Friday, March 30, 2007

Now It Is Official.... Finally!

You guys need to now do your part and secure your seat(s) for next season.....

~Press Release Below~

Texas A&M basketball head coach Billy Gillispie and Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne announced today that Coach Gillispie has agreed to a new contract with Texas A&M University.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents met in College Station on Friday and voted to approve the new contract.

"I am thankful for the commitment Texas A&M continues to make to allow us to do the things we need to do, to achieve our ultimate goal—winning a national championship," Gillispie said. "The commitment has been there since day one and continues to grow stronger still. While it's embarrassing to me to be compensated so well to perform my passion for a school I love, I am sincerely appreciative of the efforts of Bill Byrne, our university administration, the board of regents and everyone associated with Texas A&M for their personal support they continue to show. We will continue to do our best to try and make the Texas A&M family proud."

Carry on.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Acie Law wins Bob Cousy Award

Acie Law won the Bob Cousy award today - the individual award for the nation's top point guard. Just another great honor for Acie.

Also - Acie and Marlon will be competing in the 3-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest tonight in Atlanta.

I think the funniest thing I read about Marlon being in the dunk contest tonight is that someone contemplated, "Didn't most of Marlon's dunks ricochet off the back iron?" I don't disagree.

Both events will be on ESPN tonight at 8:00.

I of course will be watching Grey's Anatomy, but I am sure you guys will enjoy watching Acie and Marlon compete.

Carry on.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Acie Law Named AP All-American (+ Gillispie)

Hey Guys - Just a quick note to let you know that Acie was named an AP 1st team All-American today.

This is a great honor for Acie. He was joined on the 1st team by Kevin Durant, Alando Tucker (Wisconsin), Aaron Afflalo (UCLA) and Greg Oden (Ohio State).

I have also received quite a few inquiries from you guys today regarding the Gillispie to Arkansas mess that has spread like wildfire on internet message boards. I was contemplating putting out a quick note earlier today, but then I decided not to because I do not want to add fuel to the fire. I do not know anything beyond what you guys are reading on Texags and Websider. I have a couple of phone calls/e-mails into people and if/when I hear something back I will certainly pass it along.

The only thing I do know to be 100% factual at this point is that the Texas A&M Board of Regents has a previously scheduled meeting on Thursday/Friday this week. At the BoR meeting this week they have an agenda item (agenda item 39 if you must know) to "execute an amended employment contract with Billy Gillispie". I would be shocked to see Gillispie make a decision on any potential offers outside of College Station until he has a chance to fully review what the BoR comes up with on Thursday/Friday.

The short story is this - just be patient and let this thing play out. If Gillispie moves on, thank him for his time in College Station and for resurrecting the program from the dead. If Gillispie stays, please buy season tickets for next season (heck, you should do that anyway.....)

If Gillispie moves on, it will be ok, he has been a miracle worker over the past 36 months, but there is no doubt that Bill Byrne and his guys will go out and get another top flight coach to lead the Aggies. You can not deny the fact that the head coaching job in College Station is a heck-of-a-lot more attractive now than it was before Gillispie arrived on campus. If he has proven nothing else, he has proven that you can win basketball games at Texas A&M.

(Board of Regents Agenda)

(Link to make a deposit on season tickets for 2007-2008)

I also want to let you guys know that I will try to have a quick look back at the Memphis loss from last week ready to go in the next couple of days. I will also put out a "Season In Review" with a full look back at the groundbreaking year that was the Aggies' 2006-2007 season along with our post-season awards for both the Aggies and the Big 12.

Carry on.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gameday Update - CDR Injury

Below is an update from the Memphis Commercial Appeal on Chris Douglas-Roberts' injured ankle.

My personal opinion is that I have got to think that if the kid is able to walk on it, that he will give it a go tonight.

The game tonight should be a heck of a lot of fun - - I know that 6:27 can not get here quick enough!!!! Let's hope the good guys can keep on extending the season!!!!

Douglas-Roberts' ankle improves; may play tonight

Carry on.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Memphis Preview

NCAA Tournament Preview
Sweet 16 Edition

#3 Texas A&M vs. #2 Memphis
Thursday, March 22nd
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
Time: 6:27
Line: Texas A&M -2.5

Same as last time - I will have a full recap of the Aggies’ 72-69 win over Louisville out later today, but here is a first look at the Aggies’ opponent in the Sweet Sixteen, the Memphis Tigers.

Memphis advanced to the Sweet Sixteen yesterday by defeating Nevada by a final score of 78-62. Previously, they defeated North Texas in the first round by a final score of 73-58.

In the Tigers’ win over Nevada, they got quite a scare when leading scorer Chris Douglas-Roberts left the game at the 8:11 mark with a sprained ankle. His status for Thursday’s game with the Aggies is up in the air. Douglas-Roberts says he is going to play, but his coaches are taking a wait-and-see approach.

One thing that is for sure, he will not be at 100% by Thursday, only 96 hours after injuring his ankle.

The most bizarre thing to stand out about the Memphis win over Nevada is that they held the Wolf Pack scoreless over the final 6:17 of the game. Memphis actually held a lead of only 2 points at 64-62 before scoring the final 14 points of the game.

As you will see down below, one of the biggest strengths of this year’s Memphis team is that they are very deep and have the ability to overcome the loss of a player who has Douglas-Roberts’ ability.

Getting to know Memphis


According to InsideRPI on, Memphis played the 71st toughest schedule in the nation, and their overall RPI rating is a very impressive 8th.

In the latest AP poll, Memphis ranked #5 in the nation. The Tigers are 33-3 overall, and they have won 24 straight games, the longest such streak in the nation.

Memphis easily won Conference USA this year, and the biggest knock on them is that they did not face the quality conference opponents necessary to make a deep run into March.

Memphis did make an impressive run through a very tough non-conference schedule in going 6-3 against the RPI top 100 teams, with their best win coming over Kentucky. They also posted wins over Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Gonzaga.

Notable games this season:
- vs Oklahoma Win 77-65 Nov. 20
- vs Georgia Tech (#19) Loss 85-92 Nov. 21
- vs Kentucky (#22) Win 80-63 Nov. 22
- at Arizona (#9) Loss 71-79 Dec. 20
- vs Cincinnati Win 88-55 Jan. 04
- at Gonzaga Win 78-77 Feb. 17


As we mentioned briefly above, the first thing that stands out on the Memphis roster is that there are 9 guys who average double-digit minutes.

Leading the on-ball attack for the Tigers is 6’2” freshman Willie Kemp. Kemp is an interesting player who averages 6.7 points and 2.5 assists per game, but he is rarely in the game late in the 2nd half because he only shoots 41% from the free-throw line.

Memphis’ most prolific scorer is the before mentioned 6’6” Chris Douglas-Roberts, a sophomore who averages 15.4 pionts and 3.4 rebounds per game. His teammates refer to him as “buckets” because of his versatility and ability to score from so many different spots on the floor. If Douglas-Roberts can not go on Thursday, it will leave a noticeable void in the Memphis lineup.

Rounding out the starting backcourt is 6’6” sophomore Antonio Anderson. Anderson is the Tigers most tenacious defender, but he still manages to knock down 7.6 points per game.

The Tigers’ frontcourt is as tough a group as you will find, and leading the way is 6’9” junior Joey Dorsey.

Dorsey is a tough as nails bruiser who is in the top 25 nationally in both rebounds per game and blocks per game. Dorsey is also the catalyst for this Memphis team and has become their “as he goes, so goes the team” player. If Dorsey has one weakness, it would be his propensity for fouling. If you can bait him into a couple of early fouls, you can throw his attacking style on the defensive end out of balance. Dorsey averages 8.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Joining Dorsey in the frontcourt is 6’9” sophomore Robert Dozier. The book on Dozier is that he is tremendously athletic and long (7’3” wingspan) but that he is very inconsistent. Dozier is averaging 10.1 points and 5.8 rebounds this year.

Coming off the bench for Memphis are the following:

- Jeremy Hunt – 6’5” senior guard – (14 points, 2.9 rebounds) – One of the best shooters on the team and one of the best 6th men in the nation.

- Andre Allen – 5’10” junior guard – (5.2 points, 3.1 rebounds) – Splits minutes with starter Willie Kemp at the point guard position. One of their most aggressive defenders.

- Doneal Mack – 6’5” freshman guard – (7.1 points, 2.0 rebounds) – At his best when going to the basket and can score points in bunches if he gets hot.

- Kareem Cooper – 6’11” sophomore forward – (4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds) – Inconsistent at best but forced into minutes when Dorsey or Dozier get in foul trouble.


John Calipari is one of the best coaches in the game and through his first 15 seasons as a coach has amassed 374 wins and has a career winning percentage of 73.7%.

Prior to taking over in Memphis, Calipari was the head coach at UMass where he took the Minutemen to the Final Four in 1995-1996. He also spent time with the New Jersey Nets in the NBA.

His turnaround job at Memphis has been quite impressive, and he took the Tigers to the Elite 8 last year as a #1 seed before falling to UCLA.

Calipari is only one of three coaches to ever lead two teams to #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Roy Williams and Bill Self are the others.

-Overall Opinion

There is no doubt that the Aggies have the offensive firepower and defensive toughness to go toe-to-toe with the Tigers.

The scouting reports will tell you that Memphis is most vulnerable against teams that can play at their tempo, play man-to-man defense and physically harass them.

Sound familiar?

The Aggies have proved they can play an up-tempo game (the win over Texas in February and the win over Louisville on Saturday come to mind). Saturday in particular, I think they showed quite a bit by continuously breaking the Louisville press while keeping turnovers to a minimum.

