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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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Winless Aggies take on No. 13 Oklahoma State at Reed

In every one of Texas A&M’s men’s basketball losses this season, the Aggies have had a chance to win late in the game. In every loss, the Aggies have needed a go-to guy to make something happen in the final minutes.
In every loss, the Aggies have failed to find that player.
Now the Aggies (7-10, 0-6 Big 12) welcome No. 13 Oklahoma State into Reed Arena Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Cowboys (15-2, 5-1) are one of the hottest teams in the nation, and if the Aggies want to get into the Big 12 win column for the first time this season, they need to find their scorer very quickly.
“You always will like to have a go-to guy,” said A&M head coach Melvin Watkins. “With us it’s been (sophomore guard/forward Antoine Wright), but over the last few games he hasn’t been consistent in making that big play for us. With Antoine being a sophomore maybe he can’t handle that right now.”
Oklahoma State is riding a five-game winning streak including a 70-66 victory over Texas Tech Saturday in Stillwater, Okla. Even though the Aggies are winless, Cowboy assistant head coach Sean Sutton said his team knows A&M is not to be taken lightly.
“We have a lot of respect for their team and their players,” Sutton said.
“It’s not like they’re 0-6 and blown out of these games. They’ve had a chance to win every one of those games. We’ve always had tough games down there.”
Oklahoma State is a small team that likes to use its athleticism to run against opponents. This could be the best possible match-up for the Aggies, as they have the athletes to run with the Cowboys, but A&M also has the big front line players that can dominate the boards.
A&M is No. 3 in rebounding in the Big 12, averaging 40.2 per game, while Oklahoma State averages 36 per contest.
“I think they’re one of the best rebounding teams in the conference,” Sutton said. “They have a variety of players that can score, but I think rebounding is going to be a major factor in this game. Rebounding has been one of our weaknesses at times. We didn’t rebound last Saturday night very well against Tech, and Texas A&M has got a lot more powerful front line players than Tech does.”
While out-rebounding Oklahoma State will cut down the Cowboys scoring chances, those rebounds won’t put points up on the scoreboard for the Aggies. Rebounding totals don’t count in the win column, and if the Aggies want to get a notch on its Big 12 belt, Watkins needs to find someone to put the ball in the basket.
“Definitely it’s an opportunity, but unfortunately Oklahoma State is not going to cooperate so well,” Watkins said. “It’s a home game, and we’ll have a good crowd so hopefully we’ll get on track.”
Finding that go-to player could be tough for Watkins and his team. For the past four years, former Aggie guard Bernard King was that player, and Wright had been conditioned to be it now that King is gone.
But without a consistent Wright, another Aggie will have to conform to a role that has not previously been asked of them – taking command and being the team’s primary scoring threat.
“It may be Nick (Anderson), it may be Jesse King or it may be Andy Slocum,” Watkins said. “We just have to identify that kid and get him the ball.”

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