|OPPONENT:||Texas A&M Aggies (14-6, 3-3)|
|LOCATION:||Reed Arena : College Station, TX|
|DATE:||January 30, 2010|
|TIME:||8:00 p.m. CST|
|GAME CAST:||Fox Sports|
The Season Thus Far: I think it's safe to say that after Derrick Roland's horrific injury, things changed for the Aggies. Sloan and Roland were set to be a terrific backcourt and now things have changed. Like most Big 12 teams, the Aggies have held serve on their own court for three games, but have lost all three road games. Nothing unexpected and two of those three losses were against highly ranked Texas and Kansas St. teams. Interestingly, the Aggies did lose to Washington by nine, but it was on the road whereas Texas Tech's win against Washington was at home. Also, the Aggies lost against New Mexico by three (in Houston) that whipped up Texas Tech as well.
The Main Players: Sloan is the star for the Aggies, scoring 18 points a game. I've also always like Davis as a post player and if I were the Aggies, I try to figure out a way to get the ball to Davis more tomorrow evening. The Aggies, much like Texas Tech, is a fairly rounded offensive team with Sloan, Davis, and PG B.J. Holmes all scoring close to or above double-figures. I haven't had the time to watch much TAMU basketball, but I'd have to guess if Texas Tech can slow down Sloan, the Red Raiders' chances are much better at getting a win against the Aggies.
Continue to Run the Offense: Word is that PF Darko Cohadarevic could return tonight, and even if that happens, the offense needs to continue like it did against Texas in the sense that there was lots of movement and players were scoring on cuts and plays inside. Games on the road always have a discrepancy of free throws and the Red Raiders need their best effort against the Aggies and a complete offensive game. I discussed after the Texas game that the offense seemed to work much smoother when there weren't two players, Darko and PF D`Walyn Roberts, who aren't offensive liabilities.
And to encourage everyone to click on through these previews, I've included a tremendous rendition of the Aggie War Hymn at the end of the post.
Return to Magical Game: The last time Texas Tech played the Aggies, SF Mike Singletary scored 43 points, including 29 straight points. I doubt that Singletary is going to be able to replicate his performance, although the Aggie team is similar to Texas Tech in that it's not loaded with dominant post players, but Singletary's most recent run of good games is encouraging. FWST's Dwain Price talked with Singletary and thinks that the Red Raiders can compete with TAMU:
"I think we’re pretty excited about it," said Singletary, a 6-foot-6, 217-pound junior who has exceptional power and a deft shooting touch. "This is a team that I think we can beat and get back on the winning track, so we’re all pretty excited."
Production from the Bench: I've mentioned that SF Theron Jenkins is a usable player and had a pretty good game against Texas. Meanwhile, SG David Tairu struggled mightily, going 0 for 8 and had an incident towards the end of the half where he took a shot with 13.5 seconds, which allowed the Longhorns to score before the end of the half. LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that Tairu said that he's learned his lesson during that game:
"I learned to shoot better shots," he said. "And don’t give up the possession with 15 seconds left in the half when you’re up by five."
It’s all a psychological thing for me," Tairu said. "I was putting too much pressure on myself because I wanted to win the game so bad. That’s where I made the mistake, putting pressure on myself and then coaches demand something out of you, too."
[Note by Seth C, 01/30/10 9:14 AM CST ] And this bonus is for anyone that actually reads these previews: