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Preview/GameThread: Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt

Aggie Hoops is in Nashville for the 2017 SEC Tournament, and they open against a Vanderbilt squad that needs a win or two to confirm an NCAA bid. This one won't be easy (6:00pm; SEC Network)

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

I'm glad the word "try" is in there twice, because our first loss to Vanderbilt was followed by a second loss to Vanderbilt. The theme in both losses was the same - we played far below our potential, and we did so against a battle-tested team that tends to punish mistakes. But there's hope on the horizon.

Last week's optimistic (if not frustrating) showing in a 71-63 loss to Kentucky was perhaps our best ball-handling effort of the season, as we only had eight turnovers against one of the more aggressive (and certainly the most athletic) defenses we'll see all season. If we had hit our free throws, we might be talking about a second straight home win over Kentucky.

Unfortunately, we've learned that this team can't beat good teams unless they're firing on all cylinders. If we want to keep our season alive, we've got to execute in all phases.

BTHO Vanderbilt