Story Poster
Photo by Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
Texas A&M Basketball

Buzz Williams talks A&M's four-game slump with four games remaining

February 26, 2024

Texas A&M's postseason aspirations are fading away after a devasting 35-point defeat to Tennessee to make it four straight losses. Head coach Buzz Williams joined Monday's edition of TexAgs Radio to detail the Aggies' slump and what is next. 

Key notes from Buzz Williams interview

  • The last few weeks have not been good. We’ve lost four in a row after arguably the biggest one obviously beating Tennessee here.
  • I don't think there is one glaring thing. I think it's the culmination of small things we have to do better. Put ourselves into a position of what we were doing when we were 6-4. There are too many things in the four-game losing streak that are not a recipe for us to do better. Our games have been very resilient, and they have been very open to what I’ve had to say and to what the staff has had to say.
  • We need to have two really good days of preparation. South Carolina is one of the most improved teams in the country, for sure the most improved team in the league. One of the slower teams, similar to Vanderbilt, in terms of pace of play. There will be fewer possessions, and we do not have possessions to give away on either end in order for us to right this ship. 
  • This is my 17th year as a head coach, and in conference play, I have had two losing records. With the COVID-19 season here, we didn't play a game in the month of February. We had a lot of problems related to the pandemic, and we had a losing record in conference play.
  • Our first season at Virginia Tech, we had a losing record in conference play. The other 14 completed seasons, we have always had a winning record.
  • This morning when we met, we put together a clip. In year three, we started the year 15-2, and we were 4-0 in SEC play. Then, we lost every game for a month. We lost eight games in a row. We were 4-8, and we finished the season in SEC play 9-9. We played four games in the SEC Tournament, lost in the SEC Championship game and then played five games in the NIT and lost in the championship.
  • Josh Chambers put together, what you and I would call a highlight video, basically showing the chronological path of how we started 15-2 and 4-0 in 2021. In the first game in conference play, we hit a buzzer-beater at Georgia to go 1-0, and the video walked through all of that.
  • There were four players on our team now that were a part of that. Seven players on our team that started 6-5 last year went 15-3 in conference play. So, have I ever been 6-8 in conference play? Yes, I have. Has that backed up on a four-game losing streak? Well, I guess so in year three when we were 4-8, and at some point, we got to 6-8.
  • I think what I’ve tried to do is tell our guys: This is where we're at, and this is what’s in front of us. There are four games left and what do we need to do to be considered in the NCAA Tournament?
  • We need to be 9-9 considering what we did in the nine conference games. Is that for sure? No. What is for sure is how we can give our best fight to a team we haven't played on Wednesday night. You can’t go on a winning streak until you win the first one.
  • How can we win on Wednesday? What can we do today, tomorrow and Wednesday before the game to be in a position in a slow 60 to 64-possession game? How can we put ourselves in a position to win that game and then regroup and try to do it again? Is that the answer? I don't know. Is that the truth? I think it is the truth. But I don't think we can continue to live in the past.
  • I can’t believe we were 6-4 and now we’ve lost four in a row. I don't think we can deal with trying to carry that burden. I’ve been very upfront with our guys throughout all of this, whether it was in the last two weeks when we lost four games in a row or the first six weeks in conference play when we started 0-2. I think I’ve tried to handle all of it in real-time. Treat them respectively while also telling them the truth individually and collectively, and I’m trying to tell the team and our staff.
  • We need Wade Taylor IV to be his best. In our six wins, he was really good. You can say the same with Tyrece Radford
  • Whether it was individually or as a team, when we have a high number of offensive rebounds, we have a good chance to win. When we starve the opponent of getting offensive rebounds, we have a good chance to win. When we defend without fouling, we have a better chance to win. When we get fouled, we have a better chance to win.
  • If you look at the six wins and the eight losses, from an analytical standpoint, you could break down the team and each player. I think whether it's a player or the team, they are somewhat connected. When we play with a high turnover rate, it prevents us from getting a shot, offensive rebound or from getting fouled.
