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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Basketball

Streaking Aggies must refrain from looking past Missouri on Saturday

January 14, 2022
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To keep from looking ahead, Texas A&M only needs to glance back.

The Aggies (14-2, 3-0) are riding a seven-game winning streak as they visit Missouri (7-8, 1-2) for a 2:30 p.m. Southeastern Conference basketball clash on Saturday.

A&M is coming off perhaps its best showing of the season in a 67-51 victory over Ole Miss. Meanwhile, Missouri limps into the game following a horrific 87-43 loss to Arkansas.

Those outcomes alone might tempt the Aggies to look ahead to a game against Kentucky next week.

“Whatever is in between is probably what you are. I think the Arkansas game is one that just got away from (Missouri). That’s not who they are.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

But, head coach Buzz Williams might point out Missouri upset then-No. 15 Alabama 92-86 just last week.

Also, he might remind the Aggies they needed a last-second 3-pointer to topple Georgia, which had lost by 17 points to Gardner-Webb in its previous game.

“Is it the team that beat Alabama last week or the team that lost to Arkansas later in the week?” Williams said of Missouri. “You’ve probably heard coaches say there will be three games a year that go your way that don’t make sense, and there will be three games a year that don’t go your way that don’t necessarily make sense.

“Whatever is in between is probably what you are. I think the Arkansas game is one that just got away from them. That’s not who they are.”

There is little doubt A&M is the superior team.

Quenton Jackson, Henry Coleman III and Marcus Williams all average double-figures. Three others — Tyrece Radford, Andre Gordon and Wade Taylor IV— average more than eight points per game.

The Aggies are so deep that their bench routinely outscores the opposition. A&M also leads the SEC in 3-point accuracy, turnovers forced and is 49th in the nation in scoring defense.

Conversely, Missouri is last in the SEC in scoring with a 66.7 average. The Tigers also allow an average of 72.8 points to rank 272nd in the nation.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous.

“They have five guys that can pass, dribble and shoot that are really hard to guard when they get to the middle of the floor,” Williams said. “We have to make sure that we do our best to control those guys from getting to the middle.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Quenton Jackson currently leads the Aggies with 13.2 points per game. 

“When they’re able to get to the middle, there’s just too many options, so that will be the priority for us.”

Former A&M commit Kobe Brown, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, averages 14.7 points. Three others average more than 9.0.

Brown was dominant in the upset of Alabama with 30 points and 13 rebounds. 

“Twenty-four (Brown), I think for sure, is the most improved player in this league and one of the more improved players at the higher major level in the country,” Williams said. “He’s beginning to be on draft boards. He was completely dominant against Alabama. He’s one of the guys that forces you to make decisions when the ball is in the middle of the floor. I think that’s what allows several of those other guys to create opportunities in the channel.”

Five of Brown’s rebounds against Alabama were on the offensive end. In fact, Missouri had 16 offensive boards, which were parlayed into 17 second-chance points.

That’s cause for concern as A&M has frequently struggled to keep opponents off the offensive glass. The Aggies even gave up nine offensive rebounds to Ole Miss, though the Rebels only managed three second-chance points.

The Aggies cannot count on limiting Missouri to three second-chance points. But they don’t really have to.

“I want our guys to be the best they can be,” Williams said.

That should be sufficient for the Aggies to post an eighth straight victory if they aren’t looking ahead.

 
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