You know that Gillispie is going to throw his ferocious man-to-man defense at Memphis.

You also know that the Aggies are not afraid to get physical with anyone as they (the Aggies) are one of the toughest teams you will ever see.

The most glaring team statistic that stands out for Memphis is that they only shoot 61% from the free throw line – good enough for 315th out of 325 teams. The Aggies need to put them on the line 20+ times on Thursday night.

You will not see a zone look from Memphis as they will employ their pressure man defense the entire game.

You might also want to keep an eye out for a ton of missed shots in this game as Memphis only allows opponents to shoot 38.5% from the floor (8th best in the nation), while the Aggies allow 37.3% (3rd best in the nation).

Would someone please let Josh Carter and Antanas Kavaliauskas know what time the bus leaves for San Antonio? Thanks!

The Aggie Hoops Report’s Game Outcome Prediction -
Memphis Tigers - 62
Texas A&M Aggies – 67

Carry on.

Louisville Recap

Game Recap

Alright – I guess since it has been nearly 67 hours since the end of the game I can go ahead and get started on the Louisville Recap.

The good guys defeated Louisville in front of a highly partisan crowd of over 20,000 on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 72-69. As a reward for their victory, the Aggies have played their way into just their second Sweet Sixteen appearance in the history of the school and their first trip since 1980.

In trying to sum up some of the emotions after the game, I think the one that I kept coming back to over and over again was happiness.

I am happy for Acie Law – the most celebrated player in the history of the program has now led his team as far as any other Aggie team before him (and hopefully even further).

I am happy for Dominique Kirk – a tireless worker and tough-nosed defender who has now become a major offensive threat for the Aggies while lighting up the boxscore in Lexington. No disrespect to Acie Law, but #22 should have been the Chevrolet Player of the Game on Saturday afternoon.

I am happy for Billy Gillispie – Coach was so excited and emotional at the press conference after the game that when Acie, Kirk and Joe Jones got up to leave the podium, Coach looked at the SID running the show and asked (into an open microphone), “Can I hug my guys?” As each of them walked off the podium he gave them a huge hug, one-by-one.

I am happy for you guys – the fans of what has been ultimate mediocrity for nearly as long as many of us have been alive.

We used to be so excited when an Aggie team would knock off Texas or a ranked OSU team. It was not even very long ago that something as simple as beating Baylor used to seem so satisfying. Over the past three years all of this has now moved from being viewed as surprising to now being expected.

How long will this last? Heck, I have no idea, but I do know this much, I am going to enjoy the ride while it lasts. Soak it up, all of it, from the daily mentions on SportsCenter, to the countless articles being published in every newspaper across the country. It may not ever be this good ever again.

With the win over Louisville, the Aggies have thrust themselves into the center of the college basketball universe and will be front and center the remainder of the week leading up to tip-off at 6:27 on Thursday evening.

If you were fortunate enough to procure a couple of tickets to the game on Thursday, have a great time. The Alamodome should be an awesome sight as that place will be awash in maroon clad fans. Yell like there is no tomorrow, because if the Aggies don’t win, there isn’t.

OK – Let’s take a quick look back at the win on Saturday.

The Cardinals came out on a huge wave of momentum, no doubt spurred by a great majority of the arena being filled with rabid fans all dressed in black and red, and jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead.

The Aggies finally settled in over the next few minutes of gametime and pulled back to within two points of the Cardinals at 15-17 when Josh Carter hit his only basket of the day (a three-pointer at the 10:07 mark).

Trouble for the Aggies mounted rather quickly in the first frame as Acie Law picked up his 2nd foul of the game at the 9:27 mark, and Josh Carter picked up his 3rd foul shortly after at the 7:57 mark.

With regards to Carter, he was simply overmatched by the athleticism of Louisville guard Terrence Williams. Williams continuously whipped Carter from all angles on the floor using screens, picks, motion and dribble-penetration. More often than not Carter was simply forced to grab Williams or foul him while trying to recover from getting beat.

With regards to Acie’s foul problems, Gillispie went into desperation mode, and over the last 10 minutes of the first half he substituted Acie in and out of the game 5 times in an effort to prevent his senior guard from picking up his 3rd foul before halftime.

I thought Donald Sloan did a great job of filling in for Acie in the first half; the freshman showed that he is not afraid to come into the game in a pressure situation and run the offense.

As the two teams headed to the break, the game was all tied up at 28 apiece as Dominique Kirk scored the final 4 points of the half to bring the game back to “all square”.

Providing most of the work for the Cardinals in the first half was Terrence Williams (8 points) and Edgar Sosa (10 points). Acie Law (9 points), Dominique Kirk and Joe Jones (6 points each) were pacing the Aggies’ scoring attack.

The good news for the Aggies was that they were not the only ones battling foul trouble, as the Cardinals had both Derrick Caracter and Terrance Farely pick up 3 fouls before the break. I also thought the Aggies were doing a pretty good job of handling the relentless ball pressure from Louisville, but they did manage to turn the ball over 8 times in the first half.

You could tell from the first 20 minutes that we were going to be in for a rough-and-tumble second half as the game had all the makings of what would be a classic “March Madness” game.

As the two teams came out for the 2nd half, Acie Law (himself) went on a little 7-1 run to give the Aggies their biggest lead of the day at 35-29.

Rest assured the Cardinals came right back with a 7-0 run of their own to take a 36-35 lead behind the strength of 4 straight Edgar Sosa free-throws (more of this later on).

Tempo then swung back to the Aggies as Acie and Dominique hit back-to-back three pointers to give the Aggies their second 6-point lead of the day at 47-41.

The two teams then traded baskets for a couple of possessions, and the Aggies still held a 5 point lead at the 11:26 mark with the score 52-47.

Louisville then ripped off a very impressive 16-5 run that gave them their third (and final) 6-point lead of the day, and the score was tilted 57-63 in favor of the Cardinals. Terrence Williams and Edgar Sosa also seemed to be hitting their stride, and it looked like the Cardinals were ready to pull away from the Aggies for good when Sosa fed Williams for one of the nastiest ally-oops I have seen in quite some time. I hope it did not hurt Donald Sloan as much as it hurt watching him get dunked on.

The Aggies however were not phased by the big Louisville run and the nasty dunk by Williams. From that point on, the Aggies outscored the Cardinals 15-6 over the final 5:19 of the game, including holding Louisville to only 2 points over the final 3:15.

Edgar Sosa, a career 68% free-throw shooter, was 15-for-15 in the game before he stepped to the line with his team trailing by one point (70-69) and 0:29 left in the game. Sosa promptly missed both attempts, and the Cardinals fouled Joe Jones while attempting to rebound the 2nd miss.

Joe also missed both of his attempts, and Louisville controlled the rebound. Sosa set the offense after Pitino called a timeout, and for some reason he let a three-pointer fly with 0:08 left in the game and his team only trailing by one point. My two questions for Sosa would have been: Why did you shoot a three? Why did you shoot it so soon?

I’m not complaining and do not get me wrong, I just thought his decision was very curious.

Sosa did have this to say regarding the last play, "I thought there was less time than what it was, I didn't know how far I was from the (3-point) line but I definitely could have done something else."

Marlon Pompey, who did a great job staying inbounds, controlled the rebound off the Sosa miss and got the ball to Acie who was promptly fouled by Louisville. Acie then hit two free-throws with 0:02 on the clock to seal the game for the Aggies and secure the 72-69 win.

The most impressive thing down the stretch was that the Aggies went 10-for-12 from the free throw line over the final. The lone misses were both by Joe Jones with 0:29 left. Acie went 6-for-6 and Kirk was 4-for-4 over the final

The Aggies got big-time performances from Acie Law and Dominique Kirk late in the game as Acie scored 17 points in the second half and Dominique added 15.

I simply can not put into words how proud I was of Kirk’s performance in the first two tournament games. Without DK’s 21 points and 6 rebounds on Saturday, the boys in maroon and white would be sitting at home watching Louisville take on Memphis on Thursday night, and we would have all seen Acie’s last game as an Aggie. In two games in Lexington, Dominique scored 37 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and had 4 assists.

Acie, always the “team first” guy had this to say after the win, "It's an amazing feeling. I don't have any words to describe it. It's huge for this program."

Acie, does “huge” even begin to describe it? I do not think so......

The game was one for the ages and was a very tough, hard-fought win for the Aggies in a very hostile environment.

The most exciting thing is that they Aggies will still be playing basketball on March 22nd. How good is that?

Quick Hits

- Dominique Kirk’s 21 points were a career high.

- Edgar Sosa’s career high 31 included 15 free throws, but he was 7-of-9 from the field.

- Big Joe had a solid game adding 12 points and pulling down 8 rebounds.

- The Aggies only had 3 turnovers in the 2nd half against the Louisville pressure.

- Josh Carter only had 3 points on 1-of-2 shooting in 17 minutes of action. The Aggies will need Josh to produce if they are going to win another game or two in March.

- Kavaliauskas also struggled mightily on Saturday in going 1-for-6 from the field. AK finished with 2 points in 26 minutes. Same as above with Josh, this team will need AK to return to form very quickly.

- One of the funniest things I heard on Saturday was when my brother looked at me and said, “You do know that Marlon Pompey won that game for them, right?” I laughed until he pointed out 3 HUGE plays by Pompey. 1.) A drive to the basket that drew the 4th foul on Derrick Caracter. 2.) An offensive rebound by Pompey at the 2:20 mark that reset the shot-clock for the Aggies. 3.) The defensive rebound off the Sosa miss with 0:08 left that led to the Acie free-throws that won the game. Well Chris, you may be on to something here, I am not sure I can disagree with you about my main man Marlon Pompey!

