Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tonight's Prediction

I guess I think the Aggies are going to have a hard time overcoming the 10 steals DJ Augustin is likely to have.

The only thing the Aggies have going for them is that the game is a rivalry game and at Reed. The crowd should have the team amped up and ready to play, that much is for sure.

Vegas has the Aggies as a 3 to 3.5 point favorite.

I do not share their sentiment.

Texas 68
Texas A&M 63

Here is to hoping I am wrong.

ESPN2 @ 8:00


Monday, January 28, 2008

OSU Recap

Well, I’m not sure which was more surprising on Saturday afternoon. The thousands of empty seats on either end of famed Gallagher-Iba Arena, or the unusually quiet hush that remained in the building after the clock rolled to 00:00.

I do not know how many of you guys have had the opportunity to attend a game in person in Stillwater, but GIA can be one of the most hostile environments in all of college basketball.
That building is almost always packed with 12,000+ of the noisiest, rowdiest and most unrelenting crowds you will ever find. Cowboy fans are typically filing out after another win as Toby Keith’s “Should have been a Cowboy” blazes over the loud speakers.

The scene on Saturday afternoon was quite different as the Aggies won back-to-back games in Stillwater since 1923-1924.

The game itself was quite odd as neither team played well at all, but the action was actually pretty exciting as the game featured 5 ties and 10 lead changes.

The Aggies came out showing more than enough wear from Wednesday night’s quintuple overtime loss to Baylor as they turned the ball over on 8 of their first 13 possessions. They also could not get the ball into the basket as they did not put their 10th point on the board until the 9 minute mark of the first half.

While the Aggies struggled early, the Cowboys had a disastrous end to the game that gave the win a little bit of a gifted feel to it. OSU failed to score a point in the final 2:49 of the game and did not have a field goal over the final 9:34.

The crazy thing about the end of the game is that it was not as if A&M was playing suffocating defense. The Cowboys just simply could not throw it in the ocean to save their lives. They were missing wide open looks.

Here is where I am coming from as we sit here today.

I do not think any of us are in a position to complain about wins, no matter how you get them, and for darn sure not with the way this group has been playing as of late. Nobody can appreciate it more than Coach Turgeon who after the game said, “We kind of snuck in the backdoor on this one, but you'll take it any way you can get it. I'm really proud of the guys. We needed that. We needed it badly.”

When Donald Sloan stole the final inbounds pass for the Cowboys, the Aggies celebrated after the end of the game as if they just had the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders, and after their recent three game skid, who can blame them?

The boxscore had a very odd look to it after the win. Here are a few things that stood out:

- The Aggies only shot the ball 43 times (a season low), but made a decent percentage of them (22 makes for 51.2%).

- Of the Aggies 22 makes, they only were credited with assists on 9 of them against 16 turnovers. The 9 assists were not a season low, but they have been averaging 14.8 per game.

- The Aggies outrebounded the Cowboys 32-23, but both teams had 9 offensive rebounds.

- A&M was better at the free-throw line as they made 76.9% of their attempts on Saturday (10-of-13).
Speaking of free-throws, there was another big scare for the Aggies when Donald Sloan missed (again) the front end of a 1-and-1 with 15 seconds remaining with the Aggies ahead by one. Sloan’s miss put OSU in a great position to get a look to take a late lead.

That being said, even bigger than Sloan’s miss was Dominique Kirk and Bryan Davis each hitting two free-throws within the last minute of the game to help seal the win for the Aggies. It was great to see these guys step up and make some for a change.

Josh Carter led the Aggies with 13 points on Saturday afternoon, but #23 really struggled from behind-the-arc again, only making 1 of his 5 attempts. Carter is now 9-of-31 (29%) in conference play from behind the three-point line. Over the last two games Carter is 2-for-14 (14%), but we all know that Josh is way too good of a shooter to continue on this kind of slide. It will certainly be a welcome change when he gets it going again.

Joe Jones had another very workman like effort in scoring 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Looking ahead

The Aggies return to the friendly confines on Wednesday night (8:00 ESPN2) when they host Texas.

Texas has one of the best 1-2 backcourt combinations in the entire nation in DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams, and these two outstanding guards rank 2 and 3 in the Big 12 in scoring. Augustin is also the best thief in the league as he leads all players with nearly 6 steals per game.

Needless to say it is going to be a VERY tall task, but if the good guys can find a way to beat Texas they can put themselves right back on track.

The win at Stillwater, even if gifted, was a big win and should give the Aggies a little boost of much needed confidence. After opening league play with 3 of their first 5 games on the road, they have back-to-back games at home. The next stretch of 5 and 8 games is going to decide the fate of this year’s team as they have 3 of next 5 and 5 of next 8 all at Reed Arena.

The boys in Maroon and White are currently 2-3 in Big 12 play, and if they can dig down and find a way to win 6 of those next 8 games (a tall order indeed) they will be in the thick of the race for a respectable NCAA spot sitting at 8-5 and heading into the home stretch.

OK – Enough looking ahead, let’s just hope they come out and keep the 13,000+ at Reed Arena interested in the game on Wednesday night. When Reed is packed and rockin’ it is a heck of an environment!

Carry on.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

OSU Update [pre-game]

Good morning guys.

I've received quite a few notes from you guys since Wednesday night's debacle in College Station and believe me, your frustration is absolutely justified. Personally, I think it is awesome everyone cares as much as you do.

I also know a lot of you guys are frustrated with Coach Turgeon and not only the way he is handling the team, but also the way he is handing himself. Needless to say, I too have been surprised by some of his recent comments.

Let me just tell you guys where I am coming from as we sit here this morning (homer warning!).

Did I ever imagine that this team could lose 3 in a row this early in the conference slate?

No way.

Am I surprised by how fast and how hard this team has hit the skids?


All of that being said, if the Aggies can find a way to get past Oklahoma State in Stillwater today and then get past Texas on Wednesday at Reed Arena, the Aggies will find themselves back in the thick of the Big 12 race and in a position to salvage the season.

Do I think that the Aggies, or anyone for that matter, will be able to catch Kansas in the race for the regular season Big 12 title? No way, but that is not a slap on A&M, Baylor, K-State, Texas, or anyone else. I just think that KU is way too deep and way too talented to have anyone else present a serious challenge to the Jayhawks defending their Big 12 title.

