Let me start with this: This is a fun basketball team to watch. Sure they will give you a few too many facepalm moments each game, but they are clearly the most energetic and athletic team we've seen in too many years. The Aggies needed a momentum-style win against a Power 5 team, and they got one today in a 72-71 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Aggies trailed for the majority of the game and shot terribly in the first half, but they turned things around to get a big win for the program in the second half.
1. Defend the guy that can shoot really well, okay?
This seems like a common sense kind of thing in college basketball, no? Arizona State's Jonnathan Gilling was shooting lights-out from behind the arc in the first half. To be fair, all of ASU was shooting lights out. It doesn't really help when you keep giving them wide open looks every trip down the court. Here's the game plan going forward: Find the guy that does nothing but find the soft spot in the defense, stop the guy that does nothing but find the soft spot in the defense.
2. Alex #$()*%^##@$* Caruso!
Today was a big game for the Aggies, and Alex Caruso put the team on his back and carried them in the second half. The Aggies were down by 13 at one point in the second half, to which Caruso simply ran his fingers through his struggling mustache and then put on a one man highlight show in Reed Arena. The jumper is looking better each week, and Caruso is going to have NBA scouts peeking over to College Station if it continues. Yeah, we're going to ignore the missed dunk, because the young man did everything for the Aggies today. 23 points, 6 steals, 6 assists, on 9-11 shooting from the field. Monster performance.
3. Tempo, momentum, and stepping up
This team looks so much better when they get out and run the floor. We seem to struggle with our offensive sets. If the other team is able to get back and set up their defense the Aggies just don't get the looks they need on consecutive trips. Caruso and Alex Robinson look so natural running the court, and good things happen for the Aggies when they aren't shooting the ball with less than 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock. Danuel House had an off game today and just couldn't get his shot going, but Jalen Jones and Jordan Green both stepped up with 13 apiece. The biggest stat line for me in this game was the Aggies only turned the ball over 8 times while racking up 18 steals. That's going to win you a lot of games when the other team is shooting as well as the Sun Devils were today at Reed Arena.