- I also should point out that Lance Reynolds sent me a text right after Louisville went up 69-68 with 1:23 remaining and he said, “They’re going to win…This is the best I have felt all day.” Turns out he was right. My guess was that it was the Coors Light talking, but I guess not.

Acie Law Named Finalist for the Naismith Award

Acie has been named as one of four finalists for the Naismith Award which is given to the nation's top player each year. Acie is a finalist along with Kevin Durant, Alando Tucker from Wisconsin and Tyler Hansbrough from North Carolina. The winner will be announced in Atlanta on April 1st.

Also - I am hopeful to have a look ahead at Memphis and a look back at Louisville ready to go today sometime.

Carry on.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Penn Recap

Game Recap

In having a conversation with a couple of you guys today, I found it a great luxury to be able to complain about how the Aggies were not very sharp in a couple of aspects of their game in route to a win in the NCAA tournament.

Have we really progressed to the point where we can harp on negatives after winning a game in the 1st round of the tournament?

That is a good thing, right?

I know this much, when you are a #3 seed in the Big Dance I think that comes with a few certain expectations, first and foremost amongst those is the expectation of a win (usually an uncontested win) in the first round.

It was not a masterpiece, and it certainly was not an awe-inspiring performance, but the Aggies were able to gain control late in the game to pull away for a 68-52 win over Penn.

The Aggies advance to the 2nd round and will take on Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at 2:40.

The game got off to an amazingly slow pace as there were only 18 total points scored in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Aggies were able to seize control early on and were able to sustain a double digit lead for most of the balance of the first half.

They actually pushed their lead to 15 points (31-16) right before halftime on a dunk by Bryan Davis.

As the two teams headed to the break, the Aggies were ahead 31-18 and appeared to be in complete control of the game.

Over the course of the first half, it looked as if the good guys were battling a few nerves and showed a little bit of rust, which could have been partially due to the fact that they had only played one game (the loss to OSU) in the last 12 days.

The Aggies had 7 turnovers in the first half, and there were long stretches where they went without making a single basket.

Dominique Kirk hit a three pointer at the 13:59 mark of the opening frame, and the Aggies did not make another basket until Acie hit a three at the 8:09 mark.

I know this much, if they go nearly 6 minutes without a field goal on Saturday afternoon against Louisville, they will find themselves having to rally from behind.

The only other thing that stood out from the first half was how many shots (many of them uncontested) Penn missed.

The Quakers are one of the most accurate shooting teams in the country but were only able to make 8 of their 27 attempts in the first half on Thursday.

Dominique Kirk paced the Aggies in the first half with 10 points and 2 assists.

As the second half opened, the Aggies came out of the locker room flat, and Penn came out swinging as if they were fighting for their lives.

This unpleasant combination led to a surprising 21-6 run for the Quakers that actually saw them take a 2-point lead at 39-37 with 13:06 remaining in the game.

The next two baskets in the game came on massive dunks by Joe Jones where both times he put-back missed lay-ups by Acie Law.

These two plays seemed to spark the Aggies as those baskets started a 31-13 run to close out the game and seal the victory for the Aggies.

Acie also had two highlight reel plays in the second half, one where he took his man off the dribble from the left side with a behind-the-back move where he hit a floater from just inside the free throw line. The second play was on the right wing where he put a nasty hesitation move on his defender and then beat 3 other Penn defenders to the rim for an uncontested lay-up.

Overall, Acie was not very sharp on Thursday as he only hit 6 of the 15 shots he put up, but he did knock down 7 of his 8 free throw attempts. Acie finished the day with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Dominique Kirk was outstanding for the Aggies, and the junior guard finished the day with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting which included 3-of-5 from downtown. Dominique’s production was absolutely the key to the game for the Aggies, and without his strong effort this game would have been much closer than the final margin of 16 points.

Quick Hits

- Joe Jones finished the game with a double-double in scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

- Paging Antanas Kavaliauskas. Antanas Kavaliauskas please report to Rupp Arena immediately. AK struggled again on Thursday only scoring 5 points in 22 minutes. The most alarming thing from AK was his 1-for-5 performance from the free-throw line.

- Marlon Pompey did some great things on the defensive end on Thursday in helping to limit Ibrahim Jaaber to only 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting. Pompey also struggled mightily from the free-throw line in going 1-for-4 from the line.

- While Pompey and Kavaliauskas combined to go 2-for 9 from the free-throw line, the Aggies continue to struggle from the line as they went 15-of-27 (55.6%) overall. This is a huge problem that can not be fixed soon enough.

- Penn struggled shooting the ball all-day long as they finished the game shooting 36.2% (21-of-58) from the field.

- The Aggies out-rebounded the Quakers 40-27.

- After committing 7 turnovers in the first half, the Aggies only committed one turnover in the 2nd half.

- Josh Carter also struggled on Thursday in only making one of his seven attempts.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Louisville Preview

NCAA Tournament Preview
2nd Round Edition

#3 Texas A&M vs. #6 Louisville
Saturday, March 17th
Rupp Arena - Lexington, Kentucky
Time: 2:40
Line: Texas A&M -1.5

OK – I will have a full recap of the Aggies’ 68-52 win over Penn out shortly, but here is a first look at the Aggies’ next opponent, the Louisville Cardinals.

Louisville advanced by defeating trouncing Stanford on Thursday afternoon by a final score of 78-58. Louisville dished out a heavy dose of full-court pressure man-to-man defense to control this game from the opening tip.

Louisville had 5 guys score in double digits on Thursday and they shot the ball very well in making 25-of-51 (49%) from the field.

The Aggies are going to have their hands full on Saturday, but I doubt you will find too many people that will not agree that the Aggies are a better team than Louisville.

Getting to know Louisville


Louisville is the 37th overall rated team according to InsideRPI on, and their schedule is rated as the 38th toughest in the nation. In the latest AP poll, Louisville is ranked #16 in the nation.

Louisville finished tied for 2nd in the Big East this year with a 12-4 league record, and they finished the season 23-9 overall. They are 7-9 against the RPI top 100 which included wins over top 25 RPI teams Pittsburgh and Marquette.

After getting off to a slow start in losing 4 of their first 9 games, the Cardinals have been playing their best basketball over the last two months. Even into mid-January, the team was floundering in mediocrity at 12-6 while still searching for their identity.

After losing a home game to Marquette (65-74) on January 15th, the Cardinals kicked it into high gear and won 11 of their next 13 games before falling to Pittsburgh (59-65) in the 2nd round of the Big East Tournament last week.

Notable games this season:

- at Dayton Loss 64-68 Nov. 24
- vs Arizona (#15) Loss 65-72 Dec. 5
- vs UMass Loss 68-72 Dec. 13
- vs Kentucky Loss 49-61 Dec. 16
- at Notre Dame (#22) Loss 62-78 Jan. 3
- vs Marquette Loss 65-74 Jan. 15
- vs Syracuse Win 76-71 Jan. 27
- vs Georgetown (#23) Loss 65-73 Feb. 2
- at Pittsburgh (#5) Win 66-53 Feb. 12
- at Marquette (#13) Win 61-59 Feb. 17
- vs Pittsburgh (#11) Loss 59-65 Mar. 9


Louisville plays a steady rotation of 9 guys, all of whom average 14+ minutes per game. One of their primary strengths is Rick Pitino’s ability to go deep into his bench and get a contribution from so many guys.

One area of concern on the Cardinals’ roster is their youth. The last part of the season they have been starting two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and a senior. Rounding out their rotation off the bench are two more freshmen plus one additional sophomore and one more junior.

With 6 of their 9 regulars being underclassmen, they are subject to some inconsistent play at times during the course of most games.

The Cardinals are led by 6’6” sophomore forward Terrence Williams. Williams averages 12.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game and is the only Cardinal to start every game this season. Williams is a very average shooter who only averages 36.5% from the field. Williams’ best game of the year came on January 13th when he posted 23 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Providence.

Leading the on-ball attack for Pitino’s group is 6’1” freshman point-guard Edgar Sosa. Sosa averages 10.7 points and 2.7 assists per game. Sosa does not turn the ball over very often (2 per game), but he only shoots 41% from the field. Sosa’s highlight game of the season came in a win over San Francisco when he scored 18 points and had 8 assists.

Louisville also has one of the few true centers in the game in 6’11” junior David Padgett. Padgett is the Cardinals’ most consistent shooter in averaging 59% from the floor. On the season, the big guy is averaging 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. His best game of the year was on January 31st in a win over Cincinnati where he put up 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Joining Sosa in the backcourt is 6’3” senior Brandon Jenkins. Everything I have researched on Louisville says that Jenkins’ best attribute is his leadership over the young roster. Jenkins is a terrible shooter (35% overall and 27% 3-point), but he is a valuable member of Pitino’s group.

Rounding out the starting line up is 6’8” forward Earl Clark who only began starting the last month or so due to an injury to Juan Palacios. Clark had 17 points and 9 rebounds in a win over West Virginia in the opening round of the Big East Tournament last week. He is averaging 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game on the season.

Coming off the bench for Louisville are:
- 6’9” Derrick Caracter (8.1 points, 4.3 rebounds), a guy who got kicked off the team mid-year only to be welcomed back 5 games later.

- Juan Palacios (9.4 points, 6.7 rebounds), a 6’8” junior combo guard/forward who started most of the season for the Cardinals before coming down with a bad back. Palacios has not played in 5 games, and his status for the tournament is unknown.

