The Aggies are leaving Brooklyn 2-0 and with some championship hardware from the Legends Classic after beating the Nittany Lions 98-87. For the second night in a row it wasn’t always pretty, but Billy Kennedy’s squad was seemingly in control for most of the game. Some things are looking really good, which means there’s plenty to clean up as the Aggies look forward to some tune up games before facing USC and Arizona. Alright, you prepped and ready, let’s talk shooty hoops.
We’re kind of a big deal
Okay I said we’d talk hoops and we will, but one little observation first. For those that watch a lot of college basketball, you’re in for a treat. Since the Aggies played in a 5PM CT slot, they’ve been featured in every single pregame, halftime, and studio show for the rest of the night. A human highlight reel like Robert Williams certainly helps, but the Aggies are quickly turning a lot of heads early this season.
Ban the half court trap
Penn State did a really nice job of making adjustments during the game and creating some threatening runs. Having a true scorer like Carr helps, but their move to the trap press in the second half had the Aggies looking super lost. Like 4 8 15 16 23 42 lost. The Ags have consistently struggled with a press in previous seasons but they made short work of it against West Virginia last week. It created way too many turnovers and Penn State did a great job capitalizing on them. There’s a little bit of a free pass being handed out since Caldwell is still out, but it’s not like the team is at a shortage of good guards this season. So, why the problem?
A trap press is designed to get your opponent to dribble to no man’s land. No man’s land is on the offensive side of the half court line, and preferably near either sideline. You also force the offense to space out and make long, high pass which are easier to jump passing lines and create a fast break going the other way. When the Aggies struggled against the trap tonight, they just played right into the trap. It’s easy to understand since the team is playing with some more tempo this season, and Kennedy did get his guys calmed down a bit. That’s the key. You have to get your guys bringing the ball up the floor to slow down, guide the defense away from the trap, and find the open guy in the corner or in the paint. Once that clicked later in the second half, the game was over.
Duane Wilson can ball
Duane Wilson came to Texas A&M from the transfer market and all he’s done is make more and more of an impact on the team with each game. He made so much of an impact in the last two games that he played himself right into the all-tournament team. A seasoned guard that can create, shoot, and distribute was desperately needed on this roster. His ability to do those three things, along with Davis and Williams always being a threat down low, is only going to create some crazy easy scoring opportunities for guys like Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg. Such a critical pickup for the Aggies in the offseason.
Gonna mention Robert Williams?
Momma there goes that man! Having a Twitter search open for “Robert Williams” during an A&M basketball game is pretty damn cool. People love this guy and NBA fans are already begging their teams to draft him (they better have a Top 10 pick). Williams has made Aggie basketball almost must-see TV, and his play in Brooklyn landed him on the all-tournament team as well. Pick up a win against USC and watch out. The team is really talented, but Williams is the engine of the Aggie hoops hype train. The kid is crazy athletic and his physical and skills development in the offseason is really paying off. Here’s your post-game Robert Williams dunk porn.
Robert Williams. Just toss him a Suns jersey and get this over with. He's ready. pic.twitter.com/K9Uyv2jPwT— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) November 22, 2017