So, if the Aggies are not playing for a regular season Big 12 title, what are they playing for? Well, at this point (1-3 in the league), they are not only playing for national respectability, but are now simply trying to prove their worth as deserving as high (6+) of a national seed in the tournament as is possible.

If they fall again today in Stillwater and then lose to Texas at home on Wednesday to fall to 1-5 in the league, could it be time to start looking forward to hosting an NIT game or two? Ummmm. Yikes. Let's not cross that bridge until we have to.

Anyway, looking forward to this afternoon's game in Stillwater (1:00 ESPN), the biggest thing that concerns me is that OSU's primary strengths come from their guards and small forwards who love to play on the perimeter.

I spent about 15 minutes on the phone yesterday with OSU radio play-by-play announcer Dave Hunziker talking about the match-up. One thing he pointed out to me was that Sean Sutton was most likely going to "go small" with his lineup and force the Aggies to get out on the perimeter and guard the Cowboy shooters.

To me this game will come down to the same thing the Tech, K-State, and Baylor games did. Who is going to be able to exhort their strength on the other team? Will OSU's gunners be able to knock down their shots from the perimeter or will A&M's big men be able to dominate the paint and score over the top of the Cowboys' defenders inside.

[This was as far as I got before I had to head out to the game.]

My score prediction was:
Oklahoma State 68
Texas A&M 65

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

K-State Rewind - Baylor Look Ahead

Well, I am not sure where to start or what to say.

I can tell you this much, I am just as disappointed as you guys are in the way that the Aggies have come out these last two games.

Never in a million years would I have imagined that they would have absolutely embarrassed themselves in back-to-back games like they did at Tech and at K-State.

It is just amazing to me how fast this team has unraveled like they have. They are playing out-of-control, undisciplined, selfish, and lackadaisical basketball on both ends of the floor. They are playing with no guts right now, and things might actually get worse before they get any better.

I just hope that Turgeon is not losing the team and that he can rally the troops and get them back on the same page.

I had a 400 word rant about Turgeon in this part of the AHR that I just deleted because I read in the Houston Chronicle this morning that he was quoted as saying:

“Give me a chance, give this team a chance, I think we’ll be OK.”

You got it Turge – I will be patient for a couple more weeks – now please go out and prove me wrong.

Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you guys, what has happened to Josh Carter?

Carter is absolutely a must-have guy every single night. #23 has failed to top 13 points in any of the Aggies’ last 4 games.

Hopefully JC is just on a bit of a skid and will get things back on track here before too long.

One other thing I would like to see changed, starting tonight, this team is so undisciplined right now and is sorely lacking a true leader (God bless Acie Law – we miss ya kid!!). Shouldn’t that leadership be coming from either one of your two Seniors, either Joe Jones or Dominique Kirk? Their presence on the court can not be underestimated, and I am of the opinion that these guys need to be on the floor for 35+ minutes every game until they get things turned around.

I also read on a website where it was suggested that Joe should touch the ball on every single offensive possession, and I could not agree more. I think the fact that Joe’s minutes, points, rebounds, etc. are all at career lows right now and the fact that he is not a bigger part of the offensive game is a major reason why the Aggies are struggling a little bit right now.

Again, I’m just a local hack who spends most of his days trying to figure out up from down, but I can tell you this much, some of the Aggies’ true weaknesses have really been exposed, and if they do not fix things and fix them quickly, this could turn out to be a season mired in FRAN-tastic disappointment.

When I mentioned above that I thought things could get worse before they got better, the NUBMER 25 NATIONALLY RANKED BAYLOR BEARS come to Reed arena tonight and take on the Aggies in what has suddenly become a HUGE swing game and a must-win for Turgeon’s boys.

After tonight’s game the Aggies head back on the road to take on OSU in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon, before returning home to take on Texas on the 30th.

No, I do not care what a couple of my resident “Cowboy Basketball Experts” have to say, I do not think the OSU Cowboys are nearly as bad as you guys make them out to be. The Aggies only have something like 1 win in their last 5,000 trips to Historical Gallagher-Iba Arena.

I also think the Aggies can present a pretty serious match-up problem for Texas, but UT is a better basketball team as we sit here today.

Could I picture the Aggies falling to 1-5 in the conference when we look up in a couple of days?


I told The Dude the other day that I have always been a pretty volatile guy who always gets too high with the highs and too low with the lows, so is my bearish sentiment right now a little overblown? Yeah probably, but that’s ok. Here is to hoping I’m singing a different tune in a couple of days.

Ok, sorry.

Thanks for letting me rant.

The game against the 1st place team in the Big 12, Baylor, will not be televised tonight. Who would have thought that this would have been a top 25 match-up?

Baylor has not been ranked since 1969.

Raise your hand if you were born before 1969.

I think I only see a couple of hands in the back of the room.

Guys to keep an eye on from Baylor include:

Kevin Rogers (11.8 points / 6.8 rebounds)
Curtis Jerrells (13 points / 3.4 assists)
Henry Dugat (12.1 points / 3.9 rebounds)
Aaron Bruce (10.8 points)
Tweety Carter (9.2 points / 2.6 assists)
LaceDarius Dunn (12.3 points / 4.1 rebounds)

Baylor is leading the Big 12 in three point FG percentage (.410) and three point FGs made per game (9.12).

Coach Turgeon – I know you love your suite of big-men. God bless ‘em, when they are not traveling 6 times a game, they are great indeed, but I sure hope you and your staff come up with something to get pressure on the perimeter and slow down that Baylor three-point barrage you are going to be hit with. Yes, even if that means you have to go small.

After getting trucked with my last two score predictions, I will again hope against hope and predict an Aggie win tonight. I think they will respond nicely to being back at the friendly confines of Reed Arena and knock the high-flying Bears back to reality.

The Aggie Hoops Report’s Final Score Prediction:

Texas A&M 81
Baylor 74

There you have it kids, my grumpiest newsletter yet.

I just so badly want this team to be great. They have so much talent on that roster, and I would hate to see it go to waste this year. If there are two guys who deserve to enjoy the successes of winning a bunch of games, it has to be two senior leaders like Dominique Kirk and Joe Jones.

Here is to hoping that tonight will be looked back on as a turning point for the 2007-2008 season.

Finally, I also forgot to mention that friend of the AHR, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has knocked the Aggies all the way down to an 8 seed in his latest Bracketology update on Prior to the losing streak, Lunardi had the Aggies as a 2 seed.

OK – Now I’m done, really this time.

