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Texas A&M Basketball

Dr. John Thornton digs into Aggies' road test against No. 16 Auburn

January 9, 2024
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Former Texas A&M men's basketball player, Dr. John Thornton joined TexAgs Radio on Tuesday to discuss the state of the Maroon & White on the hardwood. Additionally, he shared his wisdom ahead of the Aggies' test on the road against No. 16 Auburn on Tuesday night.



Key notes from Dr. John Thornton interview

  • I'm extremely excited about the pieces we had coming back and what we added to them. Knowing the kind of schedule we had, I knew we were going to be battle-tested. I loved the togetherness, and the nastiness, in a good way. It's easy to take that loss really, really hard, but when you look around the country, other teams are sputtering out of the gates too. Saturday definitely surprised me, though.
     
  • I'll give LSU credit. The parity in the league is up. You can see how certain teams have gotten here vs. tougher or softer schedules. Still, if you're not hitting on all cylinders, you can get taken down. LSU did that. When you have nights like that where you don't have the ability to knock down shots in a consistent manner, it hurts you. When you don't shoot it well, you better be doing everything else right. Buzz Williams has a formula that has worked for him, and they didn't rebound. They didn't come back with the punch that they're capable of in the second half.
     
  • You won every conference home game last year. You finished the way they did last year by beating ranked teams. In non-conference, I saw that Texas A&M was the hunted. They were in the top 15, so they were a resume-builder for others. I thought they handled that well. A&M is going into a place where Auburn is the hunted. We're not the hunted tonight.
     
  • Williams is as good as I've been around. His ego goes out the window. He will absolutely tweak and adjust everything they do from an offensive and defensive standpoint depending on the opponent and in a big-picture mindset. They need to find opportunities to score. Williams is as good as there is in taking stock of where you are, mixing and matching and coming up with solutions.
     
  • It's paramount to minimize Johni Broome, but they have a 1-2 punch with the guard play. They play fast. They will involve their bigs in the half-court offense. Once the transition stops, they'll take advantage of their size. They can step out and score in the paint. Auburn is elite athletically, but they're also going to be elite from a chemistry standpoint. I think this might be Bruce Pearl's best team.
     
  • All coaches scout like crazy, and A&M will be ready for the nuances of what this team does offensively and defensively. Still, it's more about us vs. them. That's not discounting how good Auburn is. A&M has to crush the glass because they have not shot it well. That's on us. That's what we have to do. That was absent against LSU.
     
  • I don't care how many shots you make or miss, but when you lead the nation in offensive rebounding and have done it consistently throughout the year, that's impressive. Teams aren't giving offensive rebounds to you. They have prided themselves on that, and they work. It's something that you have to be fierce in trying to accomplish.
     
  • We were taken aback by what happened this weekend, but you cannot take it out of context. This is the same team that has fought through Henry Coleman III, Solomon Washington and Tyrece Radford missing games. This is the same team that battled that Iowa State team in that comeback win. To battle Houston in what was more-or-less a home-court advantage was impressive. Those are games that show what this A&M team is capable of in terms of competing against a quality opponent at a high level.
     
  • The Aggies have to get back to what they are, which is a tough, nasty and competitive team that doesn't take "no" for an answer. I want the ball to go in. I want them to make all the free throws. You cannot leave points off the board. Attack the rim, and go to the line. I want to see the toughness, and I want to see them get back to the competitiveness that I know this team is about.
     
  • It's going to be an unbelievable atmosphere tonight, and our guys are competitive. I'd love to see our gym packed against Kentucky on Saturday like this one will be tonight.
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Dr. John Thornton digs into Aggies' road test against No. 16 Auburn

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