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Ole Miss 75, Texas A&M 71

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The Aggies fell to 1-8 in SEC play, which is the worst mid-season conference mark in the Billy Kennedy era

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

It’s all starting to become a bit tired, isn’t it.

The Aggies dropped another one, this time in Oxford, to fall to 1-8 in SEC play. We had some really good individual performances, but we left the game with a few additional questions, and it’s all starting to lead towards a relentlessly dreary February.

Box Score

Our Best Shooting Streak Of The Year

I don’t know how to say this to you guys, exactly… so I’m just gonna say it. We started the game 9-13 from beyond the arc. Yes, us. Texas A&M Basketball.

Brandon Mahan started the game 6-6, Mitchell did his usual thing, and John Walker III even grabbed one. It was the streak we had been waiting for all year, and it could not have come at a more opportune time. This surge in good three point looks was made all the more interesting because…

The Curious Case Of TJ Starks

TJ Starks only played six minutes.

There didn’t appear to be any injury problems, and he was never in foul trouble. But all the same, he played six minutes. I’m not sure what to make of this, I’m not sure what it means moving forward, and I’m not sure what the cause may have been. But it did give us our first extended look at what an offense might look like without Starks.

I have long held to the notion that Starks has to be on the floor at all times if we want to compete offensively, and I ate those words tonight. Our non-Starks minutes were filled with fluid, crisp sets that led to great shots. It honestly looked at odds with what I’ve seen from Texas A&M Basketball this season. We had a 57-48 lead with around twelve minutes remaining, and we had a 62-56 lead with eight minutes remaining. Things were truly looking good for the first time in a while.

And then the entire team went ice cold.

The Last Few Minutes

It all fell apart down the stretch. Ole Miss (finally) started to pressure Mitchell further from the basket, our sets got sloppy and often led to contested shots, and poor Savion Flagg (who plays an insane amount of minutes) just looked totally and utterly gassed.

The end result was a 6-24 shooting stretch to close the game, which included three mostly meaningless garbage time shots. When the game was on the line, we couldn’t buy a bucket. From anywhere.

Final Score: Ole Miss 75, Texas A&M 71

Additional Notes

  • Brandon Mahan is now 10-11 from long range in his last two games. If there’s a more streaky shooter in the country than this dude, I haven’t seen him.
  • I feel like this is slowly becoming Mitchell’s team. He had the ball for the majority of the game, and even though he took 23 shots… they didn’t feel selfish. It felt like a natural outcome given the guys we had on the floor. Offensively, we go as he goes.
  • The only other offensive performance of note belonged to Josh Nebo. He had 14 points and 10 boards, and for my money he has become the most consistent player on the roster.

Overall Thoughts

Try as I might, it’s tough to keep our focus solely on the on-court action. The growing sense that a change is coming at the top can’t be ignored, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t agree that the time has come. What’s worse, today’s Starks drama adds an extra layer of nonsense to what is already a dreadful season, and it surely seems like a February turnaround is far from likely.

Whatever happens, we’ll be here until the end of the season. However painful the ride may be.

BTHO Mizzou