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Texas A&M Basketball

Billy Kennedy sees bright future in Aggieland, previews SEC tournament

March 12, 2019
6,019

Despite speculation the Southeastern Conference Tournament could be his last competition as Texas A&M basketball coach, Billy Kennedy expects to retain his job.

Kennedy, 150-115 in eight seasons at A&M, led the Aggies a share of the SEC championship in 2016 and to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in ’16 and ‘18.

But this season has been a disappointment. The Aggies (13-17, 6-12) finished 11th in the SEC race and face Vanderbilt (9-22, 0-18) about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

Yet, Kennedy, who is in the third year of a five-year deal signed in 2016, is optimistic for the future — his and A&M’s.

”I’ve got a good contract. I’m thankful for being here. I think we’ve done a lot of good things in this program when you look at what we brought — winning a championship,” Kennedy said on Tuesday. "Our guys, academically, are doing well. Our program is in good shape. We’ve got a good (recruiting) class coming in. I think we’ve got some solid guys returning. They’ve proven they can win in this league. So, I feel very confident about where we’re at as a program.”

“We’ve got a good (recruiting) class coming in. I think we’ve got some solid guys returning. They’ve proven they can win in this league. So, I feel very confident about where we’re at as a program.”
- Head coach Billy Kennedy 

The Aggies can be more confident for the distant future than the near future. They’ve lost three of their last four. If they defeat Vanderbilt they would next play Mississippi State, which defeated A&M 92-81 last Saturday.

However, A&M did defeat Vandy 64-57 on March 2 behind a dominant inside effort from Savion Flagg and Christian Mekowulu.

Flagg scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds in that win. Mekowulu had 19 points and 12 boards.

”I feel like I was a matchup problem with their 4 and 5 men,” Flagg said about the first meeting. “They were switching a lot between those two. I feel like I was a little quicker than them. I’m sure they might change it up a little bit. (Aaron) Nesmith guarded me a little bit last time toward the end of the game. I feel like I had a little success just being quicker.”

The Aggies had 45 rebounds against the Commodores with 17 coming on the offensive end. A&M got off to a slow start and trailed 11-0, but was in control soon afterward.

”We rebounded the ball really well,” Kennedy recalled. “Our physicality and our sense or urgency against them was good except for the first time minutes. They jumped out on us. They were up, I think, 13-2. From then on we played with some assertiveness and did a good job of hurting them inside.”

The Aggies also benefitted from Vanderbilt’s horrific perimeter shooting. The Commodores converted just 5 of 30 attempts (16.7 percent) from 3-point range.

”They’ve struggled scoring.” Kennedy said. “When you can keep them under 60 then you have a good opportunity to win. We’re playing them in a different venue and a different setting so it will be interesting how well they shoot it.”

A&M cannot count on Vandy having another miserable showing from the arc. The Commodores are eighth in the SEC in 3-point percentage and have converted 227 treys.

Meanwhile, A&M has allowed a conference-high 264 3-point goals and have allowed 31 in the last two games.

The Aggies hope they can get by Vanderbilt again. Then, they will hope to extend their season as long as possible.

”We can just control what’s in front of us,” Kennedy said. “It’s all about the Vandy game and playing well there and getting some confidence. Winning breeds confidence and gives you a chance to win the next game. Hopefully, you can put that together more than one time when you get in tournament play.”

Discussion from...

Billy Kennedy sees bright future in Aggieland, previews SEC tournament

JJxvi
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AggieDPT
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AG
Proven they can win in this league? Can't fire him soon enough
zooguy96
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Yay, we can win the league the year it sucks, only has 3 tournament teams, and we had 6 NBA level players.

Can't get rid of him soon enough.
johnnyblaze36
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AG
Worst headline I've ever read.
merc
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AG

machine20
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"I've got a good contract"
expresswrittenconsent
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LOLOLOLOL
zooguy96
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He knew as much about his future as he did coaching.

But, seriously, nice guy, just not a good coach.
AggieBaseball06
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AG
Olin apparently went to the "Dewey defeats Truman" school of headline writing...
AggieDPT
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AG
There's a bright future now because we got rid of him
e.busche
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AG
Not so fast my friend!
cevans_40
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AG
Now he's just trolling us
Old Main
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AG
Olin is like the Minister of Information for Iraq during the Gulf War.
Picadillo
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Lots of programs would love two sweet sixteen appearances in the past few years.
Topher17
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AG
Picadillo said:

Lots of programs would love two sweet sixteen appearances in the past few years.

They'd also love more than 2 tournament appearances in 8 years. Probably would also love more than 2 winning conference records in 8 years too.
DukeMu
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Olin? Is that you?
Reload8098
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AG
[link]https://m.chron.com/sports/aggies/article/Texas-A-M-s-Billy-Kennedy-won-t-be-back-13683278.php[/link]
DukeMu
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He gone.
greg.w.h
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AG
Old Main said:

Olin is like the Minister of Information for Iraq during the Gulf War.


https://www.thoughtco.com/baghdad-bob-quotes-4068522
AggieBill005
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AG
This aged well (after just a day!)
greg.w.h
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AG
AggieBill005 said:

This aged well (after just a day!)


The word on the street is at best well-sourced rumor so far. Not aware of anyone on record with real information. I'm sure BZ is comfortable because everything checks out under contacts by editors with sources or he wouldn't publish.

I treat this as an incomplete thought as BZ suggested in his more recent tweet:

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