- Backup point guard Andre McGee, a 5’10” sophomore who is nothing more than a stop-gap guy off the bench.

- Finally, Jerry Smith, a 6’1” freshman who is one of Louisville’s best perimeter shooters and a guy who averages 46.8% from behind-the-arc.


Simply put, Rick Pitino is a legend of the game. Pitino is the only coach to have ever led three different schools (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) to the Final Four, and he won the 1996 national championship with Kentucky.

Pitino has also spent time coaching in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.

In his collegiate coaching career he has amassed a record of 493-181, a 73.1% winning percentage.

Pitino is one of those guys that you do not want to see on your side of the bracket in March. He has a career record of 31-10 (75.6%) while coaching in the NCAA tournament.

In his 6th season at Louisville, he has lead the Cardinals to their 4th NCAA tournament appearance (final four in 2004-2005), and they are playing in their 6th straight post-season.

Overall Opinion

I am not quite sure where to start when breaking down this game.

On the surface, I know the Aggies are a better basketball team than Louisville; very few people would debate that point.

What frightens me most about this group from Louisville is Rick Pitino and his ability to motivate his guys and get them all on the same page at the right time of the season.

Defensively the two teams are very similar. Both coaches play >90% man-to-man defense, but neither coach is afraid to junk-it-up and throw in a zone set from time-to-time. I think the Aggies’ style of man-to-man defense is a little more intense and aggressive, but Louisville will likely press a little more than the Aggies will.

Offensively I think the Aggie guards will be able to have some success against the Cardinals backcourt guys, but they will certainly not be able to take possessions for granted and if the guys from A&M are as loose with the ball as they were against Penn, it could be bad news.

Overall, I will take Law, Kirk and Carter over Williams, Sosa and Jenkins, but then again, I can not be objective about it.

I think Terrence Williams, the scoring leader for Louisville and a guy who only shoots 36.5% from the field anyway, will really struggle against the Aggies’ suffocating man-to-man defensive sets.

I also do not think that Sosa or Jenkins have the firepower to make up for a lack of production from any other guy on the floor.

The interior match-up may be where this game is won or lost.

Watching Jones, Kavaliauskas, Pompey and Davis go to work inside against Padgett, Clark and Caracter is going to be a lot of fun.

As we have talked about numerous times, how the officials call this game will have a great influence over how the Aggies will handle the interior battle.

If the officials are letting the big guys bang on each other and be aggressive, I think the Aggies will be able to do a lot of damage.

If the officials tighten it up and any one (or more) of the big guys from A&M get in foul trouble, then it could swing momentum back to Louisville.

One final thing to think about is that Louisville is one of the worst shooting teams in the nation. They only make 43.2% of their shots overall which ranks 207th in the country.

They are even worse from behind the arc where they only make 33.2% which is good enough for only 227th in the nation.

Finally the Cardinals only make 67.1% from the free-throw line which is 219th overall.

The Aggies held Penn, one of the nation’s best shooting teams, to only 36.2% shooting on 21-of 58 from the field on Thursday. I doubt that a team that shoots the ball as poorly as Louisville is going to have very much fun against a heavy dose of pressure defense from the Aggies.

Alright – Let’s hope the good guys can get one more win!!!!

The Aggie Hoops Report’s Game Outcome Prediction -

Louisville Cardinals - 71
Texas A&M Aggies – 78

Carry on.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Penn Preview - 2

1st Round Edition - Update

Well, I do not know about you guys, but I am very excited about tomorrow.

The Aggies and Quakers get underway just after 2:00 (central time) tomorrow afternoon live from Lexington, Kentucky, and the game will be broadcast on CBS (HD).

This week has been pretty quiet, and there has not been a whole lot of news out of College Station or Lexington. I am viewing this as a good thing and hoping that the good guys are treating this as a business trip and they will come out focused and ready to play.

Obviously anything can happen in the NCAA tournament, but if the Aggies can keep Penn forward Mark Zoller and guard Ibrahim Jaaber in check, they should easily get past the intellectual group from Penn.

Gillispie, the ultimate sandbagger, does not share my optimism; he had this to say today in their meeting today with the media in Lexington, “Penn is a very, very, very good team - a very difficult opponent for us to play the way we have to play. We’re happy to be in and hopefully we’ll play well enough tomorrow to win.”

I fully understand that he can not say anything other than that, but I still find it funny.

I think one other thing to keep an eye on, something that we failed to mention in the preview on Sunday night, is free throw shooting. Both the Aggies and Quakers have really struggled from the line this season, but the Quakers are one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the nation.

While the Aggies are only making 72.4% of their free-throws on the year, the Quakers are absolutely horrible in making just 66.3% of their attempts from the charity stripe.

What is so surprising about the horrible FT percentage by Penn is that they are actually one of the top shooting teams in the nation. They shoot almost 50% from the field overall, which ranks 9th in the nation, while their 66.3% average from the free-throw line ranks 249th in the nation.

No, that is not a typo, yes, that says two-hundred-forty-nine.

Am I implying that we actually want to see the Aggies rack up a bunch of fouls and put the Quakers on the line?

Well, let's not go that far just yet, but just know that if Penn does wind up shooting 20+ free-throws tomorrow afternoon that will not necessarily be a bad thing.

I think it is also worth mentioning that the Aggies should be able to dominate Penn on the boards as the Quakers rank 177th in rebounding margin (the Aggies rank 36th) - - just something else to keep an eye on.

Finally, it is worth a mention that Josh Carter wound up leading the nation in three point field goal percentage this year. Josh finished up the season making 51.6% of his shots from downtown in connecting on 83 of his 161 attempts.

Carry on.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Penn Preview

NCAA Tournament Preview
1st Round Edition

#3 Texas A&M vs. #14 Pennsylvania
Thursday, March 15th
Rupp Arena - Lexington, Kentucky
Time: TBD
Line: Texas A&M -13.5

OK – My immediate reaction to the Aggies’ draw in the South Regional was disappointment in the potential second round game against Louisville.

It is only 76.3 miles from the campus in Louisville to Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Anyone telling you that it will be a neutral site match-up is out of their mind. That game will be no more of a neutral site game than was the Aggies’ loss to Oklahoma State at the Ford Center on Friday evening last week. (In case you were wondering, it is only 66.2 miles from OSU to the Ford Center).

The good news is that if you can get out of Lexington, you will play the next round of games at the Alamodome in San Antonio, which should be the exact opposite situation, as it will be a huge advantage for the Aggies.

I know this much, if I am Ohio State, Memphis or Virginia, I want no part of the Aggies playing right down the road in San Antonio.

(I am sure you are wondering; it is 181 miles from campus in College Station to the Alamodome.)

Now that I am WAY too far ahead of myself, let’s get back to what matters and that is the next game on the schedule.

The Aggies take on the Penn Quakers on Thursday in Lexington at a time to be determined.

Getting to know Penn


According to InsideRPI on, Penn played the 177th toughest schedule in the nation. They are also the 88th overall RPI rated team.

Their overall record is 23-8, and they went 13-1 in winning the Ivy League. Their record against the top 100 RPI teams is 1-4 with their only win coming against RPI-39 Drexel.

The Quakers have won 10 in a row and 16 of their last 18 games.

The brand-name teams they played early in the season were as follows:

- at UTEP Loss 66-69 Nov. 10
- at Syracuse Loss 60-78 Nov. 11
- vs Drexel Win 68-49 Nov. 21
- vs Villanova Loss 89-99 Dec. 02
- at Navy Win 79-58 Dec. 07
- at Seaton Hall Loss 85-94 Dec. 23
- at North Carolina Loss 102-64 Jan. 03


The Penn roster features a group that goes 9 deep with 8 of those guys averaging double digit minutes.

The Quakers are lead by 6’7” senior forward Mark Zoller who averages 18 points and 7.5 boards per game. Zoller’s best game of the season came on March 2nd in a win over Yale where he posted 22 points and 17 rebounds. Zoller has good range and has actually taken more three pointers than any other guy on the roster. Zoller is shooting 56% overall and 38% from downtown, both very impressive percentages.

The top guard for Penn is 6’2” senior Ibrahim Jaaber. Jaaber is averaging 16 points and 5.3 assists per game. His best game of the year was back on December 23rd in their loss to Seaton Hall where he scored 32 points. Jaaber is a 53% shooter overall and is 2nd on the team from deep in shooting 30% from behind the arc. Jaaber will be responsible for the primary ball handling duties for Penn.

The third guy for the Quakers that averages double-digits is 6’4” junior guard Brian Grandieri. Gandieri is a solid role player who averages 12 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Grandieri is not a high-caliber guy that can light up the scoreboard, but he is a sold shooter who shoots just over 51% from the field.

Joining Zoller in the Penn frontcourt is 6’8” senior Steve Danley. Danley is a defensive specialist who only shoots the ball just over 5 times per game. Danley leads the Quakers with 28 blocks on the season.

Rounding out the usual starting lineup is Darren Smith. Smith is a 6’4” combo-guard who has really come on late in this, his freshman season. Smith scored 17 points on February 23rd in the Quakers’ win at Harvard. Smith is actually better from three point land (49%) than he is overall from the field (43%).

Coming off the bench are:

Tommy McMahon (6’7” sophomore forward - - 5 points, 2 rebounds)
Michael Kach (6’4” junior guard - - 4 points, 2 rebounds)
Kevin Egee (6’3” sophomore guard - - 4 points, 1 rebound)
Brennan Votel (6’7” sophomore forward - - 2 points, 1 rebound)


The head coach at Penn is Glen Miller who is in his first season on the job.

