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Instant Reaction: A&M falls to USC 65-63

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It was all going fine... until it wasn’t. USC took advantage of some mental mistakes and an extremely conservative offense down the stretch to hand A&M their first loss of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at Texas A&M Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no way to sugarcoat this. That’s a bad, bad loss.

Let’s hit the details.

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We’ll start with some good news

Trocha continues to impress

Tonny Trocha-Morelos played very well tonight, grabbing 15 points and 7 rebounds (on 6-14 shooting) on a night where Davis was limited by foul trouble. He had flashes like this last year, but those contributions were mostly rooted in outside shooting.

Tonight he was doing work in the paint.

Trocha deployed an impressive array of post moves, supplemented by a three for good measure. If his all-around post game continues to develop at this level, we’ll be more apt to absorb off nights by Davis.

DJ Hogg is a fire safety issue

Hogg hit five threes, reaching a heat-check level that had the entire Aggie Bench jumping off the pine every time he loaded up. The best version of this offense contains a hot-shooting DJ Hogg, but he was one three pointer short... missing a wide open look from the top of the key that would have won the game.

Robert Williams is more than dunks

Everyone’s favorite new #AggieHoops player has an obvious penchant for blocking shots and dunking on fools, but tonight he debuted a new ‘finesse’ side to his game. Mid range touch and complex post moves were added to the equation, and it was an extremely pleasant surprise.

And then it all went badly. So, so badly.

Robert Williams is also a Freshman

He played great, but he also committed a really silly foul 90 feet from the basket late that started the USC game-winning comeback. That’s just freshman life. We gotta take the good with the bad.

A life without secure ball handling is terrifying

Turnovers and generally poor guard play down the stretch sunk the Aggies, and this is something that had me worried from the very first basketball piece we wrote this year. We need aggressive wing scoring, and we have that guy on the roster... but he’s being asked to play point guard.

I did note that Gilder was moved off the ball on our late possessions, but Hampton just wasn’t up to snuff playing PG in big moments. Not really sure how we’re going to handle that moving forward.

This was not BK’s finest hour

My biggest pet peeve as a basketball fan is the ‘time control’ offense, where teams run the shot clock down to 6-7 before attempting any type of offensive set. It never works, it lets the opposition back into the game, and it effectively looks/acts like the prevent defense in football.

We ran that junk for the last three minutes, and watched a late 62-55 lead evaporate. Conservative coaching, indecisive offense, and insufficient guard play late. A recipe for disaster.

All of this with a fanbase desperate to build on something new after a disastrous two weeks of November football. A bad, bad loss.

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The Aggies have a few days off before a Thanksgiving feast of basketball (three games in three days) at the 2016 Wooden Legacy Tournament.

BTHO CS Northridge