Carry on.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

K-State Preview

On Saturday afternoon the Aggies will head to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Michael Beasley, Bill Walker and the rest of the K-State Wildcats.

The game will be telecast nationally on ESPN at 3:00.

Winning on the road is always tough in the Big 12, but even more so when you are coming off of your worst game of the season only 3 days prior. The biggest question today will be to see how the Aggies respond to the adversity.

K-State is coming into the game at 11-4 overall and 1-0 in the big 12. Their last time out they defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman 84-82 on Saturday the 12th. K-State is always tough at Bramlage Coliseum and they are 8-1 this year at home with their only loss coming to then #17 Oregon in overtime (80-77).

The wildcats are led by all-world freshman Michael Beasley who is averaging 24.8 points and 13.1 rebounds per game this year. Joining Beasley to make one of the best one-two punch combos in the game is redshirt-freshman Bill Walker who is averaging 15.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest.

Other guys to keep an eye on are 6’1” freshman guard Jacob Pullen (9.5 points and 3.53 assists) who usually plays starter’s minutes off the bench and 6’4” guard Clent Stewart (8.1 points and 3.3 rebounds).

First year Coach Frank Martin typically plays a 7 man rotation, but has the ability to go 10 guys deep if need be. Martin has some depth to work with, but the guys off his bench should not be able to keep up with the guys Turgeon has to use off the pine.

A couple of other things to keep an eye on are the fact that A&M has never won at Bramlage Coliseum where they are 0-8 all time. Also, I found it interesting that the last three games between these two teams have all been decided by 6 points or less.

Saturday’s game should be a pretty entertaining game to watch and you guys will love watching Michael Beasley play. Let’s just hope Beasley and Bill Walker do not have enough to get over on the Aggies.

The Aggie Hoops Report’s Final Score Prediction:

Texas A&M 71
K-State 70

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tech Recap

Well, that was pretty terrible.

I am not entirely sure what to say today other than to point out the obvious; the Aggies absolutely got whipped last night in Lubbock. You have to go back to a 40-75 loss in Austin to Texas on February 16th 2005 to find a game where the Aggies got licked as bad as they did last night.

The final score of 68-53 was way closer than the game actually was and if you did not get to watch, the 15 point differential does not tell the whole story. The Aggies scored 11 of the game’s final 13 points in order to get it back to within 15 points after falling behind by as many as 24 points late in the second half.

What gets me even more is that Texas Tech simply continues to own the Aggies (and not just in basketball) as they have won their third straight game over A&M on the hardwood. Bob Knight had his guys ready to play last night and after going big with his lineup and getting physical with Turgeon’s group, I just hope that Coach Knight has not shown the rest of the league how to beat the Aggies. I am hopeful that last night was more of an anomaly than anything else, but only time will tell.

Just to go ahead and pour some salt on it, let me point out a few more of the lowlights from last night:

- The Aggies made only 18 field goals on 53 attempts, a season low 34%.
- The Aggies only made 5 of their 18 three point attempts, 27.8%
- 20 turnovers, a season high.
- 8 assists, a season low.
- The 18 field goals were also a season low.
- They only made 12 of their 21 free-throw attempts, not a season low, but 57.1% is still pretty bad.
- 24 personal fouls, not a season high, but still well above their average of 15.9 per game.

I think Turgeon summed it up quite nicely when after the game he said, “We were peeing down our legs out there, dribbling off our knees, couldn't make a lay-up. Some of our shots were going up crooked”

Well put coach.

I would suspect that Saturday afternoon can not get here quick enough for the Aggies as they must be itching to get back on the court.

The Aggies will return to action on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 when they take on super-freshman Michael Beasley and the Kansas State Wildcats. The game will be telecast nationally on ESPN.

The best thing about basketball season is that there is always another game 3 days down the road. Furthermore, one-loss in the grand scheme of things is not going to make or break the season. There is still a ton of basketball left and I hope that what happened last night in Lubbock will not discourage you guys just yet. Let’s see what happens in Manhattan on Saturday and go from there.

Carry on.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tech Preview

On Wednesday night the Aggies will travel to the high plains of the Texas panhandle and attempt to deny Bob Knight his 900th win. As we all know, way too well, strange things can happen in Lubbock after the sun goes down, and as I woke up this morning I have a less than enthusiastic opinion about tonight’s game. Last year, the Raiders managed to beat A&M in both meetings and handed the Aggies two of their 7 losses on the year.

The biggest thing that worries me, aside from our friends in Lubbock getting extra rowdy whenever the Aggies come to town, is that Turgeon’s bunch has only played one true road game this season, way back on December 2nd when they lost at Arizona 67-78. I will be curious to see how they respond to the hostile environment at the United Spirit Arena tonight.

The game is going to be telecast nationally on ESPN2, and the Aggies are coming in ranked #10 in the AP poll and #9 in the coach’s poll and playing some pretty good basketball. Nationally, the Aggies rank 3rd in Field Goal Percentage where they make 51.8% of their shots and 7th in Field Goal Percentage Defense where they are holding opponents to only 36.6% shooting. When you rank in the top-10 nationally in both FG% offense and defense, it should be no surprise that the Aggies also rank 5th nationally in Scoring Margin where they are outpacing their opponents by 20.7 points per game on average.

Texas Tech, who is coming into the game with a 9-6 record overall, is led by Senior Martin Zeno who is averaging 16.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The other couple of guys to keep an eye on are 6’3” junior guard Alan Voskuil (12.7 points / 3.8 rebounds), 5’11” freshman guard John Roberson (12 points / 3.1 assists) and 6’5” freshman forward Mike Singletary (6.7 points / 2.7 rebounds).

Bobby Knight has 9 guys on the roster who average double-digit minutes, and in their 55-74 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday he managed to get 12 guys into the game, 11 of whom played 6 minutes or more.

Vegas has inserted the Aggies as 4 point favorites for tonight’s game, and I am quite conflicted trying to decide to go with my gut feeling or go with what my head is telling me.

What the heck, let’s do the proper thing and get on board with the good guys.

The Aggie Hoops Report’s Final Score Prediction:

Texas A&M 75
Texas Tech 68

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Colorado Recap

Saturday afternoon, the Aggies won a Big 12 opener for only the 2nd time in the history of the league when they defeated the Colorado Buffaloes by the final score of 86-69. After losing 11 straight conference openers, the Aggies have now won two straight openers in Big 12 play (K-State in ’07 and Colorado ’08).

