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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Beau knows

Everyone deserves a second chance. Senior Beau Muhlbach took his and ran with it.
In February, after the Aggie basketball team lost its third consecutive game, this one a 65-59 home loss to Nebraska, Head Coach Mark Turgeon told the team there would be changes.
“[Turgeon] opened practice up and just said ‘We’re making a change, and the guys that play in the next game are going to be the guys who work hardest in practice,'” Muhlbach said. “I really took that to heart and realized I was getting another chance. I worked and Coach Turgeon gave me a chance.”
In the next game against Texas Tech, the Aggies beat the Red Raiders by 44 points, their largest margin of victory in Big 12 history. Muhlbach had nine points.
“My whole deal is hard work pays off,” he said. “I worked really hard and basically it paid off.”
Muhlbach said he was just looking for a spot on the team where he could get minutes and he would get them. Over the final nine games of the season, he played in every game and totaled 123 minutes, nearly matching the total of his previous three seasons of 151.
One of his most memorable performances came against Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament. Muhlbach drilled two 3-pointers down the stretch that kept the game close and was on the court in the final minutes. The Aggies lost but Muhlbach had 11 points. He said that was one of his favorite games to play in, but there were others he enjoyed.
“I don’t know if that was my favorite game,” he said. “I think of the Baylor game where I got big minutes on the road and I made some shots. Then there was the Kansas State game where we won and I got to guard guys like Bill Walker and Michael Beasley. I was really glad I made a difference at the end.”
Muhlbach, who had family members that attended and were student athletes at A&M, transferred after one year at Arizona in the 2003-2004 season. Arizona was a championship caliber program with a rich basketball tradition and loads of talent, but Muhlbach said he did not regret transferring.
“I liked Arizona and obviously they’re big on basketball,” he said. “But the biggest difference is that here we really are a family. It was tough when I first came because I missed my friends, but Joe [Jones] and Dominique [Kirk] welcomed me with open arms. At Arizona, you had a lot of egos. Everyone was All-American, everyone wanted to score, and everyone wanted to be the star. No one was willing to be a role player. Here people are a lot less selfish and everyone is close.”
He was comfortable in Aggieland, but did not get much playing time under former Head Coach Billy Gillispie. In his sophomore and junior years, he was on the floor for 16 minutes during Big 12 conference play. When asked in 2007, Gillispie said that he did not believe Muhlbach was ready to play in the Big 12.
“I wish I would have gotten more of a chance to play under Gillispie,” he said. “I wish he would have given me more minutes, but at the same time, the things Coach Gillispie did prepared me for this year and I don’t think I could have done what I did in the last part of the year without those tools.”
With his collegiate career complete, Muhlbach said he wants to stay in basketball. He realized that the road to a professional career would be a tough one, but he wanted to stay involved with the game as long as possible. He said that making an NBA team would not be an immediate reality, but that it was not out of his reach.
“Playing in the NBA would be my dream,” he said. “I know I’m not ready for that yet, but I want to try to make it in Europe or here in a developmental league, and maybe in a couple of years I’ll be there. I just want to stay close to the game and whatever it takes, I’ll do it.”

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