Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kansas / Baylor (1) / OU (2)

It's been a couple of games since our last update.....

The KU game was a tough loss, especially as well as the good guys played in the first half.

KU came out of the locker room at halftime and went on a 16-0 run that blew the game wide open and Old Army never recovered. I'm too conservative, but I did find it curious that Gillispie did not call a timeout to stop the big run.

As Bryan Brown pointed out, perhaps a little tough love from the coach? Who knows?

This game proved that the Aggies, while vastly improved over two years ago, just aren't quite ready to go toe-to-toe with the big boys of the Big XII.

After losing back-to-back games in Mid-January, the Jayhawks have rattled off
4 wins in a row to the tune of a combined 360 to 264 (or an average margin of victory of 24 points). Needless to say they are playing some pretty good ball right now.

Brandon Rush is probably the best Freshman in the league and may very well go on to be better than his big brother when it's all said and done.

OU visits KU on Sunday afternoon (noon / CBS) in what may be one of the Big XII's best games of the year.

Bizarre Rotation of the Game - Red White hit back-to-back shots (a layup and a 3) in a 34 second span and was immediately pulled.

Bizarre Stat of the Game - KU shot 44 free throws on 31 A&M fouls.

This was the most lopsided 2 point game that I may have ever seen.

A&M was in control the entire game and Baylor never threatened until Aaron Bruce tossed in the Bear's 16th 3-pointer of the game well after the buzzer sounded at the end of the game.

Bruce's last 3 brought the final to 72-70 in favor of the Aggies. Joe Jones was a beast against the overmatched Bears - the big fella played his best game in some time in scoring 29 points and pulling down 10 boards.

In the second half, the Aggies matched their biggest lead of the day at 12 points with 8 minutes left. They had a great opportunity to put the Bears away for good and failed to do so. You can afford to let teams like Baylor hang around like that, but there is no doubt that in order to get to the next level, this group of guys will need to learn to put people away.

This was a good (and much needed) win sandwiched in-between two tough games. Baylor finally put up a W last night in beating KSU in Waco - good job Bears.

Bizarre Rotation of the Game - Martellus Bennett didn't touch the floor.

Bizarre Stat of the Game - Baylor made 24 field goals - 16 three's and 8 two's.

Much like the KU game a week ago, last night just proved that the boys in maroon and white aren't quite ready to start taking down the conference heavyweights.

They looked pretty good at times, especially in the first half, but their poor shooting and lack of perimeter defense eventually caught up with them. Jones/Pompey/White combined to go 7 of 27 (26%) on the night - ouch! All the while Law/Kirk/Carter (11 of 18 (61%) including 8 of 10 behind the arc) kept them in the game by all shooting the ball very well.

The biggest positive that I can find coming out of the game last night was that OU went up by 14 with 6 minutes left and the Aggies didn't quit. They battled all the way back to get it within 3 at the 3:10 mark.

At the end of the day, the better team won the game, plain and simple. Jeff pointed out on the phone that this like a microcosm of their season. They fall behind, rally back to make it close, and come up a little short.

Just enough to keep us interested and frustrated at the same time.

Bizarre Rotation of the Game - Edjuan Green played 3 minutes last night. Edjuan had logged a total of 3 minutes (playing only once) over the last 7 games.

Bizarre Stat of the Game - Aggies shot 30% in the second half on 9 of 30 shooting. This included 5 of 9 from behind the arc. Take away the 3 pointers and they were 4 of 21 (19%) from the field.

Looking Ahead

I'm still not ready to write them off just yet. After Saturday's game at Texas (1:00 ESPN national) they are done with the meat of the schedule.

In-fact, the only two remaining games in which I feel they don't have a reasonable chance of winning are both against The Evil Empire.

If (When) they lose on Saturday they will fall to 3 and 6 in the league, but 6 of their remaining 7 are winnable games.

If they can pull off a huge run to close out February, they will finish 9-7 in the conference and 19-8 overall heading into the Big XII tournament in Dallas.

If all of this plays out and you win 1 in Dallas I think you are a solid bubble team at 20-9. If you can win one on Thursday and then somehow upset one of the top 4 teams on Friday, I think you will earn a spot in the Big Dance at 21-9. This is a huge task considering that A&M is the only team to have never won a Big XII tournament game.

The most likely scenario is that we are looking at another NIT team this year, which is still a major step forward for a team that was 0-16 in the league only two seasons ago.

OSU Game on February 11th

There is a group of at least 15 people (so far) going to the OSU game on the 11th (2:30 - ABC). If you don't have tickets yet, I would highly encourage you to get a few and head up. We'll be setting up a small tailgate before the game with some food and adult beverages. You know you all have a standing invite to join us.

As you were.


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