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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
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For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Rebounding helps men’s hoops find identity

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALIONWhile junior guard Danuel House has carried the load offensively this season, a strong rebounding effort has helped A&M survive his off nights.

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

While junior guard Danuel House has carried the load offensively this season, a strong rebounding effort has helped A&M survive his off nights.

Assuming Texas A&M makes the big dance, it’s hard to say how well the team will perform. But one thing is certain — it keeps improving down low.
So far, the Aggies have had to count their success on other team’s failure. When Ole Miss halted their six-game winning streak, the Aggies had to wait for the Rebels to lose their last two games until they could launch back into third place.
Moreover, A&M’s only two RPI top 50 wins came over LSU. However, at the time of each victory, LSU was not in the top 50, and the Aggies had to bank on the Tigers succeeding to bolster their resume. Fortunately for A&M, LSU turned around after each loss and won three straight.
Other than that, A&M has lost every game against a top-tier program. In their defense, the Aggies have been close in those defeats, losing to Kentucky in overtime, Arkansas by six and Dayton by a near buzzer-beater. The Aggies’ other losses, besides Alabama, have been decided by 10 or fewer points.
But close doesn’t count. The Aggies needed to improve in every facet before the season’s end, and they’ve done just that.
There’s no question that A&M’s success lies with Danuel House, who has garnered more than 20 points in three of the last four matchups. He has been the guy in crunch time, but the bigs down low are contributing to the Aggies’ prosperity just as much.
Looking strictly at the numbers, the Aggies usually win when they outrebound their opponent. They’ve won the boards in each of their last five games, and are 4-1 in that span. The SEC may not have the best athletes and shooters, but it is full of teams with grit that can punish others if they aren’t tough enough. Despite the aggressive style of play in their competitors, the Aggies are 12-1 in the rebounding battle in their last 13 games.
This recent effort on the boards is due in large part to Kourtney Roberson, who’s peaking at the right time. The senior center accumulated just one double-double — which came in the Aggies’ early contest against Dayton — coming into the last four games. He has since had three.
Jalen Jones adds consistency. Jones has had single-digit nights just five times. In the past five games, Jones and Roberson have each had at least six rebounds.
Second chance points are heavily needed for a team that ranks No. 167 in scoring. It allows more opportunities for the Aggies shooters. House tied his season-high for shots against Auburn with 20, despite only shooting 30 percent. Aggie fans used to fear nights when House’s play is rocky, but rebounding opens up endless opportunities for other shooters like Caruso, Allen and Fitzgerald. When House was struggling against the Tigers, Caruso swooped in and went 4-for-4 from three and totaled 14 points, while House and two others also had double-digit nights.
That 80-55 victory over Auburn was A&M’s biggest conference victory since 2008. A lot of that had to do with the Aggies outrebounding the Tigers by nearly 15.
There will be longer, tougher teams the Aggies could meet if they make the NCAA tournament. A&M doesn’t particularly have size on its side, but even against Kentucky, the longest and most skilled team in the country, A&M only lost the battle by one board.
So if you happen to find the Aggies in your bracket in March, think again before counting them out because of their length. Their physicality will hurt teams.

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