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Aggie Basketball dismantles Arkansas 92-69 to open SEC play

Jalen Jones led the way with 28 points, Alex Caruso broke the A&M all-time steals record, and five total Aggies hit double figures in a game that was never in doubt beyond halftime. If you haven't jumped on board, now's the time.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It's the morning of January 3rd. The last non-title bowl game was just played, signing day is exactly a month away, and the remaining meaningful 2016 college football activities sit months beyond that. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the college football season is just about over.

So what's an Aggie to do, you ask?

The answer is simple: look to the West. Gaze longingly across the tracks at Reed Arena, with it's beautiful tan color accented by a slightly lighter tan color, and know that our best Aggie Hoops squad in almost a decade currently takes residence there.

We put an absolute beating on Arkansas today, and our schedule breaks very nicely for a great early start to conference play. I urge all of you, even those who typically don't follow Aggie Basketball, to hop on the bandwagon this year. It's a fun, successful squad with an entertaining style of play, and they don't appear to be slowing down any time soon.

Step away from the OC search, ignore the Twitter mentions of that 17 year-old linebacker with quick feet, and cancel the Google Alert for every mention of the word "Sumlin" in the blogosphere. We have an amazing squad in-season, and they're built to win big.

Let's break it down.


Our ceiling is scary

We are in danger of becoming the type of team that opponents merely hope to catch on a bad day.

The Aggies defended well, closing hard on most Arkansas shots from distance and forcing an uncharacteristically poor day from the Hogs beyond the arc. We also shot extremely well ourselves, using excellent ball movement and another "heat check" day from Jalen Jones to bury this game early.

The crazy thing is, the final lines from distance (A&M: 11-26; Arkansas: 6-16) don't even tell the full story. I prefer to pull the lines when the Aggies went up 69-40 (12:09 remaining) and effectively killed the game off. The stats at that point were 9-18 (50%) for A&M and 2-10 (20%) for Arkansas.

When the normal rotation was in, we outplayed Arkansas by a frightening amount. Again, our ceiling is scary.

Jalen Jones is on another level

Jones had perhaps his best game as an Aggie yesterday, notching 28 points on 9-13 shooting. He went 4-6 from downtown and 6-7 from the line, adding seven rebounds for good measure.

Here are the averages for Jones in the last three "big" games for Aggie Basketball (Arkansas, Baylor, KSU)

  • 23.3 points per game
  • 58% from the field
  • 63% from beyond the arc
  • 80% from the line
  • 7.3 rebounds per game

Put simply, Jones is playing the best basketball of his collegiate career.

But last night was all about Alex Caruso

He's been playing free safety on defense for years (leading the conference in steals yet again), and it's a record well-deserved.

Congrats, Alex.


One final note; kudos to yesterday's excellent crowd

That 11K number is huge compared to recent years, and it's especially huge for a game over the Holiday break.

Our next home game is a big one, as the surging Florida Gators come calling on Wednesday the 13th. In the mean time we have two manageable trips to Mississippi State and Tennessee, so we could very likely hit that game at 3-0.

Let's keep the momentum going.



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