Miller was the head coach at Brown University the previous 7 seasons where he compiled an underwhelming 93-99 record. He replaced long time Penn head coach Fran Dunphy who left after 17 years to take the head coaching job at Temple.

While at Brown, Miller only led his team to post-season play one time - - The NIT after the 2002-2003 season.

Overall Opinion

I am sure most of you have in your mind that Penn is going to be a slow-it-down, grind-it-out game, but that does not appear to be the case with this year’s team.
Penn is actually averaging nearly 75 points per game while shooting 49% overall from the field. They are also holding their opponents to 68 points on average. The Quakers have scored 80 or more points in 11 of their 30 games.

Their most painful (and by ‘painful’ I mean most difficult to watch) game of the season had to have been a 45-38 win over Princeton on February 13th.

Last year in the NCAA tournament, Penn gave our friends from Austin all they wanted in the first round as the #2 seed Texas actually trailed the #15 seed Quakers by a score of 23-22 at halftime. UT failed to pull away in the second half and held on for a 60-52 win.

Ibrahim Jaaber led the way for Penn in the loss to UT with 15 points while Mark Zoller added 13 points.

The bottom line is this. We all need to be very glad that this is not a thinking competition or an intellectual battle of any kind. If it were, I think this game would be short and sweet, and the Aggies would not stand a chance.

The good news is that it is a basketball game. The Aggies are simply a much better basketball team than Penn, and this game too should not be very close.

The three closest things the Quakers would have seen this season to the Aggies were Syracuse (18 point loss), Villanova (10 point loss) and North Carolina (38 point loss).

I simply do not think that playing a full slate of games and dominating in the Ivy League would get Penn ready to compete at the same level as teams the caliber of Texas A&M.

That being said, anything can happen in an individual game, and that should never be more evident than when Penn nearly upset Texas as we discussed above.

I think the Aggies will bounce back nicely from their loss to Oklahoma State on Friday and come out very focused and ready to play.

If the Aggies get past Penn, they will play the winner of the (#6) Louisville vs. (#11) Stanford game. The second round game will be on Saturday at a time TBD.

The Aggie Hoops Report’s Game Outcome Prediction -

Pennsylvania Quakers - 61
Texas A&M Aggies – 80

Carry on.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Big 12 Tournament - Day 2


‘cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane. I don’t know when I’ll be back again. Oh babe, I hate to go.

Howdy from the Oklahoma City Airport.

Wait – By the time you read this, it may actually be “Howdy from Houston.”

Well, we talked yesterday about being afraid of this game, and sure enough our hunch was correct as the Oklahoma State Cowboys pulled off the first big upset win of this year’s tournament by defeating the Aggies by a final score of 57-56.

We’ll get into the nuts and bolts of the loss down below and also take a look at what, if anything, it means heading into the NCAA tournament next week.

The second day of action in OKC got started with a legitimate national championship contender flexing their muscles, one team making a bid that they belong in the big dance, one big upset and one big disaster nearly averted.

All 4 games on Friday were entertaining, and the Aggies loss aside, there was some great basketball played at the Ford Center.

Game 5 Recap
Kansas took on the hometown Oklahoma Sooners in front of a crowd that was actually pro-Kansas. Folks wearing crimson and blue actually outnumbered those wearing crimson and cream by probably 4-to-1.

The first half of the game was actually very entertaining as OU came out and played about as well as they could have in keeping the game close only trailing by 2 points (28-26) at the half.

After the break, Kansas really came out and proved that when they play as well as they can, there is not a team in the nation that will beat them. The second half was a clinic as the Jayhawks ran away from OU and ended up winning by a final score of 64-47.

The balanced Kansas attack was led by Brandon Rush’s 16 points while Darrell Arthur added 10 off the bench.

Longar Longar led the way for the Sooners in scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

Game 6 Recap
In what was a battle of two of the most aggressive coaches in the game, Bob Huggins and his K-State Wildcats got the better of Bobby Knight’s Red Raiders by winning 66-45.

I felt terrible for the officiating crew working this game as both coaches were all over these guys from the opening tip, and neither one of them let up the entire game. (Perhaps Bob Knight was onto something; after shooting 44 free-throws on Thursday, the Raiders only found their way to the line 7 times on Friday.)

The game itself was actually not that exciting. K-State jumped out to a 33-26 halftime lead and just kept applying pressure in the second half, all-the-while Texas Tech was just never able to get anything going.

K-State was led by 20 points from Lance Harris and 17 from Cartier Martin. Texas Tech’s Jarrius Jackson continued to put up great numbers by scoring 28 points (although it was only on 10-of-24 shooting).

K-State takes on Kansas today in the first semi-final game.

Game 8 Recap
The evening’s final game saw the feisty Baylor Bears take on the Kevin Durants.

Baylor wasted no time in picking up right where they left off on Thursday night as they jumped all over the Longhorns.

Baylor led by as many as 20 points and held a commanding 43-25 lead as they were paced by 7 three-pointers in the first half. Kevin Durant had a hard time getting going and only had one field goal and 5 points as the teams headed to the break.

As the second half got underway, for some reason Scott Drew abandoned what was working so well for them through their first game and a half in the tournament. He decided to stop having his guards work the perimeter and the baseline to create opportunities and started forcing the ball to his big-men on the inside.

This plan proved to be disastrous as the Bears were only able to make 7 of their 29 attempts in the second half (24%), and they only put up 7 three point shots, making 1.

Durant also got going in the second half, and he did again what we have all seen so many times and carried his team to victory. Durant finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds.

Baylor was led by 19 points and 9 rebounds from Curtis Jerrells.

The Ford Center turned into an “everyone vs. Texas” atmosphere as every fan in the place not wearing burnt orange was pulling for the Bears and hoping to see the upset.

Texas takes on Oklahoma State in today’s other semi-final game.

Aggies vs. Oklahoma State Recap (Game 7)
I do not know what to say other than I am very disappointed that the Aggies came out as flat and uninspired as they did yesterday evening.

This is not the time of the year that you want your team to come out and look disinterested.

It is one thing if they come out tight and nervous and do not get off to a good start, but it is something entirely different if they get off to a bad start because it simply looks like they were not ready to play.

The game itself was actually pretty ugly and not very fun to watch, but even if you get into a slug-fest you have to find a way to win those games.

For most of the game, and especially in the first half, OSU threw a nasty dose of man-to-man pressure at the Aggies that really never allowed A&M to get into any rhythm on the offensive end of the floor.

Most of A&M’s problems on the offensive end of the floor came in the paint where the Cowboys outscored the Aggies 30-24. The biggest problem for A&M was that Kavaliauskas was never able to get anything going and in-fact, on the night he ended up missing 6 layups, which is just unacceptable.

Kavaliauskas finished the game 2-for-12 from the field for only 6 points.

Kavaliauskas was not the only one having a hard time making a basket on the inside as the Aggies missed a total of 13 layups on the evening.

Joe Jones got off to a great start, but his final basket of the evening came at the 7:05 mark. Joe finished the game with a team high 18 points and 7 rebounds.

The most surprising guy of the night had to have been Acie Law. Acie had a bad day at the office in only making 5 of his 12 attempts, but it was not the missed baskets that made his night so surprising.

I would like for someone to explain to me how Acie can take no field goal attempts in the final 3 minutes of the game and how he can fail to score in the last 9.

I fully understand that Acie, as good as he is, can not single handedly win games, but for him to not even take a shot in the last 3 minutes of the game is just not acceptable.

Some of that has to do with the OSU defense, which was as good as it has been all season long, but for Acie to drive to the lane and kick the ball out on the last two A&M possessions was very surprising.

After Mario Boggan hit a shot on the low block that put OSU ahead with 11 seconds left, Acie pushed the ball up the floor, drove the lane, and kicked the ball out to Carter who was wide open on the three point line.

Carter’s shot missed long and AK grabbed the rebound and put up a shot that careened off the iron. Carter grabbed the AK miss and put up a final desperation shot that missed as the buzzer sounded sealing the victory for OSU.

OK – What does this loss mean?

I know it was hugely disappointing and most of us probably felt quite a bit deflated as we all hoped the Aggies would have shown better.

I am not 100% sure the Aggies could have won three games in three days, but I sure would have liked to have had the opportunity to find out.

It sure would have been a heck of a lot of fun to see them go against OSU, Texas, and probably Kansas in a 43 hour period.

With regards to the NCAA tournament, the loss has probably dropped the Aggies to a #3 seed but certainly not any lower than that.

I can not imagine them dropping to a #4 seed as their last 5 losses have come by a combined 10 points. Along those same lines, those numbers may very well still be enough to earn them a #2 seed.

Finally, what else it means is that they have in all likelihood played themselves out of a chance to play their first two games in New Orleans. The short trip over to the Big Easy would have been nice because there would have been a large contingent of Aggies that made that trip with them.

Now it is just a big wait-and-see until Sunday evening.

Quick Hits

- The Aggies got outscored 13-to-1 on second chance opportunities.

- The A&M starters played 188 of the possible 200 minutes in the game. Only Pompey (7 minutes), Sloan (5 minutes) and Logan Lee (0+ minutes) saw action off the Aggie bench. The Aggie bench was outscored 16-to-1 with Pompey being the only guy to score off the A&M bench.

- The Aggies’ final basket of the game came at the 2:29 mark.

- There were probably less than 1,000 A&M fans at that game yesterday.

- Free throw shooting continues to be a problem for this group as they only made 12-of-20 (60%) from the line, including only 6-of-11 (54.5%) in the second half. If the Aggies are going to be a quick out in the tournament, it very well may be because they can not make free-throws. It has been a big problem the last 2+ months, and I do not know if it is an epidemic or what is going on.

