Forward Toward February: A look at A&M

Forward Toward February: A look at A&M
February 2, 2013, 5:15 pm
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It’s that time of the year again for men’s college hoops fanatics.  The calendar rolls over from January to February, and with that roll over comes the heart of the conference schedules.  The top teams aim to touch up their résumés, while bubble teams look for a key victory to put them over the top.  Let’s take a look at how the season has unfolded thus far and what is next for some of the teams that are dear to the hearts of Houston residents…

Texas A&M Aggies:

Record as of Jan. 29: 12-7, 2-4 in Conference Play (eighth in SEC)

Key Wins: Dec. 1 at Houston; Jan. 9 vs. Arkansas; Jan. 12 at Kentucky

Bad Losses: Dec. 22 vs. Southern; Jan. 23 at LSU; Jan. 26 vs. Georgia

Season To Date: Billy Kennedy’s first year in College Station has seen some great highs, and some very bad lows.

The loss at home before Christmas to Southern University is one that the selection committee will certainly hold against the Aggies. Back-to-back losses against SEC cellar dwellers LSU and Georgia has A&M needing a win desperately against Mississippi State in their next game.

The win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena is something that will look great on the résumé in March. Although the Wildcats are down this year, nobody beats Kentucky under John Calipari at Rupp. A large reason for that win, and many others this season, is the play of Elston Turner. Turner put up 40 points on the Wildcats. For the season, he is averaging 15.7 points per game. Texas A&M will need Turner to continue to carry the offensive load moving forward if their tournament hopes are going to be realized.

Looking ahead: Feb. 2 VS. Kentucky; Feb. 7 vs. Missouri; Feb. 13 vs. Ole Miss

Analysis: For the Aggies to steal a spot at the dance they need some impressive wins.  Knocking off two ranked teams in Missouri and Ole Miss would quality wins.  Beating Kentucky for a second time would reaffirm the fact that the upset in Rupp wasn’t all the much of an upset.

Team MVP so far: Turner does so much offensively for the Aggies that he is the only person who should be up for consideration of team MVP. Aside from leading the team in scoring, he is also second on the squad in assists. If Turner is having a bad night scoring, Texas A&M struggles to put up points. He has scored only 41 points in his last four games… all Aggie defeats.

Player to watch: Ray Turner…The less-heralded Turner has quietly had a very solid senior campaign.  He boasts a nightly line of 10 points and six rebounds, as well as shooting a ridiculous 56 percent from the floor.  Turner’s issue this season has been foul trouble. He averages over three fouls per game, keeping him off the court for long stretches. He needs to be on the court often in order for Texas A&M to finish strong in conference play.