Aggie Hoops fans are charged with a difficult task tonight. After the best college sports weekend of the year, we have to rally for an NIT Second Round game on a Monday night. That's pretty rough. If the opening weekend of the NCAA's was an epic house party, this is the begrudging trip to Subway the following morning. Sure, you're only at Subway because it has so little taste that it won't enhance your hangover... but what else are you supposed to do? Not eat? Psssshhhh.
So, yeah. This is Subway. We're the nine equally meh bread options, Louisiana Tech is Jared, and Reed Arena is the smiling sandwich artist that tries their best to give you something palatable. It's not ideal, but whatever. It's the situation we find ourselves in.
We might as well eat.
1) A&M doesn't have a monopoly on disappointment
Louisiana Tech ripped through their C-USA schedule en route to a 15-3 conference record and a #1 seed in the conference tourney, and you couldn't blame the Bulldog faithful for starting to look ahead to the Big Dance. ESPN even named them among the 10 most dangerous teams prior to conference championship weekend. Sadly, La Tech got caught up in the UAB tornado of "screw you guys for shutting down football" destiny, and was dispatched in the semifinals. Small conference life isn't always fair, and the #1 seed Bulldogs were shipped to the NIT for their trouble.
It's worth noting that the Bulldogs appear to be galvanized by that series of events. Teams respond to the NIT in a variety of ways, and I bet we're going to get a damn good effort from Michael White's squad tonight.
2) Danuel House is doubtful. Can the offense survive?
We haven't seen an official press release, but all signs point to House missing his fourth straight game tonight. While his absence led to a disastrous 0-3 finish to the SEC season, the Aggies did post a nice, balanced scoring effort without him against 1st-round opponent Montana. Jalen Jones (25 points; 10-14 FG; 3-4 3PT; 8 rebounds), Jordan Green (15 points; 6-9 FG; 6 rebounds; 6 assists), and Alex Robinson (15 points; 5-9 FG; 5 rebounds; 8 assists) led the way, and we'll need to see a similar offensive effort against a Bulldogs squad that's 10th in the nation in blocks per game (5.7) and 12th in steals per contest (8.6).
3) A plea: The season isn't over. For two hours, stay with the team.
Look, I know it's tough to ignore the coaching rumors around the SEC. There's a lot happening around the league. Legitimately surprising news that could shake up the balance of power in the conference. It can be frustrating to see, and I get that. I really do. But this season isn't over. This squad, including two seniors playing their last game at Reed Arena, is still playing hard for this university. And they deserve our support until the last whistle.
So from 6:00pm until the game ends... stay with us. Support the student-athletes representing this school. Should things go south, we can all discuss the future of this program moments after the final whistle... but not before. Not yet. There's still actual basketball to be played, and there's not much to gain by shoveling dirt on a season that's still alive.
BTHO Louisiana Tech