On Arizona’s final possession of the 1st half, the Wildcat fans present in Houston made a standing ovation chanting for their school. When the buzzer sounded, the fans erupted louder as the two squads headed to their locker room, Arizona leaving to high fives and chest bumping, and Texas A&M with their heads down wondering what just hit them.
The Aggies could never recover after an 11-2 run by Arizona gave them a 41-28 halftime deficit. In the 2nd, turnovers and sloppy play to start the half prevented what was a remarkable comeback attempt in the final couple of minutes. Although we almost witnessed a Northern Iowaesque miracle, the Ags are now 0-3 against the Pac-12 falling to the Wildcats, 67-63.
Here are some quick takeaways:
It’s time to insert Robert Williams into the starting lineup
During A&M’s last surge, the five on the court were Admon Gilder, Tyler Davis, DJ Hogg, Tonny Trocha-Morelos, and Robert Williams. After sputtering for 90% of the game, A&M on offense found some firepower by getting an entry pass to Tyler Davis and having him attack the post or dump off to Robert Williams if the double team came. The length of this rotation caused major issues for the Wildcats, creating numerous turnovers and nearly leading to a miraculous comeback.
The time has come where there is no room for error and the Ags have to give maximum minutes to their playmakers. All respect to Trocha-Morelos, but Williams’ otherworldly athleticism creates opening on offense that no one else can emulate. After today’s lost and conference play approaching, A&M can no longer afford to have the star freshman as the 6th man.
While it was a very admirable effort to bring it to a 2-point game with 15 seconds left, the Aggies looked out of their element and overmatched for much of the contest. From the 3-minute mark in the 1st half to about 5 minutes left in the 2nd, Arizona had full control and A&M looked as if they were ready for Christmas break.
Lulls are bound to happen in a college basketball game, but whenever Arizona upped their play on both ends, the Aggies spun out of control and didn’t gain it back until it was too late. This team still seems like it’s looking for a mental edge and learning how to handle the swings of the game. Now that #SECBasketballFever is upon us, they need to figure it out soon because...
Every Game Counts Now
A&M enters conference play with mayyyybe one signature win over Virginia Tech, and a big goose egg against the Pac-12. The Aggies went 13-5 in the SEC last season, and it will take a similar record if they want to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
This team is capable of another tournament appearance this year, but if they cannot learn how to play complete ballgames, they could find themselves falling short like today.
A&M plays one more non-conference game against St. Francis (PA) on December 21st before their SEC opener versus Tennessee on December 29th.