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Texas A&M Basketball

Mark French's keys to a successful five-game stretch for Texas A&M

January 6, 2023

Texas A&M hosts LSU on Saturday as the Aggies look to improve to 2-0 in SEC play. During Friday morning's edition of TexAgs Radio, former Aggie guard Mark French shared his keys to success for the Maroon & White in game two of a crucial five-game stretch.

Key notes from Mark French interview

  • I think we found the recipe vs. Florida. You had 17 points each from Julius Marble II, Wade Taylor IV and Tyrece “Boots” Radford. The periphery guys filled in around it. I hated to see Henry go out, but it found like we found our three core guys. Boots seems like he's back. To win a game on the road and get a quad-1 win when you were 2-of-16 from 3-point range and only shot 64 percent from the free-throw line doesn't happen too often.
  • A lot of times with an older team that has accomplished something like that late-season run last year, it makes neutral-site games boring sometimes. There is something to the energy of being on the road. They had to get that one. They need to be 4-1 in their first five games of SEC play, and it continues this Saturday. You have to be 4-1 because trips to Kentucky and Auburn follow this stretch. If the standard is being in the tournament this year and moving forward, Wednesday was a game they had to have.
  • Buzz Williams has shown that he's going to win a big game or two. During my year with him, we won at Tennessee and at Auburn. He'll have them ready to go. The key is to not lose the games you're supposed to win, but we've already seen that this year, whether it be Wofford or Boise State.
  • Missouri is ranked No. 20 in the country right now and scoring over 80 points a game. There are quad-1 wins all over the place in this league, and there are plenty of opportunities for big wins.
  • Buzz is constantly trying to figure out the newest math equation that will make things work. He's always pushing buttons. The biggest part that goes unnoticed by the regular fan is the way he instills confidence in his guys. As the year goes on, his guys get better. Look at Andersson Garcia. Buzz does a tremendous job of continuously building confidence, and that pays dividends once you get into conference play. At this point, we’ve played a lot of basketball already. You never know which guy is going to pop up.
  • I'll ballpark it at 50 points from Wade, Boots and Marble or Henry Coleman III as a recipe for success. If you get 50 from those three and then seven from Dexter Dennis and Manny Obaseki, you can fill in around it. The magic number is probably around 75 for the Aggies to win games, given how they play defense in conference play. If you're going to win 10-plus conference games, those three guys are going to have to go for 15-plus in each game if we really want to make a run at it.
  • Dennis was 0-of-8 from the field the other night and 0-of-5 from 3-point range. He looks the part, but I won't sugarcoat it: His production has to be better if we're going to make it to the tournament. This is a fifth-year guy you made a bet on, and the production hasn't been here. What we need from Dennis is 10 points, four rebounds and two or three assists. Just give us 10. Break it down: I want one 3-pointer, two layups and four free throws. If you break it down, it becomes very reasonable. He's an X-factor, and along with Solomon “Solo” Washington, those are swing guys. We need one of them to come through.
  • If Quenton Jackson had come back, A&M would be sitting in the top 25. He's in Washington with their G-League team. If he were here, it would be scary. The reality is that you're going to lose guys every year, and it's about bringing in the next Q. We're Texas A&M, and we have a lot to offer. We should be bringing in these top transfers, and there is no way around it.
  • There is still a lot of growth to be had for this team, and the goal is to have it all working together. I think Coleman will come into form. He likes the bigger stage and playing in these games. Dexter is still an unknown for me. Solo will continue to round into form in his freshman season. Manny is dealing with a finger. That hurts, but it seems worse than it actually is. Andre Gordon played 20 minutes on Wednesday night. There are opportunities for growth, and they better take this five-game stretch very, very seriously. You almost have to be 4-1 in this stretch. It's heavy sledding in the SEC, and I think they'll be alright. I think 12 wins get you on the bubble, and 13 probably gets you in the tournament. Still, they cannot wait.
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Mark French's keys to a successful five-game stretch for Texas A&M

2,148 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by ObviousLazyRiverIsObvious
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Thanks Mark and David. Appreciate the unvarnished thinking since it simply explains and reveals what Mark believes about the game and the team.

I hated every single player that showed an injury during the game but know it is part of the game for that to happen. But in effect this was the battle to win the war and we will see if the lessons take. Someone has to step up to win and in this game Boots and Marble did what they had to do to make a win possible. We need that thought to take over the team and for each player to look for micro-opportunities to win one-on-one battles for a single possession maker…a steal…a second eating pass deflection…grunting out hitting the rim on a layup to reset the clock…diving to the floor for a 50-50 ball. Whatever it takes to create a contribution and win a battle in the small.

Those things add up.
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greg.w.h said:

I hated every single player that showed an injury during the game
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