Friday, January 16, 2009

Finally, 40 Minutes Worth!!!...... (Baylor Recap)

For 40 minutes on Wednesday night we finally got to see just how good the 2008-2009 Aggie Basketball team can be. From the opening tip, the good guys came out focused and played with an intensity that we had only seen flashes of throughout small stretches of the non-conference slate.

Then end result? A thorough beating of the #21 Baylor Bears. A&M dispatched of Scott Drew's bunch by a final score of 84-73 in a game that saw the Aggies hold a double-digit lead for nearly the entire game.

The Aggies jumped out to an early 11-5 lead and that margin held around 5 or 6 points for nearly the entire 1st half before they put together a closing 9-to-2 run to push their halftime lead to 39-28.

Pacing the Aggies in the 1st half was Junior Elonu who again continues to assert himself as one of the premier big men in the league. At the break - the big fella had 13 points and 9 rebounds (6 of which were offensive).

I would also be remiss if I did not "welcome back" Bryan Davis. Big #0 had his best game in a while and played with the passion and emotion that seemed to have gone missing since his big 2nd half at Rice on Dec 31.

Welcome back Bryan - Please feel free to sick around thru March.

Coming out of the break - the Elonu and Davis show turned into the Sloan and Carter show.

Derrick Roland hit a three pointer to start the 2nd half scoring and then Donald Sloan proceeded to score 8 straight points on three consecutive buckets and a free throw. By the time everyone had settled back in their seats, the Aggies had extended their lead to 16 points at 49-33 and were well on their way to putting the game on ice.

What happened with Carter in the 2nd half was certainly something that Aggie fans had been looking for all season long. Coming off of his terrible night in Stillwater, the coaches appeared to try and jump-start Carter by taking him off the three point line and sending him to different spots on the floor.

Carter shot more two-point field goal attempts (9) than at any other point in his entire career at A&M. I can not tell you how awesome it was to see them get Carter more involved and in a different manner. I thought it was great to see 23 flying around again, going to the rim, catching on the short wing and hitting shots from 12 feet, etc. etc.

The question I have with Carter going forward is, was this a flash that we'll see for one game? or is it something we can expect to see more of going forward? Let's hope it's something we see MUCH more of in the coming weeks and months.

Alright - One final thing I want to point out. The Aggies defensive pressure on the perimeter against Baylor was simply awesome. It was night and day compared to the effort (or lack of effort) we saw 4 days prior in Stillwater. There was great rotation, great help, the bigs were flashing out. Heck, their man-to-man defense was so good that Turgeon even flipped them into a zone for 2 possessions. That's right, he even threw a zone look at them.

OK - Up next for the Aggies is the #5 (AP) team in the country when the Oklahoma Sooners come calling on Reed Arena on Saturday at 1:00 - ESPN-HD.

We'll have a very brief look at the matchup with OU later this afternoon.

So, is it ok to get excited after the big win over Baylor? Feel free, but I'm waiting until after Saturday's game.......

Carry on.


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