  • In our losses, we do that at too high of a rate, so teams are getting to the line and getting points with the clock not running. When the teams have too many offensive rebounds, and we are not doing well on the defensive glass, they are shooting more shots than we are.
  • We do need Wade to be good, and we need to continue to find ways to get him the ball to be good. We’ve done that. Everyone knows how good he is. We have a plan. He has a plan, but you can say the same thing with Boots and the same thing categorically with our whole team. If it's going to be a fight, how are we going to be in that fight?
  • I think some of what strung us out defensively at Tennessee was our offense did not help our defense. We had the lowest percentage of offensive rebounds in this season. We turned the ball over maybe higher than normal. We shot too many 3s. That leads to longer rebounds that leak out to them shooting a hundred percent on layups in transition.
  • What we do well is we beat them on the offensive glass and defensive. We did make shots that helped us. We played with a low turnover rate.
  • Whether it's Tennessee or South Carolina or any team, I think the specifics of what we have to do on defense is to connect it to our offense and the other way around as well. We need to be predictable in what we do so everyone knows their role in what we are trying to accomplish, and they do know those things. We just need to stay connected to that recipe. 
  • I mean this sincerely, our guys have been tremendous. That’s because of how they have been raised and because of their character. There’s no blaming, complaining or defending.
  • They want to do right and want to do good. They care about one another. They care about the staff. The staff has been tremendous over the last two weeks and how difficult it has been. Whether you are 6-8 after 14 games or 12-2 over 14 games, what we were this time last year.
  • Because of the grind of it all, you have to coach their heart. I think you have to spend extra time with them. I spent a lot of time with them individually. I think I get more steps on campus than anybody, and a lot of times, I'm with one of the guys. I'll finish with one, and then I'll walk with another. They’re aware of all of this. They are not dodging it. They are not pointing and blaming someone. They want to do right for themselves, for their family, for their teammates and the institution.
  • There hasn’t been any splintering in that regard. We just need to win. When we win are all of our problems solved? No. When we wake up the next day, the problems won't go away, there will be another game we have to win. What is the most mature way and best way with wisdom to win on Wednesday? I told them this morning that it starts in what we do today. 
  • I don't care if it's Tuesday-Saturday games or Wednesday-Saturday. The thing that is hard on the team and me is when you transition from one to the other. Last week, we played Tuesday-Saturday, and next week, we will play Wednesday-Saturday. Last week we lost to Arkansas by 7 on Tuesday and were off on Wednesday.
  • We had Thursday and Friday to prepare for Saturday. Yesterday was our day off this week.
  • Jace Carter is a stable competitor with a high IQ. He is for sure one of us, and very physical in how he plays on the glass. He has been a game-changer for us in that regard. Very physical in how he defends, understands angles and uses his body.
  • We need anybody, whether their name is Jace or Wade, to make a shot, what we call a Buzz shot — the shot that I would shoot. Whatever that shot is, we need to make that shot at a higher percentage. Jace has been 10 toes in since the very beginning, and over time, through injuries, winning streaks, and losing streaks, he has been very consistent. We are grateful and appreciative of that. Whether we win or lose, being able to count on what he gives us has been very good.
Discussion from...

Buzz Williams talks A&M's four-game slump with four games remaining

3,198 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by txag72
Phone bill
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Lots of words followed by more words. Put up or shut up time. Let's go!
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Respectfully, get an editor.

Executive summary regarding Buzz's rambling: " I don't know."

I am not encouraged.
Reno Hightower
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Built a team that cant shoot and has no inside presence.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Reno Hightower said:

Built a team that cant shoot and has no inside presence.
Did not count on losing Marble.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
MagnumLoad said:

Reno Hightower said:

Built a team that cant shoot and has no inside presence.
Did not count on losing Marble.

Have to recruit more than one big who can score. Particularly in SEC
How long do you want to ignore this user?
We did.
Page 1 of 1
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.