Texas A&M basketball’s Achilles heel heading into March Madness

What will make or break this Texas A&M basketball team headed into the NCAA tournament?

Feb 17, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) drives to
Feb 17, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) drives to / Gary CosbyJr.-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness bubble watch: Can Texas A&M basketball overcome this weakness to make the tournament?

This has been an extremely up and down season for this Texas A&M basketball team. Every time you think they’ve turned one corner, they go in the complete opposite direction. The inconsistent team effort from night to night is not typical of what we’ve seen from previous Buzz Williams teams, defensively especially, and has been one of the more disappointing aspects of this season.

The most glaring of the flaws for Texas A&M basketball, however, has been the shot-making. It’s not exactly controversial to say that without the ability to make shots, you can’t ever expect to consistently win games. You have to put the ball in the basket at some point—gritty defense and offensive rebounding will only get you so far.

This is a big part of why, in my opinion, the team has been so inconsistent this season. Radford and Taylor have been extremely streaky down the stretch, perhaps due to having to shoulder so much of the load early on in the season. It could be that those two are just wearing down.

With Coleman taking a backseat, it’s hard to generate offense in other quarters on this squad. Garcia can give you a little bit. Washington has begun to expand his role offensively by fits and starts, surpassing his season average point total in four of the last five games. Jace Carter has started to put up a few more points from night to night. But if one of the two of Taylor and Radford is off, the Aggies are sunk.

We saw just that thing in stretches against Arkansas, both in Fayetteville and in College Station. Facing off against Tennessee up in Knoxville was the same thing.

It’s been written ad nauseum, but explosive guard play can take you on a deep tournament run—this is well-known. Conversely, though, lackluster guard play can doom you, especially if you don’t have any sort of go-to offense at any other position. With the Aggies’ struggles in that respect, so much hangs on the play of Radford and Taylor. It’s on their shoulders to bring the Aggies out of this slump.