Happy Friday, everyone!
POLLS ARE NEVER TOO EARLY, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY HAVE NICE THINGS TO SAY. Our friends at Yahoo! ranked Texas A&M #22 in the Way-too-early top 25 for the 2017-18 college basketball season.
22. TEXAS A&M
Key losses: G J.C. Hampton, F Tavario Miller
Key returners: F Robert Williams, F D.J. Hogg, G Admon Gilder, F Tyler Davis, F Tonny Trocha-Morelos, G J.J. Caldwell
Notable newcomers: G Duane Wilson, G Savion Flagg, G D.J. Starks, G Jay Jay Chandler
Outlook: The Aggies, like TCU, could be a sneaky surprise pick. They not only more or less have all five starters returning; they have a player, Williams, who would have been a first-round pack had he declared for the draft. They will also get much improved play at point guard from the combo of Caldwell, who was ruled ineligible last season, and Wilson, a graduate transfer from Marquette. A&M underachieved in 2016-17, but could have a big bounce-back year in 2017-18.
The season is still 7+ months away, so act accordingly. Aka, go ahead and order those Final Four tickets.
TRANSFERS TRANSFERS, EVERYWHERE. Days after Marquette graduate transfer Duane Wilson picked Texas A&M, the good guys announced a ‘traditional’ transfer (i.e., he’ll have to sit out a year) from Saint Francis forward Josh Nebo.
Saint Francis transfer Josh Nebo just committed to Texas A&M, per a source. Averaged 12 PPG & 8.3 RPG during his sophomore season.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) April 7, 2017
Nebo was a high school teammate of Kentucky standout De’Aaron Fox, and he set the Saint Francis career blocks record (145) in only two years at the school.
With this news, A&M appears well-positioned to recover from the almost certain departure of Robert Williams at the end of next season.
BUT WAIT HOW DO WE MAKE ROOM FOR THESE GUYS. With more transfers, of course.
Texas A&M’s Kobie Eubanks and Caleb Smith transferring from program. Can’t keep up with this transfer list.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 6, 2017
There’s no doubt that A&M has more churn than the average program, but I can’t see either of these moves coming back to bite us. Eubanks never looked the same after his shin injury prior to his arrival on campus, and Smith never really challenged for PG minutes on a team that sorely needed the help.
We wish both guys the best of luck moving forward.
NBA D-LEAGUE UPDATE. Two old friends are tearing things up in the D League.
First, Alex Caruso is on the shortlist for Defensive Player of the Year.
.@okcblue guard Alex Caruso (@ACFresh21) is one of our finalists for NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year. https://t.co/MuOBEXM2j5— Ridiculous Upside (@RidicUpside) March 31, 2017
Here's Alex Caruso (@ACFresh21) doing his best Giannis impersonation with this huge chase-down block on Phil Pressey. pic.twitter.com/LA9vFNLlkk— Ridiculous Upside (@RidicUpside) April 6, 2017
And second, Jalen Jones is killing it for the Maine Red Claws en route to some MVP and Rookie of the Year mentions.
Jalen Jones 2017 NBA D-League All-Star Season Highlights https://t.co/vXqNJxs21l via @cavs #HardNoseToughness— Dallas Showtyme (@Dallas_Showtyme) April 7, 2017
Congrats on a solid first season in the pros, guys. Best of luck chasing the dream.
FINALLY, THE END OF YEAR TEAM AWARDS ARE OUT. And you’ll never guess who won the thing. (you probably will)
- Most Outstanding Player: Admon Gilder
- Chris Walker Hustle Award: Tyler Davis
- Newcomer of the Year: Robert Williams
- Daniels Scoates Garner Scholar Athlete Award: Tonny Trocha-Morelos
- Unsung Hero Award & Strength and Conditioning Award: Tavario Miller
Have a fun and safe weekend, y’all.