Saturday’s Schedule
Game 9

#1 Kansas vs. #4 Kansas State
1:00 pm - - ESPN+ / ESPN2
Line: Kansas -10

Game 10
#7 Oklahoma State vs. #3 Texas
3:30 pm - - ESPN+ / ESPN2
Line: Texas –4

If you thought there was a lot of OSU Cowboy orange in the arena yesterday, wait until this afternoon’s game. The Ford Center will more-or-less be transformed into Ghallagher-Iba south.

Couple that with all of the Kansas fans, and it should make for a great day of college basketball.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Big 12 Tournament - Day 1

(I have no editor again, as always please forgive the poor usage of commas and apostrophes.)

Howdy from Oklahoma City.

The Big 12 tournament got off to a good start today with a couple of pretty intriguing games in the morning session followed up by one very difficult game to watch and one game which saw the surprise team of the day head into the quarterfinals with a full head of steam.

Game 1 Recap
The Oklahoma Sooners came out and made a strong statement to the local fans by taking down the Iowa State Cyclones by a final score of 68-63. The Sooners were led by Nate Carter who had 22 points 9 rebounds and Taylor Griffen who had 11 points and 7 rebounds.

OU was in complete control in the first half and took a 35-23 lead into the break, but Iowa State came out like gangbusters in the second half opening with an 18-9 run to cut the Sooner lead to only 3 points.

The Cyclones, led by 18 points from Mike Taylor, actually took the lead at 56-55 before OU closed the game with their last 8 points coming from the free-throw line to put things on ice.

The Sooners will take on Kansas in tomorrow’s 1st quarterfinal game at 11:30.

Game 2 Recap
The 2:00 game saw Texas Tech come out and take care of business against Colorado by defeating the Buffalos by a final score of 81-71.

The game actually felt much closer than the final margin of 10 points would indicate. Colorado got a strong performance from Dominique Coleman who put up a career-high 25 points and added 8 rebounds.

Texas Tech was anchored by Martin Zeno who scored a very impressive 28 points. Jarrius Jackson did not have a very good day at the office only make 3 of his 10 field goal attempts in scoring 13 points.

Tech was helped substantially by shooting 22 more free-throws than the Buffs. (Thanks Jerry.)

One interesting note from the game is that the loss by Colorado brings to a close the Ricardo Patton era in Boulder; Patton was the last remaining coach from the inaugural season of the Big 12 (1996-1997).

Texas Tech will take on Kansas State tomorrow at 2:00 in a battle of strong-willed coaches (Knight vs. Huggins). I hope the officials will let these two teams play as it should be a very entertaining match-up.

Game 3 Recap
Well, I am not sure what to say about Game 3. I think Kristin Reynolds summed it up best when she simply shook her head and said, “Best game ever…..”

Game 3 saw Oklahoma State knock off Nebraska by a final score of 54-39. No that is not a typo. Yes, the two teams combined for 93 total points on the evening.

Nebraska had a whopping 19 points at halftime on a very impressive 25% shooting from the field. [/sarcasm]

The most amazing thing is that Nebraska did not score more than 1 point until the 10:17 mark of the first half when Aleks Maric hit a basket to cut the OSU lead to 12 points at 15-3. How do you go 9+ minutes and score only 1 point? Seriously.

OSU came out with the best defensive intensity and effort they have had in a long-long time and the results were very evident. This same Nebraska team put up 85 points on the Cowboys only 3 nights ago in Lincoln.

OSU was lead by Mario Boggan’s 11 points and the Cowboys had 6 guys register 6 or more points on what was a very balanced attack.

OSU will take on the Aggies tomorrow at 6:00 (more below).

Game 4 Recap
Well, well, well, what do we have here? The most impressive team on the entire day was the mighty Baylor Bears. Surely you jest? Nope, not me.

Baylor looked like a team that has all the tools necessary to win the league on Thursday night and I would reckon that most Bear fans will tell you that their 97-83 win over Missouri was probably their most impressive win they have had in the Scott Drew era.

No I am not kidding, I am being dead serious, Baylor looked great on Thursday night.

In Baylor’s first tournament win since 2001, they were led by Curtis Jerrells’ career high 31 points and 25 points off the bench from Henry Dugat. Jerrells and Dugat were so hot that they combined to score 28 straight points for Baylor late in the first half through the first part of the second half.

Baylor also shot a sizzling hot (and Big 12 tournament record) 63% on the game. They were actually knocking down shots from all over the court. A team that usually relies heavily on the three point shot, of the Bears’ 34 baskets on the night, only 9 of them were three pointers.

Missouri was lead by 13 points each from Matt Lawrence and Leo Lyons (whoever that is?)

Baylor will take on Texas tomorrow night at 8:30. Sic ‘em Bears.

Other Musings (or Quick Hits if you prefer)

- The Ford Center in downtown Oklahoma City is a great place to watch basketball. In their first ever attempt in hosting the tournament, OKC is putting on a pretty darn good show.

- The best (and by “best” I may mean strangest) sign of the day has to go to a Missouri fan, a lady, who was holding up a tiny (8.5 x 11) sign that simply said “Bears Are Not Green”. I am not sure what that means, but she held it up the entire time in the Tigers’ game against Baylor. Thanks lady, I agree, Bears are not green.

- I have not seen any great t-shirts yet this year, but Kansas fans usually take the cake and there were not too many Jayhawk fans there today. However, they are going to be hard pressed to beat the “Missouri Fans Wear Jean Shorts” shirt from last year in Dallas.

- What happened to Baylor, how did they look so good? [thinking to myself again, sorry]

Quick look at tomorrow’s OSU game
I do not know why, but I am very nervous about tomorrow for some reason.

Perhaps it was the enthusiasm and defensive tenacity that OSU showed tonight. Perhaps it was Sean Sutton saying to his team, “If you guys want to keep playing, this is our chance.” Perhaps it was all the Cowboy Orange in the stadium tonight. Is it the Aggies’ 1-9 all-time record in this event? Perhaps I am just preparing myself just-in-case. Who in the heck knows?

I can not quite put my finger on it; the Aggies are 10 point favorites, is that is enough to make you feel safe?

Not me.

Man-for-man, the Aggies are a better basketball team that OSU and that should never be more evident that the 19 point average margin of victory in their two meetings this season, but most anyone will tell you that beating a team three times in one season is a tall task, especially in a league as competitive as the Big 12.

I do not want my pessimistic tone in this note to be misinterpreted as a lack of passion or excitement about the game tomorrow, I can not wait to see the Aggies lace ‘em up on a big stage, like I said above though, to me it just stinks for some reason.

OK, fine, let’s go with a close hard fought win and say Aggies take care of business by a final score of 82-77.

One other thing worth pointing out is that OSU super-freshman Obi Muonelo is back for the Cowboys after missing nearly all of the Big 12 season with a leg injury. Muonelo is a threat from multiple spots on the floor and gives the Cowboys some much needed depth off the bench.

All four games tomorrow should be fun to watch – I hope you guys will tune in.

Root like heck for the Aggies tomorrow – a win over OSU could set up a Saturday rubber-match game with our good friends from Austin - - if they can beat the smokin’-hot Baylor Bears of course.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Acie Law - All-American

Just a quick note to let you guys know that Acie has been named to the 2007 All-America Team.

This is the first of what I am sure will be many All-American awards/selections for Acie.

He was named along with Kevin Durant (also their Player of the Year), Aaron Afflalo (UCLA), Nick Fazekas (Nevada), and Alando Tucker (Wisconsin).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Missouri Recap

Game Recap

Senior Day in college basketball is always one of the best days of the year, and Saturday at Reed Arena was no exception.

The Aggies and their fans bid a final farewell to 6 seniors on Saturday afternoon and capped off the emotional day with a convincing 94-78 victory over the visiting Missouri Tigers.

Brian Blackburn, Logan Lee, Josh Johnston, Marlon Pompey, Antanas Kavaliauskas and Acie Law all laced up their sneakers for one last ride at Reed Arena. When it was all said and done there were lots of cheers, lots of tears, two separate ceremonies and a shot from the right wing that will be remembered forever.

The day started off with all 6 seniors being recognized before the game where each player was introduced and presented a framed jersey with their name and number on the back.

As each player walked out with one or both of their parents, they were met by Coach Gillispie, who presented the jerseys to each player. The players then went and stood in front of a large banner bearing their likeness that was set up on the floor.

The day was especially emotional for Pompey and Kavaliauskas, both of whom were playing in front of their mothers for the first time in an Aggie uniform. Pompey brought his mother down from Canada, and Kavaliauskas’s mom joined him all the way from Lithuania.

All six players were greeted with great applause but none louder than when Acie was introduced to the crowd. It was so loud at times that you could not even make out what the PA announcer was saying into the microphone.

The ceremonies wrapped up with about 3 minutes remaining before tip-off, and the Aggies did not even have time to head back into the locker room for final preparations.

Once the game got under way it quickly became the Antanas Kavaliauskas show. The big fella scored the game’s first 7 points as the Aggies jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the first 2+ minutes.

From that point the two teams both began to tread water and ended up trading baskets back and forth until Acie picked up his 2nd foul of the afternoon and was relegated to the bench at the 9:53 mark.

When he headed to the bench, Acie joined Joe Jones there as Joe was also pulled from the game with 2 fouls, his coming at the 10:44 mark. Both Acie and Joe would spend the remainder of the half watching from the bench.