Despite the win on Saturday afternoon at Reed Arena, the game was a tale of two sides of the court for Turgeon’s bunch. On the offensive end of the floor, the Aggies played about as well as you could have imagined. On the defensive end, they could not have been any worse.

Yes, the Aggies won by 17.

No, they did not play a lick of defense in the second half, and no, that is not supposed to make sense.

The Aggies put on a heck of an offensive show in front of a great crowd of 12,634. In the first half, the good-guys made 15 field goals and had 13 assists on those makes, a great indicator of an offense creating buckets in the flow of the game. Their offensive show in the 1st half also included one of the best dunks I have ever seen.

DeAndre Jordan went up with one hand and grabbed a rebound off of a three-point miss by Donald Sloan and killed it for a nasty put-back dunk. The highlight below does not give you an appreciation for how far and how high Jordan got on the play.

Sunday morning the dunk was even highlighted on SportsCenter’s top-10 plays at #2.

In-fact, of the 6 made Field Goals by Jordan, 4 of them were dunks. I guess that’s what you get when you have a dominating 7-footer in the college game. I will be curious to see whether or not he is able to continuously get to the rim with this level of ease as we work through the Big 12 schedule.

Anyhow, back to the game. What was funny about the first half was that Colorado came out in an active zone defense and the Aggies did one of two things, either found Jordan down low for a dunk or shot right over the top of it for a three.

Here is a look at the Aggies’ 15 field goals in the first half:
3-pointer Sloan
3-pointer Kirk
Dunk Jordan
3-pointer Sloan
Dunk Jordan
3-pointer Carter
3-pointer Carter
Dunk Jordan
2-point FG Davis
3-pointer Walkup
3-pointer Walkup
2-point FG Davis
3-pointer Carter
Dunk Jordan
2-point FG Jones

Of those 15 makes, only 3 of them were not dunks by DeAndre Jordan or three pointers. It was pretty impressive to watch the offense work against that Colorado zone. Needless to say, Jeff Bzdelik came out in the second half and played primarily man-to-man defense (more on that later).

After Walkup’s second three from the corner, the Aggies had pushed the lead to 31-19 at the 7:39 mark of the 1st half and were well on their way to establishing complete control of the game.

Behind the strength of outscoring the Colorado bench 10-to-2 in the first half, the Aggies actually pushed their lead to 17 points on three different occasions before heading to the break ahead by 15 points at 42-27.

DeAndre Jordan (10 points, 7 rebounds in the 1st half) and Josh Carter (9 points, 3 assists in the 1st half) were setting the early pace for the Aggies as the game went to halftime.

As we mentioned above, the biggest change for the Buffaloes in the second half was that they basically scrapped the extended zone that they played for the better part of the first half. Coming out of the break, Bzdelik had his guys in mostly man-to-man sets.

The good guys barely skipped a beat in the 2nd half on the offensive end where they actually shot a better percentage in the 2nd frame (70.8%) than they did in the first (55.6%).

Where they started to break down on the defensive end was against Colorado’s “Princeton Offense” which gave the Aggies all kinds of fits. Colorado shot a ridiculous 77.3% in the 2nd half on 17-of-22 shooting and put up 26 points “in the paint” against A&M.

In fact, Turgeon was so disappointed in his guys’ effort on the defensive end in the 2nd half, he spent about half of the post-game press conference taking about it.

“That system is really hard to guard,” Turgeon said, “We couldn't guard the ball screen. We tried everything. We squeezed, doubled, showed, and switched. We probably had the most success with the switch. We tried everything. They are really hard to guard. To be quite honest with you, I was disappointed in our focus defensively. We didn't guard with the same intensity in the second half, we didn't guard screens the right way, which was the most disappointing thing. You have to give Colorado a lot of credit; their offense was really good today. Those players are good, I don't know if anybody has ever shot 77% in a half on us. They kept going smaller with their lineup and it made it harder on us. I don't like going small with our lineup. We have so many good big guys that are playing well right now. I'm disappointed in our defense. We never adjusted.”

OK Coach, thanks, I think that about sums it up, we appreciate your honesty.

Beau, what was that you were saying about Turgeon telling it like it is?

It’s just crazy when you think that a team shot 61% overall and 77% in the second half and the Aggies were still able to win by 17 points. Something about that just does not seem to add up.

From my vantage point the most frightening thing about what happened in the second half is that if you are not knocking down 63% of your shots including 10 makes from downtown, you are not only losing this game, you are getting blown out.

The one thing I am taking solace in is the fact that we have seen this group of guys play absolutely suffocating defense for the better part of this season, and I would suspect that what happened in the 2nd half on Saturday is just “one of those things” and we will likely not see them break down on the defensive end like that again for the remainder of the season.

The only thing that stood out to me on the offensive end in the 2nd half was that Dominique Kirk had a great half of basketball when he scored 10 of his game-high 15 points on 4-of-5 from the field. It was good to see DK break out after having only scored a combined 9 points in the Aggies’ previous 3 games.

The game was a heck of a way to start the 2008 Big 12 season for the Aggies, and they will try to keep it rolling as they head out on the road for three of their next four games (@ Tech / @ K-State / vs. Baylor / @ Ok. State).

I am a little nervous about this bunch heading into Lubbock coming off such a great shooting performance against Colorado while Tech is coming in off of getting blown out in Stillwater on Saturday. Chris Batchelder has a theory about teams that shoot the lights out. It goes something along the lines of, “they can never do it for two games in a row” - - Here’s to hoping his theory is wrong.

Coach Knight’s group runs offensive sets based with a ton of motion, similar to that of Colorado. Hopefully the Aggies can get their defensive issues squared away before they hop on a plane and head to the panhandle on Wednesday. I can assure you this much, Turgeon will have them back in the gym on Sunday working on their defense.

Quick Hits

- Despite Coach harping on the guys about their defensive effort, I thought Kirk did a great job limiting Colorado’s Richard Roby to only 14 points. Doesn’t it seem like Roby has been in school for about 9 years?

- A&M is 15-1 for the first time since 1921-22, when the Aggies started 16-1.

- The good guys have won 36 of their last 37 home games (Tech last year).

- I’ve been on the guys because their free-throw shooting has been so poor, but on Saturday they did post a season high 86% when they made 12 of 14 attempts. It goes without saying; it was certainly good to see.

