Texas A&M basketball: Savion Flagg named SEC Player of the Week

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M basketball got a couple wins against Alabama and Arkansas behind the terrific play of Savion Flagg, who has come on strong of late.

The calls for Billy Kennedy’s job were loud after starting this season 8-13, 1-8 in conference play. The complaints of how Texas A&M basketball looked were nothing new to those who have watched the Aggies during Kennedy’s tenure. The offense would disappear at times, was unimaginative, and would especially crumble down the stretch of close losses.

Related Story. Flagg, Mitchell again lead Aggies to victory. light

Even the temporary excitement around running a modern offense wasn’t enough to excuse the slow start. Low expectations for this squad be damned, fans who called for Kennedy to be fired wanted to see progress, not the same problems manifesting.

Perhaps Kennedy is proving to be a more adaptable coach than we’ve previously given him credit for. Albeit against teams right around them in the standings, the Aggies are on a nice run of late. They’ve won four of their last five, including both games last week.

Right before the start of conference play, Kennedy pulled guard TJ Starks from the starting lineup and had him coming off the bench (in most games). Chris Collins, not nearly the explosive player Starks is, provided good perimeter defense to set the tone in games. Starks is still getting good minutes, but as he struggled with his shot all season he became a liability.

The improvement here is two-fold. For one, Starks isn’t asked to run the show, which is a plus for the offense as he’s taking way less threes and has less chances to turn the ball over, which was a problem to start the year. Also, he’s playing more of his game with the second unit. He doesn’t jack up a bunch of threes and is focusing on his strength — getting to the rim.

Lately, Starks has been getting even less minutes which is clearing the way for Wendell Mitchell and Savion Flagg to take on a bigger role in running the offense. Last week A&M picked up wins against Alabama and Arkansas, and Flagg earned SEC Player of the Week for his efforts. He averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and 2.5 assists in the two wins.

The success got us wondering if the good couple of weeks changed Aggie fans’ opinion of Kennedy.

67 percent believe the Aggies still need to go in another direction. Do you feel the same? Let us know in the comments below. Maybe it’s just that the Aggies are playing better, but you can’t deny the stones it takes to bench inarguably your best returning player from a season ago with him struggling.

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Kennedy has earned respect, if nothing else. Whether that’s enough to keep him around for another season and beyond is anyone’s guess.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.