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Texas A&M falls to 0-3 in SEC play

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The Aggies dropped their third straight contest over the weekend, and are now tied for last in the SEC. Where do we go from here?

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend wasn’t pleasant for Coach Kennedy and the Aggie Hoops squad.

The good guys went out to Columbia and fought hard, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. They dropped their third straight game to start SEC play, falling to dead last in the process. The culprit: A series of poor late offensive possessions and a slew of turnovers. Kudos to DJ Hogg for catching literal fire (dangerous imo), scoring 25 points, and tying a career high for threes in the process.

But this article isn’t about the game. Not really. With the loss almost two days old, we’re struck with a simple, yet immensely frustrating question.

Where do we go from here?

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The good news: If you squint your left eye and stare at this A&M squad until things get blurry, you can see the version of this team that caused havoc over the Holiday season. Like one of those Magic Eye books, or something. That team beat #21 Virginia Tech (who recently beat #5 Duke fwiw) and took #4 UCLA to the wire, and I’m telling you they still exist. They’re in there, somewhere. The question now becomes... how do we find them?

A quick look at our early performances will reveal that we kept the rotation pretty tight. Trocha, Davis, Hogg, Gilder, Hampton, and Williams. Others were added, as needed... but that core group of six players drove the bus.

Is that sustainable for a full season? No. But is our best chance for success an extremely tight rotation, along with a wink and a prayer for no injures?

Yes! Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

It’s not the best idea, but it’s the best idea we’ve got. Identify your core group (ours is pretty clear), stick to them for as long as you possibly can, and develop small, specific roles for your additional players to fill in a pinch.

The bad news: Our "core group" strategy did not work against Arizona at all, we panicked, and now we’re trotting out worse combinations from a limited roster and getting our asses kicked. Badly. Our three SEC losses have come by a combined 63 points, we literally sit in last place in the 14-team conference, and we’ve burned through last year’s goodwill in spectacularly quick fashion.

We’ve also managed 50 turnovers over the last two games, with many of those (more than you’d think) coming from the guys that are usually dependable.

The good news: Let’s end this thing on a high note - the schedule breaks nicely for us over the next two weeks, with three home games sandwiched around a very winnable road game in Starkville.

The bad news: Just kidding about ending on a high note. This team’s floor is soooo much lower than we all thought. If something doesn’t change, we’ll struggle through even the most basic portion of our schedule, limp home, and start to wonder if last year was just a dream.

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I still believe we can turn this thing around and end up in the 9-9 or 10-8 range, but it has to start at home on Wednesday night. Get a W on the board, and use that positive momentum to fly into the next game with a little confidence.

It’s doable, but it has to start on Wednesday night.

BTHO LSU

POLL TIME