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Preview/Game Thread: Texas A&M vs Mississippi State

Aggie basketball looks to earn their first road victory tonight in Starkville against the Bulldogs.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I think it's safe to say that the A&M athletic department has seen better days. Circumstances haven't been too ideal in Aggieland, so much so that a "Billy" Football sighting in Vegas didn't even make the headlines. But never to fear, just like it did in the mid-2000's, Aggie basketball is here to alleviate and take you away from the heartache that is A&M football right now.

Billy Kennedy's squad looks to build off their dominant performance against Arkansas as they head in Starkville to play Mississippi State. A&M rides a 4-game winning streak with 3 coming over Power-5 opponents (K-State, Baylor, Arkansas). The Bulldogs had a pretty rough start to their season but are riding a 3-game winning streak of their own. Here some quick keys to tonight's match-up.

Getting Over Homesickness

While the Ags have enjoyed quite a bit of success on the hardwood, this is only their second true road game, and the first did not go so well. The last time A&M wore their away uniforms, it resulted in a 67-54 slice of humble pie against Arizona State. The one silver lining from that game is that it seemed to light quite a fire under the Aggie squad as they followed that performance with four double-digit victories.

A&M is a heavy favorite, but Mississippi State does have a talented duo in Gavin Ware and Malik Newman that if you let them get going it could change the complexion of a game. The Aggies have done a tremendous job their last several games in jumping on opponents early and basically putting games out of reach by halftime. We'll see if they can follow the same remedy in Starkville.

Jalen Jones Staying on the Attack

Simply put: Jalen Jones is playing out of his mind right now. Outside of a really off night against Arizona State (6 pts, 2-10 shooting), Jones has been lighting up the floor since Battle 4 Atlantis championship against Syracuse, culminating in career-high 28 points last Saturday against Arkansas and earning SEC Player of the Week honors. His performance against the Razorbacks was an absolute gem as he scored from inside the lane, from the foul line, and beyond the arc.

While he certainly was in heat check mode last weekend, Jones is at his best when he's aggressive and attacking the basket. This Aggie team enjoys shooting 3's, but if the senior forward starts settling for the outside shot, it could bring the offense to a screeching halt.

Rebound Feast

Despite winning their last game handily over 5-9 North Carolina Central, Mississippi State still got outrebounded 48-38. Forward Gavin Ware should not be overlooked, but the Bulldogs should have a long night ahead of them facing the frontcourt of Tyler Davis, Jalen Jones, Tonny Trocha-Morelos and Tavario Miller.

Tonight's game starts at 7:30pm on SEC Network or the WatchESPN app.