Emporia State Quick Thoughts
First things first, if anyone wants to go to opening night on Friday this week, we are going to be unable to use our tickets. Please let me know if you have any interest in using them. The Aggies open up the regular season against McNeese State on Friday at 7:00.
OK – Now that we are done with our shameless plug, I am sorry about the delay in getting back to you after Thursday’s first Exhibition game.
I am going to wait a couple of weeks before getting you a full roster review of each guy, but I at least wanted to give you a couple of quick thoughts after watching them in person on Thursday.
The first thing that stood out to me is how young this year’s team is going to be.
At one point in the first half, Turgeon had the following guys on the floor:
Donald Sloan – Sophomore (Starter)
Derrick Roland - Sophomore
Josh Carter - Junior (Starter)
Bryan Davis – Sophomore (Starter)
DeAndre Jordan – Freshman
Also consider the following guys that will likely make up the balance of Turgeon’s 11 man rotation, most of whom are going to be major contributors this year:
B.J. Holmes – Freshman
Nathan Walkup – Freshman
Junior Elonu – Sophomore
Joseph Jones – Senior (Starter)
Dominique Kirk - Senior (Starter)
Beau Mulbach - Senior
We will certainly discuss those 11 guys in the coming weeks as we start to piece together what Turgeon’s rotations will look like as they work their way through the early part of the season.
For the better part of the entire night, the Aggies looked very unpolished and sloppy, but they were playing some of their best basketball when that group of 5 youngsters listed above was running the show.
I know a lot of you guys are curious about the big fella, DeAndre Jordan, so let me give you a couple of my early thoughts on the not-small freshman from Houston.
There is no doubt that you can tell DeAndre could be a very special player. I know it is an overplayed term in today’s sports landscape, but Jordan just screams out ‘potential’. He has “man-amongst-boys” size, and for a guy who is pushing 7’0” and checks in at 260 lbs, he seems to move up and down the court quite effortlessly.
All of that being said, there were times when you could tell that early in the season, he is simply going to be too young and too raw to handle the day-to-day minutes that he will no-doubt command in the very near future.
In-fact, Jordan did not start on Thursday, and I would suspect it will be a few games before he is officially declared a starter.
If you need one additional perspective on where Turgeon stands with Jordan, check out this quote from Turgeon at the Big 12 media day in October, “He’s going to have a tremendous year for us and a great career. But people have to be patient with him out there and understand that he’s been so highly talked of, it’s the biggest recruit A&M has had in a long time. There’s a lot of pressure on him.”
I guess what I am trying to say, is that all of us, myself included, need to express extra patience with Jordan.
He will show flashes of just how good he can be, for example, the two NASTY dunks he had Thursday night, or the two tremendous blocked shots he had.
Then again, in the very next sequence, he will draw a foul inside and knock his first free throw off the backboard completely missing the rim altogether. The next time down he would dribble off his foot, or hang the ball out too low while trying to get position inside and let an undersized guard come in and swipe the ball right out of his hands.
My biggest fear is that DeAndre will be one-and-done before heading off to join Acie Law and Antoine Wright as “Aggies in the NBA” and that we may not get to enjoy him playing his best basketball.
Then again, does it ever hurt to have as many guys as possible in the NBA with “Texas A&M” by their name?
We’ll have much more on Jordan and the rest of the 2007-2008 Aggies in the coming weeks.
On Monday (November 5th) the Aggies close out their exhibition season against Tarleton State (I’ll go ahead and answer your next question, the school is located in Stephenville, TX).
Don’t go to sleep on the TSU Texans though, they went into Waco and handed the Bears a 95-85 loss on Friday night. I hope Tarleton State does not provide as tough of a test for the Aggies as Emporia State did, but then again, with as many young guys as are playing in a new system, it could be a few games before they all start to click.