Kennedy lasting beyond this season.