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Buzz Williams
Wildens Leveque
Texas A&M Basketball

No. 14 Texas A&M prepared for '25-question test' in Charlottesville

November 28, 2023
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Everyone anticipated Texas A&M would have a strong basketball season. A preseason national ranking indicated as much.

But A&M may be in the process of exceeding expectations.

The No. 14 Aggies (6-1) can notch their seventh victory before there end of November on Wednesday night when they face Virginia (5-1) in Charlottesville.

The Aggies and Cavaliers tipoff at 6:15 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

Six victories in the first month of the season is already impressive, especially considering only two games were won at Reed Arena.

The Aggies have posted Quadrant 1 victories at Ohio State and against Penn State and Iowa State in the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando.

They rallied from a 21-point deficit on Sunday to defeat Iowa State, 73-69. They did it without injured starters Henry Coleman III and Tyrece “Boots” Radford.

“Every possession is going to be a 25-question test. We’re used to a 100-question test in the SEC. So, when you screw up, one turnover is not one. One turnover is four. If you give up one offensive rebound it’s four.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

“We’re learning a lot of lessons through (the month),” A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “But the competitive chemistry and synergy that our guys are playing with has been superb.”

The Aggies have been playing superb. Point guard Wade Taylor IV is one of just six Division I players scoring in double figures (20.0 ppg) while also accumulating at least 30 assists and 15 steals.

Virginia guard Reece Beekman, who averages 11.8 points, is on that list, too.

Coleman has posted three double-doubles and scored 24 points against Penn State on Thanksgiving Day. There’s no word on when he’ll be back in the lineup.

In his absence, sophomore Solomon Washington stepped up with 18 points and six rebounds in the win over Iowa State.

The Aggies likely will need another superb performance to post that seventh win. Virginia is a traditional powerhouse which won the national championship in 2019.

The Cavaliers play strong defense, patiently work for high-percentage shots, limit turnovers and slow the pace of play to a crawl.

“It’s beautiful basketball to watch them on both sides of the floor,” Williams said. “It’s circa 1982 when I was trying to figure out as a young kid did I want to coach or what was coaching.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Efficient offensively, Texas A&M currently ranks 17th nationally in turnovers per game (9.1). 

A&M also likes to play at a slower pace. Therefore, each possession is even more vital than usual.

“I’d say it’s going to be a 58-possession game, which will be the slowest game we’ve played since we’ve lived here,” Williams said.

Williams let the Aggies know what kind of game to expect by comparing it to a 25-question test versus a 100-question test.

“I told our guys today if you take a 100 question test what is the value of each question? One,” he said. “If you take a 50 question test, what’s the value of each question? Two. A 25-question test? What’s the value? Four.

“Every possession is going to be a 25-question test. We’re used to a 100-question test in the SEC. So, when you screw up, one turnover is not one. One turnover is four. If you give up one offensive rebound it’s four.”

That’s something to definitely be aware of.

But so far this month, A&M has passed almost every test no matter how difficult they were.

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No. 14 Texas A&M prepared for '25-question test' in Charlottesville

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