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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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Greater things to come for Aggies

 
 

As the final seconds ticked off the clock in the game against in-state rivals, the University of Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M sophomore guard Acie Law knew he was becoming a part of Aggie basketball history. As the game ended, Law threw the ball into the air in a moment of joy as teammates and fans stormed the court, turning Reed Arena into maroon-and-white pandemonium. The improbable had happened. After years of heartache, numerous losing seasons and a winless conference record in 2004, the Aggies had finally arrived.
If there was one game that A&M had circled on its calendar all season long, it was Wednesday’s match against Texas. The Aggies used a crowd of 12,811, the largest in A&M basketball history, to gain the edge they needed in a 74-63 upset over the No. 10 Longhorns.
Law led the Aggies (12-2, 1-2) with 24 points and six assists, while going 10-13 from the field. The game marked Law’s emergence as one of the top players in the Big 12 Conference. Freshman center Joseph Jones and junior transfer forward Chris Walker also played key roles that allowed the Aggies to snap a 17-game losing streak.
With a 12-2 record that includes a five-point loss on the road to No. 2 Kansas University and an 11-point win over No. 10 Texas, the A&M team now finds itself in uncharted territory. For the first time since the 1993-94 basketball season, fans and players alike are starting to believe that this team has what it takes to compete for an NCAA or NIT tournament berth.
The success has been well worth the wait for a team that has been the doormat of the Big 12 Conference over the past couple of seasons. The turnaround this season has a lot to do with first year head coach Billy Gillispie. The coach is at the forefront of the most dramatic team turnaround in the nation.
After six abysmal seasons under former Aggie head coach Melvin Watkins, Gillispie has shown a losing team the winning formula they’ve been missing. Gillispie has preached to every player on the team about tough defense, and so far the results have been all positives. The team is ranked first in the conference in scoring defense and eighth nationally.
The turnaround at the defensive end has sparked an offense that continues to run through Law and junior forward Antoine Wright. Both players have played with an intense passion that wasn’t seen last year.
While the rest of the season remains uncertain, what is certain about this team is that it will continue to fight until the final buzzer – whether it wins or loses. The upset win against Texas is only the beginning of what should be a banner year for Aggie basketball.
Wednesday’s win was only a taste of things to come for one of the most improved basketball teams in the country.

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