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Texas A&M Basketball

Aggies hoping to continue upward trend as they host Northwestern State

December 20, 2021
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A slight alteration here. A little change there. And Texas A&M’s problems were solved.

At least, the Aggies issues were solved in an 83-73 college basketball victory over Oregon State last Saturday.

That victory was more dominant than the final score indicated, but whether it was A&M climbing or the byproduct of a struggling opponent remains to be seen.

The Aggies (8-2) hope to continue and an upward trend when Northwestern State (3-9) visits Reed Arena on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. contest.

A&M had struggled with free throw shooting, turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds in a loss to TCU last week, but the Aggies rectified those issues in the win over Oregon State.

That performance gave coach Buzz Williams a big dose of optimism.

“The more we can stay in a very narrow lane, over time, it will allow our guys to get a little better and a little better. We need to start strong, play with a low turnover rate and do a great job on the glass.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

“I feel a lot better this Monday than I did last Monday,” Williams said on TexAgs Radio Monday morning. “It’s the rollercoaster of emotions. I have a better tone of voice when we win. I’m more excited about the future.

“I do think some of the changes we made in the past week. We realized that’s critical for our growth and development. We have a very inexperienced team. That’s not going to change.”

Among the changes was a starting lineup that consisted of the 6-8 inside duo of Ethan Henderson and Henry Coleman and guards Andre Gordon, Marcus Williams and Tyrece Radford.

That was the first time that combination has started this season.

Henderson and Coleman will be counted on to contain Northwestern State center Kendal Coleman, a 6-8 freshman who averages 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds.

They also helped the Aggies get off to a strong start against Oregon State, which is also different than the norm. Previously, A&M has been more of a second-half team.

“We don’t have the margin to not be good in both halves,” Buzz Williams said. “We changed how we started practice. Our guys were receptive to that, and as the week transpired, we actually got better with how we started.”

The Aggies figure to get off to a quick start against Northwestern State, which is ranked 336th (out of 350) in scoring defense.

Among those most likely to capitalize is freshman guard Wade Taylor IV, who hit five treys en route to a team-high 19 points against Oregon State.

“How good is he?” Buzz Williams said. “I love him. I do think he’s really fun to watch whether you’re a coach or a fan.

“He’s off the charts intelligent. He will graduate from Texas A&M early. Inside the lines, he’s Mensa-level smart. I know he made some shots. He moves fast, but he sees the game slowly.”

Mostly, Buzz Williams just wants to see the Aggies making progress, even if it is slowly.

“The more we can stay in a very narrow lane, over time, it will allow our guys to get a little better and a little better,” he said. “We need to start strong, play with a low turnover rate and do a great job on the glass.”

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Aggies hoping to continue upward trend as they host Northwestern State

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