The Aggies Quietly Lead SEC

28 Jan

They aren’t Kentucky.  They aren’t Michigan State.  They aren’t Virginia but despite hearing much more about those teams, the leader in the SEC is ranked ahead of all of these teams, Billy Kennedy’s Texas A&M Aggies.

Even though they suffered their first conference loss last night at Arkansas the Aggies still sit atop the SEC(1 game ahead of Kentucky) at 7-1 and 17-3 overall.  The other two losses for A&M came at the hands of Syracuse just after Thanksgiving on a neutral floor and on the road at Arizona State about a week later.  Since then the Aggies reeled off 10 straight wins prior to last night.

One popular adage in college basketball is that to be successful in March you need senior leadership and good guards.  Billy Kennedy’s squad has five of them, four of which see significant floor time.  They are led by three guys offensively that coincidently did not begin their college careers at College Station.    Jalen Jones who transferred from SMU after two seasons leads the team with over 17 points a game, potential NBA draft pick Danuel House who averaged 15.8 ppg did the same after two seasons at Houston and for a team that ranks 12th in the country and leads the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.57, a graduate transfer from South Florida Anthony Collins leads the team in that category at 3.21,  which is good enough for 23rd nationally.  The Aggies are also successful on the defensive end, ranking 18th in the country in turnover margin at 3.4 and are 67th in the country in rebound margin at 4.5.  The SEC leaders have also gotten contributions from a trio of freshmen from Texas.  Tyler Davis and DJ Hogg from Plano and Admon Gilder from Dallas combine to give the Aggies 25.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.

A&M has wins over Texas, Gonzaga and Baylor in the non-conference portion of their schedule but it is the backend of the schedule that will tell the story.  They have Iowa State in the Big 12-SEC Challenge on Saturday as well as home-and-home with Vanderbilt, a road game at LSU and home tilts with Kentucky and South Carolina all before the SEC Tournament.

The Aggies may drop some in the polls on Monday after last night’s loss but the lack of pub doesn’t equal a lack of talent, they are after all leading the SEC.

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