Texas A&M basketball: 5 thoughts about the 2018-19 season so far

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M basketball is in even worse position than most media outlets predicted; here are some thoughts on the season thus far.

Before the season started, most media outlets pegged the Texas A&M basketball team in the bottom tier of the Southeastern Conference for the 2018-19 season. Recent success — two Sweet 16 appearances in three seasons — did not mean much when making these predictions.

Billy Kennedy lost four guys who began last season as a starter, and to make matters worse, lost Admon Gilder before this year began with a blood clot in his arm. TJ Starks was technically a returning starter but the freshman was inserted when Duane Wilson was lost for the year to injury.

Even in the best case scenario, Kennedy was returning one starter and only brought in the No. 121 overall ranked recruiting class. The Aggies are rebuilding this year. However, not many expected things to get as bad as they’ve gotten. A&M is second to last in the SEC after getting off to a 1-5 start in conference play and have the worst overall record in the league.

Here are five thoughts on the Aggies 8-10 start to the 2018-19 season.

The offense sounded good in theory

Kennedy changing the offense to feature the guards who returned from last season sounded like a lot of fun. The players were saying all the right things, about how they were going to push the pace and use the three-point shot more.

The problem is, most of this team can’t shoot. Wendell Chuck Mitchell is the only one shooting above 40 percent, and he sits right at that mark. Behind him is Brandon Mahan at 35 percent, Savion Flagg at 30 percent, and Jay Jay Chandler at a putrid 19 percent. TJ Starks has his own category here so more on him later.

The Missouri game shed a light on how to play the Aggies when they have the ball. The Tigers parked themselves in the paint and dared the Aggies to beat them from outside. When they couldn’t, they shut down. The result? A 23-point home loss when they were favored by 4.5.

The big fellas are better than advertised

Christian Mekowulu and Josh Nebo are the primary big men in this new offense. The Aggies have chosen to primarily play four guards and wings with a big man who can run the floor and protect the rim. Despite this new offense to feature guards, both big men have shined at times during the season and been incredibly fun to watch.

Truth be told, the stats aren’t amazing, but the things they do don’t always show up on the stat sheet. Nebo in particular has been a solid contributor off the bench and gets almost as many minutes as Mekowulu. He was on the floor in crunch time against Kansas State.