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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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Men’s Basketball set for Trinity

Texas A&M men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie hopes that Friday night’s 89-65 win over North Carolina A&T was a sign of things to come – not only on the court, but in the stands as well.
On the floor, the Aggies (1-0) prevailed by playing hard pressure defense. In the stands, 6,939 fans – an A&M opening game record – showed up to provide extra energy and enthusiasm for the players.
“We’re a hustling group, and I think that we’re going to be a blue-collar group that’s going to be fun to watch,” Gillispie said. “Hopefully people will appreciate that and continue to support us. They were great on Friday.”
Gillispie said he hopes that both his team and the crowd will bring back that same intensity Tuesday night when the Aggies play host to the Trinity Tigers (1-1). The Tigers are ranked 14th among Division III schools and even though they represent a small school, they have big players. Seniors Peter Murray and Sean Devins stand at 6 feet 8 inches and 6 feet 10 inches respectively, and should make it difficult for the Aggies to operate inside.
“For our level – at Division III – we have really good size on our front line,” said Trinity coach Pat Cunningham. “We try to play good defense and make it hard for teams to get to the basket.”
However, don’t expect the Aggies to counter Trinity’s size by dropping back into a zone; look for them to apply the same full-court pressure that worked Friday night.
“We’re still trying to learn how to play pressure man-to-man defense, and I think it will be awhile before you see any zone here,” Gillispie said. “You never know, it may be tomorrow, but I wouldn’t think that we’ll play much zone. I like it, but I really believe in man-to-man defense.”
While Gillispie leaves the door open for his team to play zone, his players don’t buy it for a second.
“Never. We’ve never even worked on (zone),” said senior Bobby Leach. “All day, it’s full court man-to-man.”
Besides size, Trinity also brings experience to the court, as the Tigers return 11 lettermen, including three starters from last year’s squad that finished 21-8 and won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. With such a large group of returning players, Trinity is able to field a starting lineup of all seniors.
“The team we’ll be facing is a real smart team and a very experienced team,” Gillispie said. “They have so much experience, and that’s what really scares me about an opponent playing against us because of our lack of experience.”

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