Where to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN
Where: Reed Arena
When: 8PM Central Time
Top 10. No, not a bad list of ten jokes paired with prompted laughter from an audience. A Top 10 basketball team. The Texas Aggie basketball team will face off against LSU tonight at 8PM on ESPN. The Aggies come into the game ranked in the Top 10 in both the Coaches and AP polls. It's been 8 years since Aggie fans have seen their team rise to this level in the polls. Aggie fans have been dragging their feet and being underwhelmed by coaching (I'm most definitely guilty of that), but the journey of the past four seasons has us right where we are tonight. A team being called the best team in the SEC by national analysts is facing off against the hands-down best player in all of college basketball. The best team versus the best player, and it's going down at Reed Arena tonight.
The LSU Tigers
LSU has a roster that's really exciting to talk about from their top eight guys in the rotation. Okay, that was a lie. Ben Simmons is the best player in college basketball, and LSU would be a god-awful team without him. Like so awful Johnny Jones might have been fired before conference play started awful. Seriously though, Ben Simmons leads the Tigers in points, assists, rebounds, blocks, steals, minutes played, and field goal percentage. Their entire offensive game plan looks something like this:
Okay so maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but not by very much. Their offense will run through Simmons looking to create his own shot every play he's on the court. They get dangerous when the defense collapses and Simmons is able to dish it down low or kick it outside to guys like Keith Hornsby. The Aggies are going to need a lot of discipline defensively to stay out of foul trouble and not drift off of the shooters outside.
The Tigers want to push the tempo for 40 minutes, which can definitely lead to easy transition buckets for the Aggies. Of course, it can also lead to a really tired rotation for the Aggies as well. The best chance for the Aggies here is to get in front of the Tigers fast break opportunities and force them into half court possessions. And get Simmons in foul trouble. That would be neat too. One last thing, be fully prepared for the play-by-play and color commentator to gush over Simmons nonstop from 8PM-10PM. I probably will be too, he's that damn good.
Jalen Jones has picked up two SEC Player of the Week awards. Danuel House has found his stroke from outside. Alex Caruso is getting better and better at doing Caruso things. Tyler Davis is the man down low the Aggies have been looking for. Fellow freshmen DJ Hogg and Admon Gilder are showing flashes of what they can do. The Aggies are going to need all of those things tonight to get to six straight wins and maintain sole possession of first place in the SEC standings. The question mark around Tonny Trocha-Morales means it's more important than ever for the Aggie big men to stay out of foul trouble and in control of their game plan.
This team has been flying under the radar all season on the national scene. Despite being 3-0 against the Big 12, which is regarded as the best hoops conference in the country this season. Despite being a Top 10 RPI team. The Aggies are currently 3-0 against RPI Top 25 teams. Their only two losses came against RPI Top 50 teams. This is a very different team than what we've seen under Coach Kennedy. They are damn good. That national perception can all change tonight. Put together the right game plan and execute on it for 40 minutes and this team is front and center in the national college basketball conversation.
Reed Arena is one hell of a special place when it's packed with students going crazy for Aggie Basketball. It's even more of a special place when the students want to be the hell out of the opponent. Tonight has all of the ingredients required to be another one of those nights. Get there early, get pissed off, and get rowdy. Daylon Mack is ready for the setting at Reed Arena tonight, are you?
This basketball game about to be sooooooo live tomorrow!! #GigEm #AggieHoops— THEE MACK TRUCK (@DaylonMack) January 18, 2016
Not ready yet, then watch this old but still exciting video about the Reed Rowdies doing their thing.
Still not there? Okay, I only have one more thing to try and get you in the right mood. Just take a second and....oh hey String....oh, you look angry....
DEREK I'VE GOT THIS NOW. FORGET FOOTBALL BECAUSE WE ARE A DAMN BASKETBALL SCHOOL NOW. WE FINALLY GET TO TAKE OUT ALL OF OUR FRUSTRATIONS ON LSU. NO ONE GETS CALLED OFFSIDES AND WE GET TO TAKE THEM TO POUND TOWN WAIT THAT CAME OUT WRONG. THIS IS THE BEST DAMN BASKETBALL TEAM WE'VE HAD IN TEN DAMN YEARS SO IF YOUR PISS ISNT RAGINGLY HOT OVER A GAME THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT NATION WIDE THEN I DONT KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU. GET TO REED. WEAR WHITE. YELL YOUR ASS OFF EXCEPT WHEN YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO YELL YOUR ASS OFF. IF YOU'RE AT HOME THAT'S FINE YELL AT THE TELEVISION SCREEN. BASKETBALL IS WAY MORE STRESSFUL THAN FOOTBALL IS SO TAKE OUT YOUR FRUSTRATIONS ON THE TV SET.
HUGE GAME. BIGGEST GAME AT REED SINCE I DONT EVEN KNOW WHEN. HOUSE IS GOING TO KILL A MAN WITH A TRIDENT. CARUSO IS GOING TO DO INCREDIBLY TALENTED BASKETBALL THINGS THAT PEOPLE WILL ATTRIBUTE TO SNEAKY ATHLETICISM. TYLER DAVIS IS A 43 YEAR OLD MAN. DJ HOGG IS THE MAN PRETTIEST STRAIGHT UP KILLA OUT THERE.
GET YOUR MIND RIGHT