A Dominique Kirk layup with 9:24 remaining before the half gave the Aggies their largest lead of the period, 10 points at 27-17. From that point, Missouri went on a quick and furious 11-1 run that saw them tie the score at 28 each only 2+ minutes later.

The final seven minutes of the half saw each team put up 14 more points, and as they headed to the break the Aggies and Tigers were all locked up at 42 apiece.

The Aggies were paced by AK’s 11 points and 4 rebounds, and Missouri was being lead by Stefhon Hannah who had 13 points and 3 assists in the first half.

Personally, the thing that stood out most from the first half was how many minutes the Aggies got from their bench. Gillispie used 6 players off his bench in the first frame, led by Donald Sloan (13 minutes) and Marlon Pompey (12 minutes). Roland, Lee, Davis and Elonu all also saw a few minutes.

Pompey made the most of his 12 minutes and seemed to have a little extra energy in his step as he managed to knock down all 3 of his field goal attempts.

I am glad that Gillispie has enough faith in his bench to go 6 guys deep in your final conference game, but the bottom line is that you need to have most of your production coming from your 5 starters, and it is certainly difficult for them to contribute when they are sitting on the bench.

Out of the break, Missouri’s Marshall Brown hit the first bucket of the half to give the Tigers a 44-42 lead, and it looked as if we may be setting in for a game much closer than any of us would have expected.Well, a little something happened between here and there, and Kavaliauskas was not to be denied in his final game at College Station.

The Aggies promptly rattled off a 25-to-6 run that saw them turn the two point deficit into a 17 point lead at 67-50. Kavaliauskas scored 9 of the Aggies’ first 12 points in the second half that helped kick-start the big run.

When the run was over and the Aggies were up by 17, the game too was pretty much over at that point. Simply put, Missouri does not yet have the firepower on their roster to recover from that large of a deficit on the road against the top half of the league.

The later part of the 2nd half saw the Aggies push the lead to as many as 20 points on three different occasions. The strength of the Aggies’ dominance in the later part of the game was primarily due to threeguys- Josh Carter, Acie Law and Antanas Kavaliauskas.

Josh finished the game with a very solid 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

Acie Law bid adieu to Reed Arena with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Finally, the most dominating performance of the day came from Antanas Kavaliauskas who had a career-high 26 points on a very impressive 11-of-12 from the floor.

Needless to say, I guess AK wanted to put on a good show for his mother. Not only was it the first time she had seen him play since he has been an Aggie, it was the first time he had seen her since May of last year.

Gillispie, having a little fun with Antanas after the game, told him he should not have had his one miss blocked by Mizzou’s Marshall Brown and that they would work on it in practice on Monday morning.

After everyone shared a laugh about him giving AK a hard time, he followed it up by saying, “Even Marlon found a way to go 4-for-4.”

The ovation that Acie received when he left the game was awesome and got even louder when he and Coach shared a hug on the sideline.

Despite Antanas’ career day and Acie’s final game at Reed Arena, the best moment from Senior Day had to have come from senior Brian Blackburn.

Blackburn, a 4 year scout team member for the Aggie Basketball team, stands at 5’10” and weighs 165 lbs. and had only played a total of 9 minutes all season long (over 6 games).

With about 1:30 left in the game, the crowd started up the “Blackburn, Blackburn, Blackburn” chant while Brian buried his head in his warm-ups on the bench trying not to laugh.Without hesitation Coach went to get Brian off the bench to put him in the game.

On the Aggies’ next possession, Brian got the ball on the wing and stepped behind a screen from Joe Jones and let a three pointer fly as the crowed roared while the ball was in the air and then moaned as it narrowly missed and ricocheted off the rim.

On the Aggies’ final possession, the guys got the ball in Brian’s hands again, and this time he let one fly from just off the right elbow that hit the rim, bounced off the backboard and finally found the bottom of the net.

It was Brian’s first field-goal of the season and brought the loudest cheer of the day from the record crowd of 13,203. As the buzzer sounded the entire bench went over and mobbed Blackburn. It was a pretty cool scene and certainly one that gave you goose-bumps.

To me, seeing what happened with Brian Blackburn is the epitome of what Senior Day is all about.

It was a very emotional day, and it was great to send Acie and the other 5 seniors out with a win.

Gillispie also made note of the emotions when he said, “I’ve spent three years trying to make Acie cry by saying mean things to him, but I have never seen him tear up. Today at shootaround was the first time I had seen him actually cry.”

Gillispie was also showering Acie with praise after the game and then turned and looked at him and said, “We’re saying this now, but on Monday, none of it counts, alright!”

After the game each of the 6 seniors took the microphone and thanked their teammates, coaches, fans and families.

I think the two best lines were from Marlon who said, “Thanks for being here for us, I don’t know how many of you guys were here when we were 0-16, well, (he stopped and looked around the arena), I know most of you guys weren’t here……”

And from Acie who simply declared, “We are nowhere close to being done yet, we still need to go win a national championship.”

Needless to say, that brought yet another wild cheer from the fans in the arena.

Saturday’s win brought to a close the best regular season for the Aggies in the history of the Big 12, but everyone was certainly quick to acknowledge that they still have a lot of work to do and everything starts over on Monday morning.

Quick Hits

- The coaches named Billy Gillispie Big 12 Coach of the Year on Sunday.

- The coaches also made Acie Law 1st team All-Big 12 as a unanimous selection. Joe Jones was named 2nd team while Josh Carter and Antanas Kavaliauskas received honorable mention awards.

- The full slate of Big 12 awards can be found here:

- The Associated Press releases their conference awards Monday thru Wednesday.

- Joe Jones disappeared again on Saturday only scoring 3 points on 1-for-5 from the field. Some of his looks were limited by Kavaliauskas’ big day, but Joe has to be better (like he was against Baylor and Texas) for the Aggies to make a deep run in March.

- Donald Sloan had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench in 25 minutes of action.

- The Aggies’ 25 wins are a regular season record and one shy of their all-time high.

- 60 of the Aggies’ 94 points were “in the paint”, a high for the season.

- Barry Trammel, a columnist for The Oklahoman in OKC, had this to say in his Cheers/Jeers section on Sunday when he gave a Jeer to Kansas. “To Kansas' bogus Big 12 championship. The Jayhawks didn't go to College Station, Austin or Stillwater. They went 10-0 against the North Division. Meanwhile, A&M won at Kansas, plus went through the much-tougher South.”

Looking Ahead

The Aggies travel to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament. In their first game (6:00 PM Friday) they will play the winner of Thursday’s Oklahoma State / Nebraska game. The game will be carried by ESPN+.

We will be in attendance again this year and are looking forward to bringing you guys live updates from OKC.

The tournament schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 8
Game 1: No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma (ESPNU and ESPN Plus) 11:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 5 Texas Tech vs. No. 12 Colorado (ESPNU and ESPN Plus) 2:00 p.m.
Game 3: No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Nebraska (ESPN Plus) 6:00 p.m.
Game 4: No. 6 Missouri vs. No. 11 Baylor (ESPN2) 8:20 p.m.

Friday, March 9
Game 5: No. 1 Kansas vs. ISU/OU winner (ESPNU and ESPN Plus) 11:30 a.m.
Game 6: No. 4 Kansas State vs. TTU/CU winner (ESPNU and ESPN Plus) 2:00 p.m.
Game 7: No. 2 Texas A&M vs. OSU/NU winner (ESPN Plus) 6:00 p.m.
Game 8: No. 3 Texas vs. MU/BU winner (ESPN Plus) 8:20 p.m.

Saturday, March 10
Game 9: Friday Afternoon Winners (ESPN2 and ESPN Plus) 1:00 p.m.
Game 10: Friday Evening Winners (ESPN2 and ESPN Plus) 3:20 p.m.

Sunday, March 11
Game 11: Semifinal Winners (ESPN) 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Texas Recap - 2

Game Recap

Well, I have mentioned to you guys in the past that typing these up after losses are always a little tougher, and this morning is no exception.

Last night’s game was absolutely one for the ages and one that I would argue was probably the second best game in college basketball this season.

I still do not think that the game last night was quite as epic as the triple overtime thriller between OSU and Texas back in January, but it certainly made for quite an encore.

There were just so many twists and turns. I even got a couple of text messages that contemplated needing a doctor (or at least a handful of Advil this morning).

At times it looked like the Longhorns were going to blow out the Aggies, then 5 minutes later it looked like the Aggies were going to blow out the Longhorns.

It looked like Kevin Durant was going to be the hero, 10 seconds later it looked like Acie Law was going to be the hero.

It looked like Billy Gillispie was going to blow the game with a terrible decision, 3 minutes later it looked like Rick Barnes was going to blow the game with a terrible decision.

When it was all sorted out and the dust had finally settled, 50 minutes of basketball had been played, and the Aggies came up one bucket short of either extending the game one more time or winning it outright.

In the end, the good guys finally bowed out to the Longhorns by a final score of 98-96 in double overtime.

Let’s talk for a moment about what the loss means for the Aggies.

I think in the big picture the loss is not that big of a deal. At this point in the season you are what you are - - what that means is that your team is not going to get any better or any worse than you are right now. The Aggies are a damn good basketball team, and that is not going to change with a single loss by two points to your rival on the road in double overtime.

The Aggies still have the makeup and the chemistry to make a deep run into the tournament in March and that has not changed one iota.

In the smaller picture, the loss did quite a bit of damage, mainly to any aspirations the Aggies had of earning a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament and winning their first conference title since 1986 (SWC).

I think the Aggies will still most likely end up as a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament, but there is a very real chance they could also slide to a #3.

