I turned on the television just before the game started, and I heard the faint thumping of Sandstorm in the background after player introductions. When will they learn?
1. Danuel House. There goes that man.
This kid has completely been the difference for Aggie Basketball this season. House started off the game absolutely on fire. His first half stat line was 5 out of 6 from the field, all three pointers, and 17 points. 17 points on 6 shots from the field. That's incredible. Believe it or not, Frank Martin's strategy to leave our best scorer open throughout the first half didn't exactly work out for him.
2. Subs, subs, and subs
This isn't the first time we've talked about it, but the player rotations we see from Kennedy are just weird and bad. Badly weird. For starters, there's no reason House and Jones should be on the bench at the same time, except for both of them being in foul trouble. I'm going to implement a new strategy. Even during timeouts, halftime, pregame, whatever, House and Jones aren't allowed to both have their butts in a chair at the same time. Sounds easy enough.
There's a part two to this. South Carolina went to a 2-3 zone and our offense went away, like completely away. Jalen Jones is our answer to this, but he sat on the bench the entire time we faced a zone from South Carolina. Jones is our answer at high post, and that opens up the shooting alleys for guys like House and Allen. The awareness from the bench to personnel has been a head-scratcher
all season for four years.
3. Winning on the road
Prior to this season, Billy Kennedy has only won four conference road games total. Today was the fifth conference road win of the season for the Aggies. Winning on the road, regardless of how good your opponent is, is the difference between paying your way into the CBI, being an NIT lock, and getting off the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. They haven't always been pretty, but it's damn exciting to have Aggie Basketball being fun to watch for everyone again.
The magic number to be safely in the dance is now 2 for the Aggies with Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, and Alabama left on the schedule.