The latest of edition of this season’s hottest family game “Who’s Playing for the Aggies Tonight?” was the hardest one yet after the surprise pregame announcement (that probably only came as good news to Dave South) that DJ Hogg, JJ Caldwell and TJ Starks were all suspended for tonight’s game.
Caldwell and Starks will be back for the SEC opener against Alabama for an undisclosed violation of team rules, but Hogg will not return until A&M takes on LSU for “violation of Texas A&M policy.” More than likely it’s not for trying to dunk on Reveille, but we can’t definitely say it’s not.
So keeping with the theme of bad news first, let’s dive in:
What wasn’t good?
3 pt shooting, either way - Yeah, I mean obviously on offense right? Without Hogg and Gilder, A&M was clearly going to struggle behind the arc on offense, and struggle they did, going 3-for-10. But the surprise was that A&M struggled on the defensive side of the court. The Ags are only allowing opponents to shoot 27% from deep this season, but Buffalo just absolutely lit them up, making 17-of-39 threes. In fact, in the first half, Buffalo only made two shots that weren’t threes. A&M adjusted in the second half and slowed the Bulls up some, but for the game Buffalo shot 44% from outside the arc, while only shooting 30% inside of it. That’s weird is what I’m saying.
Turnovers - This is why y’all pay the big bucks for this site, because nowhere else could you get crack analysis like this: if you suspend several of your best perimeter players and have another one injured, you’re probably not going to handle the ball particularly well.
But, in my opinion, that’s all you could really say wasn’t good. So let’s move on to what was good.
What was good?
Savion Flagg - The freshman scored a career high of 8 against Savannah State, then 12 points against Northern Kentucky, and then 21 points tonight. So by the NCAA tournament he’ll be averaging about 2,843 points per game. (If this isn’t accurate let the college of liberal arts know.)
Flagg is really filling a role on this team of the scrapper. He’s relentless on the boards (a rebound away from a second straight double-double) and he’s skilled enough around the rim to make up for what he might lack in height down there. Because he plays so close to the basket, he also ended up at the line quite a bit. Thanks to shooting 7-for-9 at the stripe he ended with 21 points on just 12 shots.
Duane Wilson - The A&M sports information staff couldn’t find another 20-point-10-assist game (Wilson ended up with 23 and 11) going back to 2010, so it’s been a while since this happened. He’s the first Aggie since Alex Caruso to post a double-double with points and assists. It was the first double digit assist game, and you could probably win some money using this little factoid, since Tonny Trocha-Morelos had 10 against Kentucky last year.
Tyler Davis - Oh look, another double-double for Tyler Davis, the third straight for the big man. Davis is so good and so consistent that he’s easy to overlook at times, especially on a night with a breakout performance from Flagg and a dominant performance from Wilson, but Davis was again a rock in the middle for the Aggies.
Really, everyone that played - Honestly it’d be pretty hard to find a specific fault with anyone that got on the court tonight considering the Ags only had seven players, they all played admirably. Trocha-Morelos had seven blocks (!!), Collins had five points and five rebounds, Chandler caused some chaos which he’s pretty good at and had an impressive dunk. In his first game back from a concussion Robert Williams had eight rebounds and a couple of blocks and even three steals.
Free throw shooting - The reason that this game ended up not being close is because the Aggies got the line a lot in the second half. The Ags were 23-of-28 just in the second half at the line led by Wilson who hit all seven of his attempts and Davis who his all six of his in the half.
So now what?
A&M is off until December 30th when they travel to Alabama to open SEC play against the Crimson Tide, and winning that game without Hogg and Gilder (who they’re hoping returns for the Florida game on January 2) will definitely be a challenge.