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Photo by © Angelina Alcantar/News Sentinel
Texas A&M Basketball

A&M's postseason aspirations fading after 35-point loss to No. 5 Vols

February 24, 2024
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Though erratic from the 3-point line, Texas A&M came out firing from behind the arc on Saturday night in Knoxville.

That strategy may seem counterproductive. But with no consistent inside scoring threat, the Aggies may have had no choice.

They also had no chance.

A&M (15-12, 6-8), which shot just 27.3 percent from the field, suffered an embarrassing 86-51 Southeastern Conference basketball loss to revenge-minded No. 5 Tennessee (21-6, 10-3) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

It was the Aggies’ fourth consecutive loss since knocking off the Volunteers 85-69 in College Station two weeks ago.

“They’re a really good team,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said of the Volunteers. “This is a great place to play. But in the second half we were not near as physical, near as tough, near as connected, I thought, as we were in the first half.”

A&M entered the game ranked 347th (out of 351) in the nation in 3-point percentage. Yet, the Aggies took more than half their shots from 3-point range, where they hit just 7-of-37 (20.6 percent).

“We were OK in the first half. Not near good enough in the second half in any regards to what we have to do. We’ve got work ahead of us. We’ve got to figure out how to turn this.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

Going inside against the taller Volunteers wasn’t really an option, either. A&M was outscored in the paint, 46-22.

The Aggies managed only eight second-chance points and hit just seven of 19 layups.

A&M started strong, but could not maintain early success in its lowest scoring-output since a 59-47 loss at Virginia on Nov. 29.

Wade Taylor IV hit a trio of treys in the first five minutes, but only had two points the remainder of the game. Jace Carter hit his second 3-pointer of the first half to forge a 24-24 tie with 4:36 left before halftime.

But the Aggies went cold from there. A&M hit just 1-of-9 shots the remainder of the half. That converted shot was a layup by Tyrece “Boots” Radford, which resulted in a conventional 3-point play.

A&M trailed just 30-27 after Radford’s gem, but Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to close out a 7-0 run that gave the Vols a 37-27 lead at the break.

“I thought the first 16 minutes we played really well,” Williams said. “Since the last time we played them I thought it was the best 16 minutes we played.

“We didn’t close the half out great. They hit that 3 on the last possession. Then in the second half we did not get a turkey. Obviously, we didn’t make enough shots.”

Tennessee’s lead never dipped below double digits. The Volunteers shot 57.1 percent in the second half, while A&M hit just 26.7 percent.

© Angelina Alcantar/News Sentinel
Tennessee recorded five blocks as the Aggies struggled to find their shot from all over the floor.

Dalton Knecht scored 24 points to lead Tennessee, while 6-foot-11 forward Jonas Aidoo had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

Knecht, who struggled in the loss at A&M, scored 15 in the second half.

“We were trying a lot of different things in the second half,” Williams said. “A lot of our plan in the first half was good. Making five 3’s helped us. We probably ended up settling too much in the second half, even overall, for 3’s. When we shoot too many 3’s we don’t get the offensive rebound percentage we need. We also don’t get the free-throw rate that we need.


“We got a little bit too far away from that. We’ve got to offensive rebound better. We’ve got to do a better job getting the line.”

A&M, which leads the nation in offensive rebounds, had just 10. The Aggies also were limited to 15 free throws. They made eight.

The loss was another blow to A&M’s NCAA Tournament. A&M’s NET ranking was 49th and may be falling.

The Aggies will aim to boost that ranking on Wednesday at Reed Arena against No. 20 South Carolina.

“We were OK in the first half, Williams said. “Not near good enough in the second half in any regards to what we have to do. We’ve got work ahead of us. We’ve got to figure out how to turn this.”

Discussion from...

A&M's postseason aspirations fading after 35-point loss to No. 5 Vols

7 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by SilverTaps86
rondis23
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AG
This is one of the absolute Worst shooting teams I've ever seen.
Houstonag
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AG
How does this happen? Picked 2nd and blow it
bigwillystyle23
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AG
Wouldn't hold it against Wade if he took his talents somewhere else next year. Somewhere with an inside scoring presence and better players. Hopefully we can figure something out for a nice NIT run. That was fun a couple of years ago.
BigWillyStyle23
Noctilucent
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AG
The headline for this article is a really nice way of saying A&M's postseason aspirations were just flushed down the toilet.
Coachrich32
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AG
Blah-Blah-Blah tired of hearing Buzz excuses…. Sounds like Jimbo….
Cojack
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Cya Jimbuzz
rondis23
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AG
rondis23 said:

This is one of the absolute Worst shooting teams I've ever seen.


Per Jagged on another thread:

Out of 351 D1 teams:
337 ranked at FG%
347 ranked at 3pt%

And those are before the UT game.

This is 2002 A&M Bad...absolutely horrible!
SilverTaps86
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AG
rondis23 said:

rondis23 said:

This is one of the absolute Worst shooting teams I've ever seen.


Per Jagged on another thread:

Out of 351 D1 teams:
337 ranked at FG%
347 ranked at 3pt%

And those are before the UT game.

This is 2002 A&M Bad...absolutely horrible!
This is why we are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country....none of our shots go in.
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