After tonight, your Fightin' Texas Aggie hoops team is tied for first in the nation in the college basketball ranks with a 72-44 victory over Northwestern State. The bottom line is they played a team they should have manhandled and they manhandled them for most of the game tonight. You have to take everything with a grain of salt in these home openers against bad teams. With that said, I think Aggie fans saw at least a few glimpses of what we can expect heading into the 2016-2017 season.
1. Guard play is the ride or die
It's not fair to say that JJ Caldwell would have come in and been an instant contributor if he were eligible this season, although I think he would have been. That being said, the guard play for the Aggies got better as the game progressed tonight. Three turnovers in the first five minutes against Northwestern State? I was worried, but let's chalk that up to opening game jitters...for now. The first half left you thinking it was going to be a long season outside the perimeter, but the team came out in the second half and looked far more polished and confident in both set plays and in transition.
2. Davis can score, but then who?
Tyler Davis starts his sophomore season as a pre-season All-SEC pick, and he looked the part tonight finishing with a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards. Tonny Trocha-Morelos was the second leading scorer for the Ags tonight, and the aggressiveness he showed getting to the rim is hopefully a sign of what the team can expect of him this season. A consistent scoring threat down low opposite Davis will be really critical when the team faces tougher competition. Staying with the big man theme, Robert "Boo Butt" Williams is a very polished freshman big man. He was touted as a freak athlete coming out of high school, but the young post player showed some great touch down low to go with his monster hops. Williams finished the game with 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocks in his first college hoops game. Big men with a mid range touch, I think we can get used to this.
3. We made adjustments at the half
(Opponent reminder, just saying) The first half was a bucket full of meh with some shoulder shrug sprinkled on top. The team came out of the locker room for the second half and everything looked better. Quicker entry passes to the paint, kicking back out and rotating the court faster, better shifts on the perimeter defensively, and the transition game had a level of excitement that will keep Aggie fans coming to Reed Arena during these early season matchups. Adjustments have been something that Aggie fans, myself most definitely included, have been critical of when it comes to Coach Kennedy. But they were there tonight and they were really, really good.