Between Kansas/Texas and Texas A&M/Missouri - - the scenarios for Saturday play out like this:

- A Kansas win and an A&M loss puts the Aggies as the 3 seed in OKC next week.
- A Texas win and an A&M loss puts the Aggies as the 3 seed.
- A Kansas win and an Aggie win means that Kansas wins the league and is the 1 seed. A&M would be the 2seed and Texas the 3.
- A Texas win and an Aggie win means that Texas would be the 1 seed, A&M the 2 seed, and Kansas the 3 seed. Allthree teams would be declared conference champions.

The 3rd scenario is actually the best case for the Aggies - - and yes, that means you should be rooting for UT to upset Kansas in Lawrence on Saturday (11:00am on CBS). It is ok, you can do it, especially if it means trophies and banners for the Aggies.

The Aggies play Missouri on Saturday, and they tip at 3:00 which means that the UT/Kansas game will certainly be over by the time the game gets underway and the Aggies will know exactly where they stand.

Alright, let’s take a quick look back at the game last night.

The two teams came out at an absolute furious pace, and by the time the first media timeout rolled around (under 16:00), they had already put a combined 24 points on the board.

As the Aggies held a slim 13-11 margin behind the strength of Joe Jones’ 7 quick points, they were immediately hit with their first big concern of the night. Antanas Kavaliauskas picked up his 2nd quick foul only 3:50 into the game - Kavaliauskas spent the rest of the half on the bench. You hated to see this as AK also got going early in easily scoring two quick buckets to help pace the Aggies early on.

The mad pace to the game continued through the early part of the first half, and behind 6 straight points from Josh Carter and a big three pointer by Donald Sloan, the Aggies still found themselves ahead by a score of 24-20 at the 9:11 mark.

The Longhorns, no great surprise, were being led by the strong play of Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin.

The later part of the first half saw the teams trade baskets (tied at 33 each with 3:38 remaining) before the Longhorns went on a decent run to close out the half.

The 10-3 spurt gave UT a 33-36 edge going into the break.

I thought the officials in the first half did a pretty good job of calling a balanced game. 10 fouls were called on the Aggies and 8 on the Longhorns, and both teams found their way to the free throw line 12 times.

UT was also much more efficient in the first half shooting the basketball in making 15 of their 26 attempts (58%), with the Aggies only making 12 shots on 32 attemps (38%).

As the two teams came out of the break, Josh Carter’s three pointer only 7 seconds in cut the Longhorn lead to four points before UT managed to rattle off 7 straight points and push their lead to the largest of the night, 11 points at 50-39.

From that point the Aggies went on a very impressive 23-5 run to push their lead to the largest of the night, 7 points at the 10:05 mark with the score of 62-55 in favor of the good guys.

The run was kick started by a re-energized Antanas Kavaliauskas who scored 6 of the Aggies' next 8 points.

From that point, Acie Law, who had been relatively quiet, took over and scored 6 straight points.

Furthermore, from that point Josh Carter took over, and he then scored 6 of the Aggies' next 8 points.

As we said above, the Aggies pushed the lead all the way to 7 at 62-55 and unfortunately 62 proved to be a sticking point.

The Aggies could not get off of 62 for the next 4:35 of game time.

During that stretch, the Longhorns regained their composure and settled in while executing an 11-0 run of their own to take back the lead at 66-62.

The final 4+ minutes of the game saw 4 ties and 3 lead changes as the teams battled toe-to-toe.

With the ‘horns up by 1, Kevin Durant drilled a deep three pointer that put them up by 4 with only 19 seconds left.

Wasting no time, the Aggies pushed the ball back up the floor and Dominique Kirk drained a three pointer of his own to cut the Texas lead back to 1 at 76-75.

Following the Kirk basket, the Aggies called a timeout to set their defense and come up with a strategy to foul and put someone on the line.

This is where I think Gillispie made his before-mentioned “terrible decision”, and that was to leave Josh Carter in the game for a defensive possession with four fouls and 15 seconds on the clock. I know the thought is that you need Josh out there to put up a three in the event you are going to get a look at it, but when your sole idea is to foul someone on the floor, there is no need to have Josh out there. Get him out of the game, put Derrick Roland in there, have Roland foul someone then immediately put Carter back in for Roland.

Gillispie did in-fact leave Josh in the game, and unfortunately he was whistled for his 5th foul and his evening was over.

Josh finished with a very impressive line of 17 points and 7 rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting which included 4-of-7 from behind the arc.

After the foul, Augustin hit both free throws to put the ‘horns ahead 78-75.

The Longhorns, having a foul to give, fouled the Aggies with 5 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds play, Acie Law caught the ball on the right wing and put up a HUGE rainbow three pointer over the outstretched arms of Kevin Durant that found the bottom of the net to tie the game at 78 and send it into overtime.

Thank you Rick Barnes for not fouling - - your terrible decision was appreciated.

Mr. Clutch came through again and extended the game to keep the Aggies alive.

The overtime period started out with Joe Jones picking up a questionable foul only 23 seconds in when Damion James tripped over his own feet; Joe too would have to take a seat over by Carter on the bench.

UT basically dominated the first overtime going ahead by as many as 7 points (87-80) with only 75 seconds left in the game.

The Aggies then went on an 8-1 run to close out the first overtime behind a three pointer by Kavaliauskas and then 5 straight points by none other than Acie Law. Acie hit another 3 pointer with 25 seconds left to tie the game at 88 and kept the Aggies alive again. Mr. Clutch does it yet again. Is Acie a witch? I think maybe so.

The second overtime was a little bizarre as Kavaliauskas put up three consecutive three pointers (making one). I am not sure that is who you want taking three point shots in overtime, but I guess if that is what the defense is going to give you, that is what you will take.

The dramatics were not quite over as the Aggies got the ball back down three, this time Rick Barnes did in-fact have his guys foul Acie. The problem was that D.J. Augustin was forced to grab Acie’s jersey from behind with both hands, and the officials missed what was a blatant intentional foul. There was nothing close to resembling a play on the ball and I am still not sure how they did not call it an intentional foul.

Acie went to the line, made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Off the intentional miss, Junior Elonu nearly made the put-back which would have sent us to a 3rd overtime. Unfortunately the shot just missed to the right, and the final buzzer sounded ending an absolutely epic battle between these two heated rivals.

I could spend another 200 words talking about the officials, but I am really trying to take the approach of “The Aggies just needed one more basket”. I do not know if I am ready to say if I thought the officials were unfair, but I do know they were unbalanced. The Aggies were called for 28 fouls and the Longhorns 17. The Aggies shot 23 free throws and the Longhorns 41. Some of that has to do with style of play, but I do not want to get into it. I will just leave it at that.

What I am going to take from the game last night was Acie Law and his heroics. Acie is such a special player, and it is too bad that we only have 10 more games to watch him play (wink, wink).

Acie was the best player on the court last night, and it is a darn shame that the best player on the better team did not win that game last night. Unfortunately that is just how it goes sometimes in college basketball.

Acie’s final line was 33 points (on 10-of-23 shooting), 5 assists and 4 rebounds in 50 minutes of action.

I told you guys yesterday that if for no other reason it would be cool for them to win the game for Acie, and it is too bad they could not find one more basket to get it done.

Quick Hits

- I thought Joe was great in his 31 minutes of action. The big fella put up 12 points and 11 rebounds working against the overmatched UT interior players.

- I feel bad for Bryan Davis. His inability to knock down shots at the rim is quickly becoming an epidemic. Hopefully he can get it worked out very quickly as his minutes off the bench are very valuable.

- I thought Donald Sloan looked ok in his limited minutes off the bench.

- Marlon, Marlon, Marlon. Pompey had a huge basket in the middle of the Aggies' run in the second half, but he was terrible from the free throw line again (2-for-6). Marlon brings so much energy to the floor, I just wish there was a way to channel it into more production. Marlon was very good, as usual, on the defensive end of the floor. Again, I will just leave it at that.

- The Aggies were a very impressive 13-of-25 from behind the arc last night as 6 different Aggies knocked down at least one three pointer.

- 11 of the Longhorns’ 20 points in both overtimes came at the free throw line. (oops, I said I would not bring that up again – my bad.)

- Ron Franklin and Fran Fraschilla got on my nerves last night – a little too much love for UT I guess. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but I thought they got too caught up in the Longhorns winning the game (or not so much) three different times.

Looking Ahead

Well, Senior Night looms for the Aggies on Saturday afternoon as they welcome the Missouri Tigers to Reed Arena.

The scene before the game will be very emotional as we all bid goodbye to Acie Law, Marlon Pompey and Antanas Kavaliauskas. Both Marlon and Antanas will have their mothers with them, and it will mark the first time that both guys will have their mothers see them play in an Aggie uniform. I think that is awesome!

As much as Marlon and Antanas mean to this team, Saturday’s ceremony will not be all about them, it will be about Acie Law and what he has meant to this program and this team.

Acie is the poster child for Aggie Basketball. Acie (and Marlon) represent not only the last two years and these NCAA teams, they also represent 0-17 from 2003-2004.

There has not been a more important player in the history of Aggie Basketball than Acie Law.

As we have said before, Antoine Wright might be the guy that started it all, but Acie Law is the guy that has lead this program to the next level. The tribute on Saturday should be pretty cool.

Finally - - I will welcome back Melvin Watkins (Mizzou Assistant) with a round of applause because Melvin is a good guy who represented this university well, and he is responsible for bringing Antoine Wright, Acie Law and Joseph Jones to College Station. Melvin’s only problems were a lack of wins and a lack of support from the university. I hope the rest of the crowd will greet Melvin with a round of applause as well.