Story Poster
Buzz Williams
Henry Coleman III
Jace Carter
Texas A&M Basketball

Surging Aggies wary of potential 'trap' game against Vanderbilt

February 12, 2024

In the pivotal moments of Texas A&M’s impressive basketball victory last Saturday, the Aggies frequently beat Tennessee traps for dunks and layups.

They hopes to have similar success avoiding a different kind of trap on Tuesday.

The Aggies (15-8, 6-4) are surging, but must travel to Vanderbilt for a 6 p.m. game which falls between the win over then-No. 6 Tennessee and a weekend trip to face No. 15 Alabama.

Although the Commodores are struggling, the clash could be a trap for the Aggies, who are just 2-7 at Memorial Gymnasium since joining in the SEC in 2012.

Junior guard Jace Carter said the key to avoiding a trap is simple.

“Do what got us to this point,” he said. “Do what helped us to beat Tennessee. Listen to the coaches. Play our style of basketball.”

A&M coach Buzz Williams doesn’t worry about traps. He doesn’t even believe in them.

“I think message boards do,” Williams said on Monday. “I don’t.”

Williams does believe a victory over Vanderbilt is as valuable as a win over a ranked opponent, though.

“(SEC games) have the same value,” Williams said. “We play 18. And they all have the same unit value.”

“Do what got us to this point. Do what helped us to beat Tennessee. Listen to the coaches. Play our style of basketball.”
- Texas A&M guard Jace Carter

The reality of traps games can be debated. The Aggies certainly seemed to fall into a trap when they followed up a win over Kentucky with a loss at Arkansas on Jan. 16.

Since then the Aggies have won five of their last six games. They’ve enhanced their NCAA Tournament resume and climbed into a tie for fifth place in the SEC standings.

They figure to continue that climb against Vanderbilt, which has lost nine of its last 10 game. The last six losses have all been by double-figure deficits.

Vandy guards Ezra Manjon and Tyrin Lawrence both average 14 points, while forward Ven-Allen Lubin averages 10.2.

But the Commodores are near the bottom of all SEC statistical categories. They’re last in the SEC in scoring and field goal percentage. They’re 12th in 3-point percentage and rebounding.

Meanwhile, A&M continues to lead the nation in offensive rebounding. The Aggies have also shot better than 40 percent in each of their last three games and 43.7 percent over the last four games.

Tyrece “Boots” Radford, who was named SEC Player of the Week, has exceeded 20 points in each of the last three games.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
Also named Lute Olson National Player of the Week, Tyrece Radford is averaging 25.0 points through the last three games.

Wade Taylor IV has scored at least 15 points in eight straight games.

Forward Andersson Garcia has hauled in 33 rebounds in their last two games. He’s second in the nation in offensive rebounds.

Also, forward Henry Coleman III, who consistently posted double-doubles early in the season before being slowed by injuries, is coming back into form.

“His spirit is back. His communication skills are back. He’s the most elite communicator I’ve ever coached. Period,” Williams said. “When he’s talking his feet are faster, which means his brain is faster, which means he’s to the rim quicker than his opponent. I thought he was tremendous against Tennessee.”

Coleman is confident A&M will display similar levels of play the remainder of the season.

“When things happen I think you fall back to your habits,” Coleman said. “I think we’ve had great habits all year. Coming to the gym. Being connected as a team. Lifting each other up. Playing for the person right beside you.

“I think that’s what we’ve done the last couple of weeks. We’ve done that essentially the whole year, but I think right now we’re seeing what the true Texas A&M team is.”

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Surging Aggies wary of potential 'trap' game against Vanderbilt

3,383 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 10 days ago by Rossticus
John Cocktolstoy
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Second Hardest Workin Man on Texags
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Not wary enough, apparently.
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