Aggies Playing for NIT Season Tip-Off Championship on Friday
The Aggies will be playing Ohio State on Friday evening for the NIT Season Tip-Off championship!!!
The game will tip off Friday at 6:00, right about the time the football game with Texas should be wrapping up.
Washington Look Back
A&M, plagued by the turnover bug, also had to overcome a miserable shooting night to beat a pesky Washington squad 77-63 on Wednesday evening.
In Wednesday's win, the Aggies were led by strong performances by Donald Sloan (18 points, 5 rebounds), Dominique Kirk (15 points, 4 assists) and Joseph Jones (17 points, 9 rebounds). Josh Carter had a very tough night shooting the ball in going 2-for-11 in scoring 5 points, but the junior from Dallas did manage to pull down 7 rebounds.
DeAndre Jordan had a ho-hum night in scoring 8 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He did miss his second shot of the game though, ending his streak of 17 straight makes.
One other guy who stood out was Bryan Davis - the big guy came off the bench and again proved that he is one of the hardest working guys in college basketball. Davis spent a good portion of time on the floor in the second half when the Aggies started to pull away from Washington. What Davis brings every night does not always show up in the boxscore, but he is out there busting his tail and making big plays on both ends of the floor for Coach Turgeon.
One big area of concern for this group of guys continues to be their HORRENDOUS free-throw shooting. On Wednesday night the Aggies managed to only make 22 of their 40 attempts (55%). Eventually this is going to catch up with them and cost them a game that they should have otherwise won. On the season they are 93 of 157 ( 59.2%). Ouch or Yikes, you choose.
Ohio State Look Ahead
OK - Let's take a quick look ahead to Ohio State.
The buckeyes are led by 7'0" freshman center Kosta Koufus (yes, he's Greek) who scored 24 points to help lead the Buckeyes past the 21st ranked Syracuse Orange in the other semi-final game on Wednesday night. Koufus is averaging 20.3 points and 8 rebounds per game on the young season. The other big gun for OSU is senior guard Jamar Butler who is averaging 16.3 points per game and shooting a stellar 54% from behind the arc.
Joining Koufus and Butler in the starting lineup will be Senior G/F David Lighty (13 points per game), Senior Forward Othello Hunter (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Freshman guard Jon Diebler (6 points per game).
Thad Matta's rotations do not extend too far beyond 7 primary guys as his bench is just not deep enough yet to rely on too many additional players.
If the Aggies can find a way to win on Friday it would be a great way for Turgeon's guys to head into the toughest part of their non-conference season.
On Wednesday night the good guys looked way too tight and flat-out nervous at times, I was glad to see them finally settle in and play some decent basketball. In fact, it was so bad at the start that Turgeon was even quoted as saying, "We were scared to death at the beginning of the game."
For a lot of these new guys, this is a rare opportunity to get some big game experience under their belts playing in the bright lights of the big city. These are the types of games and situations that can really pay dividends come March.
My guess is that the Aggies will come out looking much better on Friday and play a more complete game.
The guys in Vegas have inserted the Aggies as a 3 point favorite and I do not know nearly enough about Ohio State say with any great conviction, but I would guess that the Aggeis should be able to get on top of that number. If they come out and play like we have seen in certain flashes this season I think they can win this game by 10+ points.
I'll be the proper homer that I am supposed to be and we'll say that the Aggies will win by 8 and a final score of 72-64.
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