- The Aggies had 22 assists (2nd most this year) and only 7 turnovers (2nd fewest of the year).

- The Aggies’ 10 three-pointers were a season high in a game.

- Joe Jones had a career high 6 assists.


Hawks rookie guard both a brother and parent (Acie Law)

Sure-fire Aggies outgun Buffs

Kirk, Jordan lead No. 11 A&M past Colorado

Around the Big 12

Last Week’s Results

Sat., Feb. 12

Kansas 79 Texas 84 Kansas State 84
Nebraska 58 Missouri 97 Oklahoma 82

Texas Tech 55 Iowa State 67 Colorado 69
Oklahoma State 77 Baylor 74 Texas A&M 86

Aggie Hoops Report’s Big 12 Player of the Week

Michael Beasley – Kansas State
Freshman phenom Michael Beasley led Kansas State to a road win over Oklahoma on Saturday evening and in the process managed to put up 32 points and 11 rebounds. Beasley hit a game-winning layup with 2.3 seconds remaining to seal the deal for the Wildcats. This kid is a freak of nature, and you should make it a point to watch him play at some point this year.

Also considered:

Damion James - Texas
James put up 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Longhorns’ loss to Missouri on Saturday. James continues to get better with every passing game.

Blake Griffin – Oklahoma
It was a heck of a lot of fun watching Beasley and Griffin go head-to-head on Saturday evening as the two freshmen both put their skills on display. Griffin finished the game with 27 points and 14 rebounds.


Team Big 12 Overall
Kansas 1-0 16-0
Texas A&M 1-0 15-1
Baylor 1-0 13-2
Kansas State 1-0 11-4
Missouri 1-0 11-5
Oklahoma State 1-0 11-5
Texas 0-1 13-3
Nebraska 0-1 11-3
Oklahoma 0-1 12-4
Iowa State 0-1 10-6
Texas Tech 0-1 9-6
Colorado 0-1 8-7

Next Week’s Schedule

Mon., Jan. 14
Oklahoma at Kansas ESPN-HD 8:00 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 15
Oklahoma State at Baylor ESPN Plus 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Colorado ESPN Plus 8:00 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 16
Missouri at Iowa State ESPN Plus 7:00
Texas A&M at Texas Tech ESPN2-HD 8:30

Sat., Jan. 19
Oklahoma State at Iowa State ESPN Plus 12:30 p.m.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma ESPN Plus 3:00 p.m.
Texas A&M at Kansas State ESPN-HD 3:00 p.m. (GAME OF THE WEEK)
Baylor at Nebraska ESPN Plus 5:00 p.m.
Kansas at Missouri ESPN-U 7:00 p.m.
Colorado at Texas ESPN Plus 7:00 p.m.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2007-2008 Big 12 Preview

- - Big 12 North - -

- - Colorado Buffaloes - -

Non-Conference Record (8-6) Current Sagarin Rating - - 165

Notable Wins: Southern Methodist 63-52

Notable Losses: @ Wisconsin 52-78 Stanford 43-67

Notable Players: Richard Roby - - 16.6 PPG 6.1 RPG
Marcus Hall - - 12.9 PPG 4.4 RBG 4.0 APG

Projected Big XII Record: 3-13

The Buffaloes come in with new coach Jeff Bzdelik, Pat Riley’s former director of scouting who comes over from Air Force. Bzdelik might get the Buffaloes back to respectability in the near future, but 2008 will continue to be a struggle for the boys from Boulder. Richard Roby continues to be one of the best players in the Big 12 and can easily go for 20+ on any given night.

- - Iowa State Cyclones - -

Non-Conference Record (10-5) Current Sagarin Rating - - 146

Notable Wins: Iowa 56-47 @ Purdue 83-80

Notable Losses: @ Alabama 68-83 Minnesota 58-68

Notable Players: Wesley Johnson - - 12.4PPG 2.7 RPG
Jiri Hubalek - - 12.1 PPG 7.7 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 3-13

Iowa State continues to build under 2nd year coach Greg McDermott. The rebuilding project in Ames is still underway and much like Colorado, this could be a tough year for the Cylclones. They are anchored by 6’7” sophomore forward Wesley Johnson who is a freak of a talent and was 2nd in the Big 12 last season with 11 double-doubles.

- - Kansas Jayhawks - -

Non-Conference Record (15-0) Current Sagarin Rating - - 2

Notable Wins: Arizona 76-72 (OT) @ #24 USC 59-55

Notable Losses: None

Notable Players: Darrell Arthur - - 13.7 PPG 6.0 RPG
Darnell Jackson - - 12.5 PPG 6.7 RPG
Mario Chalmers - - 12.0 PPG 4.8 APG
Brandon Rush - - 10.9 PPG 4.0 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 15-1

Big, Strong, Physical, Deep, Athletic, Talented, etc. etc. etc. Choose whatever descriptive term you want. The Jayhawks are one of the elite teams in all of the country again this year. Bill Self will again have his team poised to make a run at a 1-seed as we move toward mid-March. The ‘Hawks have 8 guys who average double-digit minutes and 5 guys who average 10+ points per game. This year’s squad is anchored by 6’9” Sophomore Darrell Arthur, one of the nation’s elite big men. KU leads the nation in scoring margin, outpacing their opponents by an average of 25.1 points per contest. Kansas is a lock to make the NCAA tournament this year.

- - Kansas State Wildcats - -

Non-Conference Record (10-4) Current Sagarin Rating - - 59

Notable Wins: California 82-75

Notable Losses: #17 Oregon 77-80 @ Xavier 77-103

Notable Players: Michael Beasley - - 24.3 PPG 13.3 RPG
Bill Walker - - 15.3 PPG 6.9 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 9-7

If there is one individual player you should get out and make a point to see this year in the Big 12, it would be KSU’s freshman phenom Michael Beasley. Beasley is a freak who put up 40 points and 15 rebounds earlier this year in a win over Winston Salem. That was cool, but not nearly as smooth as his 32 points and 24 rebounds in a season-opening win over Sacramento State. No, 32 & 24 is not a typo. Yes, Beasley is that good. Catch him while you can this year, he’ll be wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey next year. Sophomore Bill Walker joins Beasley to make one of the best dynamic-duos in the game. We think KSU will return to the NCAA tournament this year.

