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Texas A&M Basketball

Efficiency a must for Texas A&M against up-tempo Auburn squad

February 17, 2017
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Though no actual rules require a winning record to get into the National Invitational Tournament, the field doesn’t typically include losing teams. Therefore, Texas A&M (13-12, 5-8 SEC) must finish the basketball season strong to have a good chance on getting into the NIT.

Yes, it’s officially come to this for A&M’s disappointing basketball season. The Aggies need a winning streak in their last five Southeastern Conference games merely to warrant consideration into the postseason consolation tournament.

The Aggies hope to start that streak on Saturday at Reed Arena against Auburn (16-10, 5-8). But like everything for the Aggies this season, it won’t be easy.

Though Auburn is coming off consecutive losses to Florida and Ole Miss, the youthful Tigers scored at least 84 points in both of those games. In fact, Auburn is the SEC’s second-highest scoring team with an average of 80.6 points per game. That’s more than A&M has scored in every SEC game except those against lowly LSU.

Furthermore, A&M must bounce back from frustrating 72-67 loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville on Thursday night. That’s a quick turnaround, especially for the Aggies who have little depth.

I think Auburn is one of the most talented offensive teams in the league. They play a lot of guys. They’re really athletic, and they’ve had three days off. All we can do is control what we have.
“If you look at our minutes, it’s a concern,” A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. “The bigger concern is Auburn. I think Auburn is one of the most talented offensive teams in the league. They play a lot of guys. They’re really athletic, and they’ve had three days off.

"All we can do is control what we have. We’re going to hopefully prepare some guys to play more minutes off the bench.”

Any hint of fatigue or lethargy could be severely problematic against Auburn, an up-tempo team with six players averaging at least 6.7 points per game. Freshman guard Mustapha Heron leads the Tigers with a 15.0 average, while guard Jared Harper averages 12.2 and forward Daniel Purifoy 11.4.

On the other hand, Auburn has struggled on the defensive end. The Tigers allow an average of 79.5 points to rank 320th in the nation.

But whether A&M can capitalize is uncertain. Tyler Davis, Admon Gilder and Robert Williams are playing at a high level and averaging in double figures, but aren’t getting much help. Tonny Trocha-Morelos and J.C. Hampton have been woefully inconsistent, bench production has been minimal and guard D.J. Hogg is out the remainder of the season with a broken foot.

“We can still win games,” Kennedy said. “We have enough to win games. We just have to be efficient. We have to take better shots. Defensively, I thought we wore down (against Vandy). We can’t allow that to happen at the end of the game.”
Discussion from...

Efficiency a must for Texas A&M against up-tempo Auburn squad

2,842 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 7 yr ago by Yell Practice
Rick Flex
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AG
Well to be efficient, you need a game plan.
Mike Elko
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AG
At least baseball season's here.
Cardiac Saturday
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Yell Practice
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Good game Aggies
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