Monday, January 22, 2007

OSU Recap - by Brad Mauritzen

Game Recap (by - Brad Mauritzen)

In front of a loud, whited-out, record crowd of 13,187, the 8th-ranked Aggies took care of business against the 12th- ranked Cowboys, giving legitimacy to their high ranking and putting themselves alone in first place in the Big 12.

The Ags jumped on OSU early, forcing them to take 2 timeouts in the first 2 ½ minutes of the game, and with the exception of a 7-minute stretch at the beginning of the 2nd half, dominated the Cowboys for most of the night.

If you had been told before the game that Jones & Law would combine for 9 points in the first half, with Jones attempting his first shot at the 11:29 mark and Acie only playing 8 of the first 20 minutes, you might have assumed that A&M would be in trouble. But AK had 10 first half points despite missing a few minutes with a bloody nose, Sloan (although Gillespie said “he played like a freshman in the first half”) was capable in place of Acie, and Kirk/Jones/AK/Carter played smothering D that limited the Pokes to 49 total points, 36 below their season average and their lowest output of the year.

In the first half, OSU had some success utilizing high screens, creating mis-matches on the slow switches and allowing them to knock down 5 3-pointers, including 3 by JamesOn Curry. Regardless, A&M built a 15-point lead in the first half and went into the locker room with a 10-point advantage.

The second half started out sloppy. On both ends of the floor, it was turnover, missed shot, missed shot, turnover, etc. Even though A&M was limited to 2 points in the first 7:29 of the half, OSU was only able to whittle their deficit down to 3 points. But Marlon Pompey hit a jumper to fuel an 8-2 A&M run and the Ags never looked back after that. The Ags also did a much better job of fighting through the screens in the 2nd half, limiting the Pokes to 1-7 from downtown. The Ags’ D was also able keep Mario Boggan in check, holding him to 11 points in 38 minutes, half of his average of 22 and also his lowest total of the season.

A&M built the lead up to 19 points with 2:07 remaining and finished it off with a final score of 67-49. 12 different Aggies saw the floor, but with only Sloan and Pompey getting significant minutes off the bench. There were 2 brief Tellus sightings, and even Beau Mulbach got to shoot a couple of FTs in the first half in place of an injured AK.

This was a HUGE win for the Ags. The knock against them had been that they hadn’t beaten a good team, losing to the only 2 ranked teams they had played. OSU is a solid, well-coached team, will contend for a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament, and will definitely go to the Big Dance in March.

Quick Hits

- Pompey entered the game in the first half and promptly gave up a 3 on a slow screen switch, turned the ball over, committed a foul, and turned it over again, all in 1:44 game time; however, in the 2nd half, his desperately-need bucket started the 8-2 run that gave the Ags a comfortable lead, and his dunk with 6:12 ignited the crowd and kept it going

- The crowd was unbelievable…the student section was full and all-white by 6pm, and they kept it loud the entire game

- Acie Law had only 5 points, all scored in the first 5:30 of the game, until the 4:09 mark of the 2nd half. He then scored 11 of the Ags’ last 13 points, with his traditional late-game pull-up jumpers, buckets in transition, and free throws, earning him player of the game honors from the radio crew

- A&M was abysmal from behind the 3-point arc, connecting on only 3 of 14, all in the first half. Josh Carter was 0-6, but he didn’t get as many open looks as usual because JamesOn Curry was on him tightly most of the night. However, he did take Curry hard off the dribble twice, both times pulling up and hitting the 2-point jumper. Even though he couldn’t buy a 3, it was good to see him try to penetrate baseline and pull up and score

- Kirk did a great job on Curry. He did score 20 points, but 9 of them were on 3s in the first half when A&M had an issue on switching, and 6 were from the FT line. And it’s okay to give up 20 to Curry when you limit Boggan to 11 and only allow 5 players to score

- After the game, Gillespie was asked if he could lead the nation in any statistic, would he prefer it to be opponents’ FG %. He quipped (paraphrasing) “No, I’d rather lead in shooting percentage. If we could just make 100% of our shots, then we wouldn’t really have to worry about defense, because that takes quite a toll on me in practice and in the games. Ask the players, and they’ll tell you the same thing.” Classic…

