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Buzz Williams
Henry Coleman III
Texas A&M Basketball

Texas A&M looks to put an end to recent woes at home against Missouri

February 4, 2022
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Maybe Texas A&M star golfer Sam Bennett could act as a consultant for the Aggie basketball team.

They could use some advice on bouncing back on the back nine after struggling on the front nine.

After winning their first four conference games, the Aggies (15-7, 4-5) ended the first half of Southeastern Conference basketball play with a five-game losing streak.

“Coach (Buzz Williams) kind of said it’s like a golf match,” sophomore forward Henry Coleman III said. “The first nine is over with. Now we have to focus on the back nine. He’s been super encouraging. We’re just trying to get back to who we are. playing hard on the defensive end.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Freshman guard Wade Taylor IV got hot against Tennesse earlier this week, chipping in 19 points.

A&M aims to make strides and avoid another subpar showing in a clash with Missouri (8-13, 2-6) at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Reed Arena.

The visiting Tigers are near the bottom of the SEC standings, have lost four straight and fell to A&M in Columbia on Jan. 15.

Still, Buzz Williams warned that beating Missouri could be harder than saving par with a 30-foot putt on a sloping green.

He pointed out two of Missouri’s recent losses were by one point to No. 1 Auburn and Florida.

“The last two games, Missouri has played incredibly well,” Buzz Williams said. “(They) Lost to Auburn by one. Had every opportunity to win the game.

“Led nearly the entire second half and lost by one to Florida. Their personnel has changed a little bit due to injuries. I anticipate they’ll be full force.”

The Aggies faced Missouri at full force in the first meeting. A&M did not score in almost the first nine minutes but rallied for a 67-64 victory.

“They threw the first punch and almost knocked us out at Missouri,” Buzz Williams said. “Our guys showed incredible resilience and fight in that game. I think we have for the most part in nearly every game, except the second half against South Carolina (a 74-63 loss).”

The Aggies haven’t won since that game at Missouri. So, Buzz Williams and his staff have diligently studied tape to identify the difference between A&M’s four-game winning streak at the beginning of conference play and the five-game skid.

“We’ve got to get back to our guards having rebounds in the teens because, statistically speaking, we’re the 25th best transition offense, and the best way for us to play in transition don’t get the ball out of the net.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

Perhaps the major difference was defensive rebounding. A&M is ranked 39th in the country in offensive rebounding but 306th on the defensive boards.

Much of the rebounding problems are from backcourt players. When A&M defeated Missouri, the guard quintet of Quenton Jackson, Hassan Diarra, Andre Gordon, Marcus Williams and Wade Taylor IV combined for 17 rebounds.

But in a 90-80 loss to Tennessee on Wednesday, those same players combined for just six boards.

“We’ve got to get back to our guards having rebounds in the teens because, statistically speaking, we’re the 25th best transition offense, and the best way for us to play in transition don’t get the ball out of the net,” Buzz Williams said. “We want our guards to be in the mix to get that.”

The Aggies also need to duplicate their success of getting the basketball inside to Coleman. He had a team-leading 18 points in the first game with Missouri.

“They will probably play me a lot harder, so it’s going to be a harder overall game,” Coleman said. “I think it’s going to be a fun game and a game to really watch.”

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Texas A&M looks to put an end to recent woes at home against Missouri

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