- - Missouri Tigers - -

Non-Conference Record (9-5) Current Sagarin Rating - - 64

Notable Wins: Maryland 84-70 Purdue 73-63

Notable Losses: #11 Michigan State 83-86

Notable Players: DeMarre Carroll - - 14.8 PPG 6.8 RPG
Stefhon Hannah - - 13.9 PPG 5.5 APG

Projected Big XII Record: 9-7

The Missouri Tigers look to be much better under 2nd year coach Mike Anderson. Anderson’s 40-minutes-of-hell approach to the game, a fast-paced tricky style of play he learned from mentor Nolan Richardson will surely cause opponents some problems this year. The Tigers are led by last year’s Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Stefhon Hannah and Anderson’s nephew DeMarre Carroll, a transfer from Vanderbilt. We think Missouri will make the NCAA tournament this year.

- - Nebraska Cornhuskers - -

Non-Conference Record (11-2) Current Sagarin Rating - - 58

Notable Wins: #16 Oregon 88-79 Arizona State 62-47

Notable Losses: @ Western Kentucky 62-69

Notable Players: Aleks Maric - - 16.2 PPG 8.4 RPG
Ade Dagunduro - - 11.4 PPG 4.7 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 5-11

Doc Sadler works in his 2nd year with the Cornhuskers and has one of the best true centers in the game at his disposal, senior Aleks Maric. Maric is not a household name or a very flashy player, but you will be hard pressed to find many guys who are nearly as productive as Maric. Unfortunately for ‘Husker fans, Maric does not have much of a supporting cast around him.

- - Big 12 South - -

- - Baylor Bears - -

Non-Conference Record (12-2) Current Sagarin Rating - - 36

Notable Wins: @Notre Dame 68-64

Notable Losses: vs. Arkansas 78-85 vs. #6 Washington State 64-67

Notable Players: Curtis Jerrells - - 13.8 PPG 4.1 APG
Kevin Rogers - - 12.1 PPG 6.6 RPG
Henry Dugat - - 10.6 PPG 3.4 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 8-8

Can someone please explain to me what makes Scott Drew such a great recruiter at Baylor? I guess we should all be pretty happy that Drew can not coach up the talent he has managed to acquire at Baylor over the past 3 or 4 years. That being said, Baylor will likely post their first respectable conference record in 2008 as the Bears actually have a decent core set of guys this season. I know this much, a Baylor guy is going to take over for OSU’s JamesOn Curry to win this year’s strangest name in the Big 12 award - 6’4” freshman guard LaceDarius Dunn is one of Drew’s great recruiting wins. We think Baylor will just miss out on an NCAA spot and play in this year’s NIT.

- - Oklahoma Sooners - -

Non-Conference Record (12-3) Current Sagarin Rating - - 23

Notable Wins: @ #23 West Virginia 88-82 vs. #20 Gonzaga 72-68

Notable Losses: #3 Memphis 53-63 @ #24 USC 55-66
SFA 62-66

Notable Players: Blake Griffin - - 14.7 PPG 8.8 RPG
Longar Longar - - 12.7 PPG 6.1 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 5-11Well, I’m not too sure what to think about the Sooners this year. They have a great RPI schedule and a couple of impressive wins @ West Virginia and over Gonzaga. That being said, how in the world do you lose to Stephen F. Austin in Norman? I think what you are going to see with OU this year is flashes of brilliance followed up by flashes of terrible basketball. 2nd year coach Jeff Capel will go to battle with freshman Blake Griffin leading his attack. Will Griffin, a McDonald’s All-American be able to carry this team through the rigors of a 16-game Big 12 schedule? I think he will, yes, but just not this year. He is a year or two away from being elite. We think OU will grab a spot in the NIT.

- - Oklahoma State Cowboys - -

Non-Conference Record (9-5) Current Sagarin Rating - - 108

Notable Wins: LSU 83-77 Washington 96-71

Notable Losses: #13 Marquette 61-91
@ #9 Pittsburgh 68-85

Notable Players: James Anderson - - 16.8 PPG 3.6 RPG
Terrel Harris - - 11.3 PPG 4.7 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 6-10

Well into the 2007-2008 season, the Cowboys are struggling to win games for a second year in a row, an odd lull for a school with such a great track record of producing winning basketball teams. Sean Sutton’s squad seems to have lost their trademark defensive pressure that was so prominent when Sean’s father Eddie was coaching the team. The Cowboys have also developed a terrible knack for turning the ball over where they rank 244th nationally this year. We think OSU should again see action in the NIT tournament.

- - Texas Longhorns - -

Non-Conference Record (13-2) Current Sagarin Rating - - 9

Notable Wins: @ #1 UCLA 63-61 @ #7 Tennessee 97-78

Notable Losses: @ #10 Michigan State 78-72
Wisconsin 67-66

Notable Players: D.J. Augustin - - 20.5 PPG 6.1 APG
A.J. Abrams - - 18.4 PPG
Damion James - - 13.8 PPG 10.8 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 13-3

I guess what happens when you lose the greatest player in the history of your program is that you become even better this year than you were last. Our friends in Austin are off to a great start this year and are actually playing better ball than most anyone would have expected. Rick Barnes’ squad has great guard play with Augustin and Abrams on the perimeter, and should-have-been-an-Aggie Sophomore Damion James has become a force at power-forward. The one glaring weakness for the Horns this year is a severe lack of depth. Barnes really only goes about 6 players deep, and if you get the Horns in foul trouble you can give them a run for their money. They are a lock to be an NCAA team this season.

- - Texas A&M Aggies - -

Non-Conference Record (14-1) Current Sagarin Rating - - 16

Notable Wins: LSU 79-53 Ohio State 70-47

Notable Losses: @ Arizona 67-78

Notable Players: Josh Carter - - 13.7 PPG 4.1 RPG
Joseph Jones - - 11.3 PPG 5.3 RPG
DeAndre Jordan - - 10.3 PPG 7.1 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 13-3

Well, one year after he-who-shall-not-be-named left to go lose a whole bunch of games at Kentucky, the Aggies have not skipped a beat under first-year coach Mark Turgeon. Turgeon’s team looks poised to make another memorable run through the middle of March as they have all of the ingredients that make those runs possible. The Aggies have good guard play behind Kirk, Sloan and Carter as well as one of the best frontcourts in the nation with Jones and Jordan anchoring the group inside. Coming off the bench, Roland, Davis and Elonu provide quality depth which could help make the Aggies a force to be reckoned with. A&M is 2nd in the nation in rebounding-margin where they grab nearly 12 more boards per game than their opponents. The Aggies are a lock to make the NCAA tournament this year.