- The student section usually jumps up and yells in unison on one of the first FT attempts by the opponent each game…it often creates a miss. I’d imagine it’s pretty startling. It worked in the first half on Eaton, but in my opinion they over-used it on Saturday. Afterwards, when A&M attempted a free throw, a lady in orange in front of me (behind the basket at the top of the lower bowl) jumped up and screamed, all by herself. Although Carter hit the FT, everyone around her laughed and gave her a good round of applause

Looking Ahead

The Ags travel to Lubbock on Wednesday to take on the Red Raiders at 7:00. Tech is fresh off an emotional upset of 5th-ranked Kansas . On the whole, this is the position in which you want your opponent to be…coming off a big win and poised for a let-down game.

The game is on Ch. 55 KTBU in Houston – I will post the full TV clearance as soon as it becomes available.


At 1/23/2007 11:13 AM, Blogger Olsen said...

I thought we had more depth, yet, seems like we only see Pompey and Sloan off the bench. I am concerned that we do not have a clear 6th man. Who do you think will step up as the year progresses like Carter and AK did last year?

At 1/23/2007 4:26 PM, Anonymous Mr. MiyAggie said...

i'd like to see one of the big men...elono, tellus... come off the bench and just become a defensive force. Just come off the bench and say, "my guy is not going to score while im on the court," then completely shut them down with hustle, blocked shots, steals, and pressure. I love the defensive pressure our team places on the opponent, but imagine the feeling an opponent would feel if when JJ goes off the court and here comes Telles to shut them down for a few minutes.

At 1/23/2007 10:22 PM, Blogger Steven said...

I watched the game on Monday afternoon and here are a few of my thoughts:

- The Aggies' pick and roll defense was horrible. They are a group of guys who never has a problem fighting through screens and for whatever reason on Saturday they choose to switch-off way too often. This left OSU in an advantageous mismatch situation WAY too often. It was a little better in the 2nd half, but nowhere where it needs to be.

- JamesOn Curry had 20 points, and as Brad pointed out, 12 of those were on threes and 6 from the free throw line. What I found interesting was that of his 4 threes, 3 of them he was not being guarded by Dominique Kirk. The only shot he got off on Kirk all night was one time when Boggan set a textbook screen and Kirk could not get around it and Curry let a bomb fly and knocked it down. JamesOn has a sweet stroke and it still puzzles me why he does not shoot the ball more than he does game-over-game.

- I counted two 5-second penalties and two shot clock violations forced by the Aggie defense.

- I thought the Aggies played great perimeter defense all night long and did a super job of limiting Boggan's touches on the inside. Boggan only managed to put up 8 shots the entire game.

- I'm with you Mr. Miyaggie, why does Gillispie not take better advantage of using the depth of big men he has at his disposal off the bench?

- I thought Sloan looked great at times in the 1st half while Acie was sitting on the bench in foul trouble.

- How many times did the Aggies make great passes that were lost by defenders? I counted at least 5, 3 of which would have led to sure-fire baskets.

- Olsen - - Gillispie keeps saying he is going to utilize the depth off the bench more often - - we're all waiting - - feel free to start when you are ready coach. Sloan is obviously being groomed as the heir apparent to Acie Law. What I am very curious about is what has happened to Elonu and Roland? They were both being touted as "ready", yet we never see them. Bryan Davis is not ready yet and I doubt you will ever see Bryan Beasley play in an Aggie Uniform. To answer your question, I think Sloan may be your guy. Gillipie is always eager to give Donald a chance to play and prove himself and is clearly not opposed to giving the true-freshman ~25 minutes per game.

At 1/24/2007 9:45 AM, Blogger Taco Meat said...

A couple of other things:
1) I can't believe I forgot to mention the 24/27 from the FT line
2) I talked to a guy whose Dad is well connected in the TMF. He told me that Gillespie himself told his dad that Junior doesn't play more b/c of how he practices...he doesn't go hard, and he's been known to bark back at BCG when coach yells at him in practice

At 1/24/2007 11:05 AM, Blogger Steven said...

I think Josh Carter also deserves a quick mention.

Kid was 0-for-6 from behind the arc on Saturday and I thought all 6 of them were GREAT looks. You will not see JC miss 6 in a row like that very often.

Maybe it was his new bald head that affected his shot?



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