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Preview: Texas A&M vs. Marshall

We should come away with this one on Saturday afternoon, but Marshall can score in bunches (Saturday @ 1:00pm; SEC Network +)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Time: Saturday at 1:00pm

Place: Reed Arena

TV: SEC Network+

Advanced Metrics via KenPom: Texas A&M has a 73% chance to win

Results of Note

The Thundering Herd are 7-4 on the season, which includes a solid road win at Akron. They have a 2-3 record on the road, and they nearly toppled 11-1 Toledo at home.

If they sound familiar, it’s likely because they upset Wichita State as a #13 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season.

They were picked 2nd in the Conference USA Preseason poll.

Things to Watch

The Thundering Herd are driven by two high-usage guards: Jon Elmore and CJ Burks.

With Elmore, the edict is simple: Bombs away. This kid is in range when he crosses half court, and I’m only half kidding when I say we need to steal him and given him a maroon jersey for the rest of the season. Elmore has 37 made threes on the season, while our leader (Mahan) has 16. It’s going to be jarring for those familiar with Texas A&M Basketball.

CJ Burks, by comparison, gets his a little closer to the rim. He’s shooting dang near 60% inside the arc, which is impossible to pull off for a guard. I don’t know a ton about this dude, but if you’re 6-4 and you’re getting buckets inside at that rate, it’s extraordinarily likely that you have a quick first step.

Like Valporaiso, Marshall struggles on the defensive glass a great deal. Our offensive rebounding numbers continue to impress, so I imagine we’ll kill it in that area yet again.

Overall Thoughts

Marshall can fill it up, they like to gamble out top, and they like to push the pace. We’re going to need a steady, consistent game from the guard position if we want to keep this one stress-free.

And honestly, I think that’s something we can do. The emergence of Chuck Mitchell has stabilized the rotation, and if he and Mahan continue to stick their open shots, we’ll push our winning streak to five.

I will say… Marshall’s style of play is well-suited to take advantage if we don’t shoot well.

Random Note: We’ve played Marshall three times… and we’re 0-3. Let’s switch it up for a change.

BTHO Marshall