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Texas A&M 69, Vanderbilt 52

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The Aggies played really well amidst a firestorm of coaching rumors

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Texas A&M vs Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

This was a really encouraging performance.

With Billy Kennedy coaching stories making the national run, you could be forgiven for thinking that Texas A&M Basketball would not be focused last night. Instead, we controlled the game for the full forty minutes.

Box Score

Flagg Dominates Early

Savion Flagg scored 17 of his career-high 29 points in the first half, which almost surpassed Vanderbilt’s entire output for the first half. He didn’t get a ton of help in the opening frame, but that was masked by our outstanding early defensive efforts. The Commodores couldn’t find an inch of space offensively, and they routinely settled for contested threes and difficult looks late in the shot clock.

It’s worth noting that Vanderbilt really doesn’t have much on the offensive end… but still. We imposed our will against a team that was struggling. That ain’t nothin’.

Halftime Score: Texas A&M 34, Vanderbilt 19

The Offense Picks Up

Vanderbilt eventually started to score a little bit - these are D1 basketball players, after all - but we responded in kind and kept the lead at double digits for the entire second half. And what’s more, we were really judicious with our shot selection. We were 14-23 from the field and 3-5 from beyond the arc… which adds to an ongoing theme this season - we look better when we don’t shoot that many threes. This makes sense, because we’re terrible at shooting threes.

Here’s hoping we can continue to not touch the hot stove tomorrow night against Mississippi State

Final Score: Texas A&M 69, Vanderbilt 52

Additional Notes

  • We have to start with Flagg, who was the best player on the floor by a ridiculous margin. Over the last four games, he’s averaging 22 points and 8 rebounds with 55/53/85 shooting splits, and I have no doubt he’s going to crack the 2019-2020 preseason All-SEC squad.
  • Jay Jay Chandler continued his offensive resurgence, dropping 13 points on 2-3 from beyond the arc. He added five steals, two assists, and no turnovers; and was an absolute bundle of energy in 32 highly effective minutes.
  • Mekowulu and Nebo combined for 20 points and 15 rebounds in their combined 39 minutes, which is all you can ask for from that position.

Overall Thoughts

We did well to play through the noise last night.

Vanderbilt was a trendy upset pick on the SEC pregame show, given the game’s location (Nashville) and the firestorm of coaching distractions surrounding our program, and we didn’t let it bother us at all.

I know, I know. It’s Vanderbilt. The only winless power five team in America. But still… you have to start somewhere.

Next up is Mississippi State at 8:30pm tonight.

BTHO Mississippi State