- - Texas Tech Red Raiders - -

Non-Conference Record (9-5) Current Sagarin Rating - - 74

Notable Wins: #14 Gonzaga 73-63

Notable Losses: @ Sam Houston 54-56
#23 Butler 71-81
#25 Stanford 61-62

Notable Players: Martin Zeno - - 16.5 PPG 5.1 RPG
Alan Voskuil - - 13.1 PPG 3.9 RPG

Projected Big XII Record: 7-9

Bob Knight’s 2007-2008 team is one that is simply put - just not quite as good as they have been over the past few years. That being said, the Raiders will be more than competitive in all of their games and are never going to be blown out. I think they are just about one or two players away from being an NCAA team. The General always has his guys ready to play, and their motion offense is fun to watch when it is clicking. We think the Red Raiders are headed to the NIT this season.

AHR - - Big 12 Predictions

Big 12’s Best 5
Brandon Rush - Kansas
Michael Beasley – Kansas State
D.J. Augustin - Texas
Darrell Arthur - Kansas
Damion James – Texas

Big 12’s Next 12
James Anderson – Oklahoma State
A.J. Abrams - Texas
DeMarre Carroll – Missouri
Josh Carter – Texas A&M
Blake Griffin – Oklahoma
Darnell Jackson – Kansas
Curtis Jerrells – Baylor
Joseph Jones – Texas A&M
DeAndre Jordan – Texas A&M
Aleks Maric - Nebraska
Richard Roby - Colorado
Martin Zeno – Texas Tech

Big 12’s Best Freshman
James Anderson – Oklahoma State
DeAndre Jordan – Texas A&M
Michael Beasley – Kansas State
Blake Griffin - Oklahoma
John Roberson – Texas Tech
LaceDarius Dunn - Baylor
Gary Johnson – Texas (has been injured)

Big 12’s Can’t Miss Games
Texas A&M at Texas Tech – Jan 16th - ESPN2
Texas at Oklahoma State – Jan 21st – ESPN
Kansas at Kansas State – Jan 30th – ESPN+
Texas at Texas A&M – Jan 30th – ESPN2
Kansas at Texas – Feb 11th – ESPN
Texas A&M at Texas – Feb 18th – ESPN
Texas at Kansas State – Feb 25th – ESPN
Kansas at Texas A&M – Mar 5th - CBS

Big 12 Player Of The Year
Michael Beasley – Kansas State

Big 12 Coach Of The Year
Rick Barnes - Texas

Big 12 Freshman Of The Year
Michael Beasley – Kansas State

Big 12 NCAA Teams
Texas A&M
Kansas State

Big 12 NIT Teams
Texas Tech
Oklahoma State

Sunday, January 06, 2008

LSU Recap

Well – That was not nearly as close as most everyone could have expected. That being said, hopefully you guys had as much fun watching the team as the team appeared to be having in beating LSU at Reed on Saturday night.

Heading into conference play, Mark Turgeon’s Aggie bunch absolutely thrashed LSU 79-53 en-route to posting their best start to a season (14-1) since the Aggies went 16-1 to start the 1921-1922 season.

In front of the largest crowd to ever see a regular-season non-conference home game in the history of the school (12,255), the Aggies jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the first four minutes of the game and they never looked back. In-fact, the Aggies quickly pushed their lead to 15 points at the 12:08 mark of the first half when they led 24-9.

Two minutes later, the Aggies were on pace to score 120 points when they put their 29th and 30th points up on the board on a Donald Sloan jumper as the 10 minute mark rolled by. This game was starting to look eerily similar to their fast start when they lost at Arizona earlier in the year. During the loss in Tucson, the Aggies jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first half and eventually got outscored by a margin of 66-35 to close out the game from that point.

Saturday night might have gotten off to a similar start when compared to the Arizona game, but what transpired at Reed Arena was nearly the exact opposite. From jumping out to their quick lead, the Aggies stepped up their defensive pressure and kept LSU’s back against the wall the entire night.

Over the course of the first half, the Aggies used their inside strength against the undermanned Tigers (John Brady only had 8 guys to suit up) and more-or-less bludgeoned them to death inside. In the first frame, the Aggies outscored the Tigers 22-to-12 in the paint as well as outscored them 12-to-0 on second-chance points behind the strength of 6 offensive rebounds.

Turgeon used a heavy dose of DeAndre Jordan, Joseph Jones, Bryan Davis and Junior Elonu inside, and the Tigers simply did not have an answer for the bigger and stronger Aggies. When asked about his big men after the game, Turgeon said, “It's nice because Bryan Davis got into foul trouble, and then Junior gave us good minutes. It is a nice luxury to have. It's not fun for the posts sometimes because they want to play more.”

We have said it before and I will say it again, you are going to be challenged to find too many teams that have as much strength, depth and talent across the frontcourt as the Aggies have this season.

As the two teams came out of the break, the Aggies continued to put unrelenting pressure on the Tigers. Behind the strength of an 18-to-4 run to open the second half, the Aggies pushed their 15 point halftime lead to 29 points as they took command of the scoreboard at 61-32 with 11 minutes left in the game.

Three minutes later (at about the 8 minute mark) and ahead 68-38, Turgeon started cycling out his starters and guys like BJ Holmes, Junior Elonu and Nathan Walkup all got to play what probably turned out to be a heck of a lot more minutes than they would have expected.

Nice problem to have, right?

OK, let’s take a look at some of the guys that stood out from Saturday night.

You have to start off with Donald Sloan. The sophomore from Dallas had what was his best all-around game of his young career when he put up 17 points (on 7-of-9 shooting), grabbed 5 rebounds and added 2 assists. Twice this year Sloan has put up more points in a game (18 points on two different occasions), but never before was he in complete control of the game like he was on Saturday night.

What stood out most about Sloan’s night was that he was flying by guys all night long on fast break opportunities. Turgeon added, “He is great on the break. His eyes light up. Some of those shots, I don't know how he got them to the basket, but he did.”

I also feel like Junior Elonu needs some special recognition for his performance against LSU. The big sophomore put up 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in only 14 minutes off the bench. Elonu is so big, strong and athletic that we all keep waiting for him to have a break-out game at some point. Hopefully Saturday night was the start of seeing a little more production out of him.

