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Oregon State Basketball: Texas A&M Aggies Preview (Game 11)

The Beavers go for their tenth win of the season against the Aggies.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M Aggies (4-5)

  • Head Coach: Buzz Williams (1st Season)
  • Top Performer: Josh Nebo (11.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
  • Points For: 57.0 PPG (T-430th)
  • Points Against: 62.8 PPG (61st)
  • Last Game/Streak: 63-60 Win vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1W)
  • Conference Affiliation: Southeastern Conference

The Skinny

When Buzz Williams took the head coaching role at Texas A&M, almost nobody was surprised.

In the same fashion that the Aggies lured former Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher to College Station, the big money prospect of the university was too much to pass up for the veteran Williams, who has made a career of rebuilding programs that have fallen into holding patterns like the Aggies had.

And while time will tell if Williams can do it again at Texas A&M, in the here and now, the start to his time at Texas A&M been one of the more brutal stretches that the energetic program director has had to endure in recent memory. After an off-season of player movement, Buzz is working with what has been left behind down in the Lone Star State and it isn’t exactly the perfect mix for a winning formula.

Beginning with big man Josh Nebo (11.1 PPG), it would appear that all is well in College Station. Nebo is a bruising and imposing figure who has thrived under Williams as the team’s premier interior talent. His development as a player has been remarkable, he’s put on the strength and weight that was needed from him and with a running mate like Savion Flagg (10.3 PPG) at the wing spot, there would seemingly be no reason to think the Aggies wouldn’t at least drop games to the likes of Fairfield.

But in college basketball, two good pieces rarely equates to sustained success, especially when your program is undergoing a culture change. So yeah, it’s been a bit of a rough go of things for Texas A&M.

Beyond Nebo and Flagg is where things begin to get interesting, an adjective you never really want used to describe your roster. Guard Jay Jay Chandler (7.9 PPG), a program veteran, has been serviceable but not exactly electric, and the same could be said about Wendell Mitchell (7.6 PPG), a senior who averaged 13.0 PPG last season. Both Chandler and Mitchell have had their big nights so far, but with a roster than needs consistency, the overall reliability is lacking.

However, the future may be bright for Williams, who does use three pieces of what he could scrap together for a recruiting haul quite a fair amount. Wing Quenton Jackson (6.3 PPG), a JUCO transfer from the College of Central Florida, has shown promise as times, as has the freshman duo of Ohio guard Andre Gordon (5.3 PPG) and 6’ 7” Emanuel Miller (4.9 PPG), the latter of whom tallied 20 points and 6 rebounds in the Aggies most recent win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

So no, the cupboard is not completely bare but I’d say it’s safe to regularly bet against Texas A&M for the remainder of the 2019-2020 campaign. Yet, going into College Station is enough for any coach to lose sleep and don’t be surprised if the Aggies hang around and make a game of this thing against the Beavers on Saturday.

Player To Watch

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Texas A&M vs Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Nebo (Forward - Senior)

A one-time transfer from St. Francis-PA, Nebo is one of those college players who simply has continued to get better and make himself more of a force, especially as the recent needs of his Aggies team have intensified. Nebo looks nothing like the lanky high school prospect that he was back in 2015 and he now sports an Adonis-like physique to go with a refined game.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, December 21st
  • Time: 5:30 PM PT
  • Location: Reed Arena (College Station, TX)
  • Coverage: SEC Network