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

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

The Battalion

Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle stands in a huddle during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Men’s non-conference schedule a walk in park

The men’s basketball team is, without question, looking at a long, hard road back to respectability. Odds are that they will not get much of an idea how steep that uphill path is from their non-conference slate.
The Aggies, ranked 236 out of 326 teams by, are looking up at only two of their opponents. A cursory ranking analysis reveals that the Aggies are playing mostly teams rated below them, including the penultimately ranked North Carolina A&T Aggies.
A&M will face a couple of minor tests with the University of Houston and Penn State. Bret Zwerneman, beat writer for The San Antonio Express-News, said 11-0 is not remotely impossible for the young team.
The Aggies, who went 7-5 in non-conference play in 2003, will have the opportunity to avenge losses to Oakland and Houston. They will start the season with 10 home games in a row before venturing to State College, Penn., to face Penn State.
Right out of the gate, fans should see new Head Coach Billy Gillispie’s influence in drastic fundamental improvement over last year.
“Gillispie has always been known for hardcore fundamentals,” Zwerneman said. “Aggies will appreciate the old-school-type basketball.”
In addition to North Carolina, the Aggies face a less-than-daunting exhibition schedule. After having thrashed Schreiner College (not the ones with the funny hats and tiny cars, but maybe less talented from a basketball standpoint) by almost 80 points Nov. 5, they round out the preseason against the University of Ottawa. This may come as a surprise to fans who had no idea that they had basketball in Canada.
“It would be impossible not to improve over last year with the schedule they got,” Zwerneman said. “It’s disappointing in a sense. I’m not going to say that Gillispie got there late in the game, but his hands were kind of tied in scheduling.”
“We’re pleased with our schedule, although it’s not exactly what we we’re shooting for,” Gillispie said. “We were trying to get into a tournament, but that fell through in late August, so we had to add a couple of non-Division I. We’re happy with it, but it’s not the schedule we hope to have in the future.”
Besides the exhibition games, the easiest game on the Aggies’ schedule will likely be against Division-III Trinity. Zwerneman speculated that there are several high school teams in the greater San Antonio area better than Trinity.
“This is a very young team,” Zwerneman said of the 2004-2005 Aggies. “This schedule certainly won’t prepare them for conference play.”

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