We also need to mention Josh Carter. #23 seemed to have regained a little bit of his touch from behind-the-arc in knocking down 3 of his 5 attempts from downtown. Carter finished the night with 13 points and 5 rebounds.

Finally, Joe Jones also had a very good night at the cage scoring 12 points (5-of-11 from the field) and pulling down 4 rebounds.

From the LSU side of the court, I told a couple of you guys on Saturday night that I was now ready to declare Tigers’ freshman Anthony Randolph as the best player that I have seen come to Reed so far this season (behind Hendrix-Alabama and Fells-UC-Irvine). Randolph, a skinny-as-a-rail freshman from Dallas led the tigers with 16 points and 7 rebounds on Saturday night. I am not sure if last year’s #5 rated national recruit according to Rivals is a one-and-done kid or not, but I know his stay-over in Baton Rogue is not going to be a very long one.

Quick Hits

- The Aggies held the Tigers to 27.8% shooting from the field in the second half (10-for-36) and 20% from behind the arc over the course of the entire game (3-for-15).

- A&M held LSU to only 9 assists on their 23 makes, again, a good indicator of A&M not letting LSU get comfortable in their offensive sets.

- The Aggies out-rebounded the Tigers by a margin of 40-to-31. The Aggies have out-rebounded all 15 opponents this year.

- Free-throw shooting was better again, but still not great. They made 67% of their attempts going 18-of-27 on the night.

- Josh Carter (a junior) needs three more three-pointers this season to move past Antoine Wright into 2nd place on the all-time list at A&M. Carter has knocked down 179 career three pointers.

OK, that’s going to do it for now. The Aggies open up the 2008 Big 12 season on Saturday when they host Colorado at 3:00.

We are going to have our annual Big 12 Preview out at some point this week.

Hope you guys have a great week.

Carry on.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Late December Recap

Hi guys - I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Today we're going to take a quick look back at the Aggies' last three games, wins over Cal-Irvine (88-66), Florida A&M (83-54) and Rice (68-41). None of the three games were really that close, and it was really tough to take much away from any of them on an individual basis. The Aggies' average margin of victory over those three games was 26 points.

I talked to a few of you guys after these games and the easiest thing I could put around it was "standard product for this time of year"; a top 15 team playing lesser competition on their home court and doing nothing more or nothing less than what you would have expected.

I am a little bit conflicted about what to make of this stretch of the 2007-2008 schedule. You always love wins and will take all you can, but isn't the program at a point now where you do not need to play a 6-game stretch of Texas State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Detroit, Cal-Irvine, Florida A&M and Rice ?

I fully understand that this stretch is bookended with Arizona and LSU, but I read a comment like this from Turgeon (after the FAMU win) and you can't help but be concerned:

"I think our guys need competition," Turgeon said. "We've been a little bit bored out there and we're playing that way. We need a stiffer test."

I'm concerned for two reasons:

1.) If I am the head coach of one of these opponents, how does that make me feel? If Turgeon needs a filler game next year, am I going to take his phone call? Probably not. Talk about your team Turge, but if you don't feel your opponents are not up to your challenge, fine, but keep that behind closed doors. I know you inherited this schedule, but don't you have to be careful as to how comments like that are going to come across?

2.) At this point, what good is going to come out of playing these types of games? I'm not saying you need to go load up on top-flight competition, but it may not hurt to mix in a good mid-major team or some mid-tier ACC or Big 10 opponents next year. To me, the biggest thing that can come out of games like this is the formation of repetitive bad habits. I don't know how many of you guys got to watch the Rice game on Monday, but it was without-a-doubt their worst offensive game of the season.

I think it is safe to say that everyone associated with this program is looking forward to Saturday's LSU game and the start of Big 12 play a week later on Saturday the 12th.

OK - Enough of me having to complain about something, let's take a quick look back at these last three wins.

Cal-Irvine Quick Hits

- Cal-Irvine was lights-out for most of the afternoon from behind the three-point line where they finished the game 10-for-18 (55.6%).

- 6 Aggies finished the game scoring in double-digits with Donald Sloan and Dominique Kirk leading the way with 14 points each.

- Donald Sloan played a great all-around game adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists to his 14 points.

- Cal-Irvine's Darren Fells is the second best player I have seen at Reed Arena this year behind Alabama's Richard Hendrix. The 6'7" senior from Fullerton finished the game with 19 points and 6 rebounds on 8-of-11 shooting from the field. I'm not sure how or why Fells is not at one of California's premier college programs.

- The Aggies shot the basketball VERY well against Irvine making 34 of their 54 field goal attempts (63%).

Florida A&M Quick Hits

- Josh Carter was outstanding in the first half scoring 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting (4-of-5 from behind the arc). Carter finished the game with 20 points.

- Dominique Kirk did not score, but he did finish the game with 7 assists and 6 rebounds.

- Junior Elonu came off the bench to grab 9 rebounds in only 11 minutes of action.

- The Aggies had their best night of the season at the free-throw line making 15 of their 20 attempts (75%). DeAndre Jordan was actually a perfect 3-for-3 in the game!

- The Aggies outrebounded the Rattlers 44-to-26. On the season, the good guys are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 12 rebounds per game (43-to-31)

Rice Quick Hits

- The Aggies tied a school record (1959-1960) for the best start to a season at 13 wins against 1 defeat.

- The boys in Maroon & White had far-and-away their worst shooting game of the season only making 26 of their 69 attempts (37.7%). The good news is that Rice was even worse at 15 for 56 (26.8%).

- A&M has won 45 straight regular-season non-conference home games.

- DeAndre Jordan was outstanding against Rice in scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He also had a career-high 4 blocked shots.

- A&M has been ranked for 29 straight weeks starting with the preseason poll last year. Prior to this streak, the Aggies had been ranked a total of 27 weeks in its history.

- Senior Dominique Kirk started for the 110th straight game today, setting a Big 12 record. The old mark was 109 by Kansas' Aaron Miles in 2001-05. This is an amazing feat when you think about the fact that Kirk has started every single game in his career at A&M.

- Former Aggie point-guard Bryan Beasley is the starting PG for Willis Wilson's Rice squad. I am glad to see that Beasley was able to land on his feet. Beasley did not have to sit out a year as the NCAA granted him a waiver to be able to play immediately.

Later this week I will try to put together a quick look at Saturday's big game against LSU. The game is at 7:00 on Saturday and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN-U.

Carry on.