The Baptism. Okay I just had to get that out of the way first. And yes, that is trash that starts getting thrown on the court.
The Aggies make the short hike up Highway 6 tonight to take on the Baylor Bears in a very important non-conference matchup for both teams. This is certainly the toughest game for the Aggies this season, but it's also a big test for the Baylor Bears. Both teams have lost this season to the highest ranked teams they've faced, and both teams are looking for their consistent threat to step up and lead the team. The Bears are not a very deep team, and will likely be without G Kenny Cherry tonight. Scott Drew will rely very heavily on F Taurean Prince and G Royce O'Neal to carry the scoring load against the Aggies tonight.
For A&M, the elephant in the room is how will they respond to one of the most efficient zone defenses in the nation this season. The Aggies will need to come out shooting the ball well to avoid getting a big hole early against what should be a pretty angry Baylor home crowd (mix one part "you missed the playoffs and your conference commissioner laughed at you" with one part you're stil Baylor" and you've got the picture). Tonight could be a big game for Jalen Jones if we are able to get him consistent looks at the free throw line to break down the zone defense.
Three Point Play
- Rebounding - The Bears are the fifth best team in the nation at getting offensive rebounds. The Aggies will have to try to match the freak-level strength of Rico Gathers (7th in the nation in offensive boads) and not let Baylor get any easy second chance points.
- Transition game - Baylor is one of the sloppier teams in the nation when it comes to taking care of the ball, while the Aggies are in the top third in the nation in steals. Look for the Aggie guards to be aggressive around the permiter and take advantage of those critical transition opportunities.
- Eye contact - Not with the players, that's fine. Just don't make eye contact with the crowd. The Bear Pit is where weird lives. Like really weird, a special kind of weird. Just don't look them in the eyes and you won't feel sorry for them.