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Buzz Williams
Tyrece Radford
Solomon Washington
Texas A&M Basketball

Threes are key: A&M looks to drain more treys & contain LSU's Cook

January 5, 2024
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Threes project to be a major concern for Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference basketball opener.

That is the Aggies’ 3-point shooting and the No. 3 shooting for LSU.

Those figure to be key factors when A&M (9-4) and LSU (8-5) clash at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Reed Arena.

The Aggies are ranked 338th nationally in 3-point percentage. Their record and No. 25 NET ranking show they’ve typically overcome long-range inaccuracy. However, they’ve shot between 33 percent and 18.2 percent behind the arc in three of their four losses.

“Anytime you shoot it that bad you want to make sure it’s the right shots, first,” A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “We have shot some bad shots, but categorically, I don’t think we’re as poor of shooters as the numbers say.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Taylor is shooting 27.7% from 3-point range this season. A year ago, he shot at a 35.6% clip.

The Aggies aren’t bad shooters. They are inconsistent.

For example, leading scorer Wade Taylor IV has converted at least 40 percent from 3-point range in four games. But he has also hit just once or not at all in seven games.

Fortunately, Taylor — who is fourth in the SEC with a 17.6 scoring average — figures to get more backcourt scoring help as guard Tyrece “Boots” Radford continues to work his way back from an injury that forced him to miss all or part of six games.

Radford — who averages 12.1 points — was back in the lineup in a 79-54 victory over Prairie View on Dec. 30. He scored 11 points.

Radford figures to be even more productive as he works his way back into playing shape. His presence will benefit Taylor in several ways.

“I think it helps him a lot,” Radford said. “Don’t get me wrong, Wade is a killer. He’s going to get his no matter what. I think just me being on the floor takes a lot of pressure off him.

“Wade can score with the ball in his hand, but he can also score off the ball, too. I know how tiring it is to be face-guarded every game. I haven’t seen box-and-one since high school until I got out with the injury. He’s a tough one to be able to handle everything that was put on his plate. It’s just a blessing to be back playing with him.”

Radford may also help Taylor on the defensive end, where A&M must contain LSU’s No. 3 — senior point guard Jalen Cook.

A transfer from Tulane, Cook was not eligible until Dec. 16 when he scored 13 points in a competitive 96-85 loss to Texas.

Since then, he scored in double figures in victories over Lamar and Northwestern State.

LSU struggled to start the season but clearly improved with Cook playing.

“They’re a completely different team than they were three weeks ago,” Williams said. “(Cook) has changed their team dramatically. He’s a really good player. I think it’s not only helped him, but it’s helped those other guys.

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
A&M is seeking its third consecutive victory over LSU after going 2-0 vs. the Tigers in 2022-2023.

“They’re a lot faster. They play with much more confidence. (Their) Assists-to-turnovers are really good. Shooting the ball well. They’re fifth in the country in creating steals. That’s only helped when you add another on-ball defender like No. 3.”

Still, the Aggies appear sufficiently up for the challenge.

Despite playing one of the country’s most challenging schedules, which includes three opponents ranked top 20 in the NET (No. 1 Houston, No. 8 Iowa State, No. 19 Florida Atlantic), A&M is ranked among the nation’s top 100 in scoring defense.

The Aggies also are ninth nationally in rebounds. Forward Henry Coleman III (9.1) is second in the SEC in rebounds. Forward Andersson Garcia (8.6) is fifth.

Those numbers — and Radford’s availability — provide ample confidence going into SEC play.

“I think playing the schedule that we’ve played has, hopefully, helped us be prepared for this,” Williams said. “We’re probably as prepared as we can be. We need as many of those good players to be available as we can.”

Discussion from...

Threes are key: A&M looks to drain more treys & contain LSU's Cook

2,915 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by Wrecking Crew 21
Gil Renard
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AG
LSU at Reed. DESTROY THEM
greg.w.h
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I know on a good night we can drain threes…and I agree if the crowd comes out it is more likely at Reed than at the Pete.

But the notion we will win by pulling up at the sec isn't well supported by my recent eyeball experience against more talented/lengthy teams…but it sounds fun!!!
RaggedConverge
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BTHO LSU.
Wrecking Crew 21
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Ready for sec play to start!
Aggie 63
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