The Buzz Williams era is here, y’all.
Sure, it felt like it was here when he was formally announced as our head coach. Or when he recruited like the dickens to fill out or roster. Or even when he took the team on an off-season international tour.
But this week, it all started for real. Rosters crystallized, preseasons polls and accolades were doled out, game times and TV assignments were announced, and we even sent our guys to SEC Media days.
There’s no denying it, gang. #SECBasketballFever is upon us.
Let’s start with our commitment to branding, shall we? The wiser hoop minds of the Deep South congregated to determine that Texas A&M Basketball would finish… 12th out of 14 SEC teams this season.
SEC Preseason Projections— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 16, 2019
Who's too high, who's too low? pic.twitter.com/oER4716lVV
Not the best start. Let’s check in on the individual accolades.
First Team All-SEC
Kerry Blackshear - Florida
Anthony Edwards - Georgia
Ashton Hagans - Kentucky
Breein Tyree - Ole Miss
Reggie Perry - Mississippi State
Second Team All-SEC
Kira Lewis Jr. - Alabama
Isaiah Joe - Arkansas
Andrew Nembhard - Florida
Tyrese Maxey - Kentucky
EJ Montgomery - Kentucky
Skylar Mays - LSU
Lamonté Turner - Tennessee
“Sleeping on us,” I believe the kids call it.
One of the offseason running jokes in message-board-land was that A&M… didn’t actually have a roster. We had the five returning contributors that everyone already recognized, and there was no shortage of fanfare surrounding the seven new players we brought on campus. But somehow, the roster page remained completely bereft of players and coaches.
Finally, our long national nightmare is over.
In short, we’ve got guards for days and 6’5” - 6’7” swingmen for… well, multiple days. What we don’t have is an abundance of frontcourt depth. The full bucket amounts to a returning core of upperclassmen with loads of SEC experience, but they’ll need two or three of the new guys to pop if they want to fill out a quality rotation.
Stay tuned for a detailed breakdown of the full roster in the coming weeks.
Every game is on TV, as we’ve come to expect with the emergence of the SEC Network, but I’d like to use this area to highlight the coverage dedicated to our non-conference tilt against Texas.
Nationally televised at 2pm on ABC on Sunday, December 8th. It’s almost as if games between these schools would generate a little cash.
SEC Media Days
Buzz Williams opened SEC Media Days as the first man on the podium, and hit on a variety of topics. I wasn’t able to find a reliable transcript to link, and I’m too lazy to type it all by hand, but he touched on the following topics [warning: paraphrasing incoming]
- Buzz on fan support: You try to make sure the product you put on the floor is worthy of coming back to.
- Buzz on facilities: Over the past few years there has been a visible commitment around the SEC to Men’s Basketball. He specifically mentioned Final Four appearances, coaching hires, recruiting, and facility upgrades... the last of which tipped the scales in A&M’s favor. Mentioned a HUGE improvement in facilities and commitment.
- Buzz on the inherited roster: Everybody’s new. Regardless of how old they are, or where they came from, or how long they’ve been at A&M, everything is new. Everything we do in practice, every day in the film session, every day in the weight room – it’s all new.
One final quote note, if I may: various players have used the term “position-less” throughout the week. Something that will make more sense momentarily...
There Is No Bad News Yet
Which means something is amiss. This is Texas A&M Basketball, which means something has gone wrong. Allow me to rectify that for you.
“It’s hard to say relative to what he will be able to do or if he’ll ever be able to play,” Williams said. “He hasn’t been a part of anything we’ve done in a long time. In a new program, that’s really hard to overcome regardless how old you are.”
Nebo became a needed defensive presence for the Aggies last season after losing Robert Williams and Tyler Davis to pursue their NBA options.
Nebo, a Houston native and transfer from Saint Francis, led the Aggies in blocked shots last season with 69. He played in 30 games, starting two, and averaged 8.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
For the optimists among you, this means freshman Jonathan Aku gets tons of early experience, which is good for the future of the program.
But for my fellow pragmatists... we just lost the best rim protector and rebounder on a team with little depth in both areas. It ain’t great.
We’re less than three weeks away from the home opener, so expect to see the hoops coverage ramp up in the near future.
BTHO Ole Miss