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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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Aggie basketball to take on old foe in Bahama tourney

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Photo by Photo by Lawrence Smelser

Aggie basketball players gather at center court. 

Thanksgiving will be celebrated by the Texas A&M men’s basketball team with a trip to the Bahamas. Their scheduled tournament appearance in the Caribbean will re-introduce them to A&M’s most celebrated rival, the University of Texas.
Texas A&M (4-0) and the Longhorns (1-1) will face off Wednesday to kick off the Aggies’ “Battle for Atlantis” tournament play. The game comes after the Aggies were last in the AP Top 25 list — the first time since December of 2012.
“We’re thankful, and we have made some good strides,” A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. “We have made some good strides … but we want to be [in the Top 25] at the end of the year … We have high expectations, and this is part of it. We need to go take care of business to show that we belong there.”
A&M’s tournament play includes a possible match against a top-10 Gonzaga team. Their first game however will be against the Texas Longhorns.
The Longhorns (1-1) opened the season in China with a loss to Washington before returning to Austin and earning a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Longhorns are led by senior Isaiah Taylor, who averaged 16.5 points per game in the Longhorns’ first two contests. Javan Felix and Connor Lammert are three-point threats at any moment, both shooting 66 percent from behind the arc. Kennedy said this is a team that cannot be taken lightly.

“This is a big, powerful Big 12 team that was in the preseason top 10 last year, and they have most of those guys back,” Kennedy said.

 

A&M has lit up the scoreboard so far this season, averaging 93.5 points per game — 11th best in the country — largely due to the shooting of freshman D.J. Hogg (11.8 ppg) and the presence of Tyler Davis (15.3 ppg) on the inside.

 

As a team, the Aggies are shooting a blistering 47 percent from beyond the arc, giving them the best 3-point shooting in the SEC. However, senior guard Alex Caruso knows the Aggies cannot take the Longhorns lightly.

 

“They have a new coach, so I know they have a ton of energy and high expectations for that team,” Caruso said. “But, we have high expectations too. We’re going to take care of our business and be ready for that game … [the series] was always heated.”

 

The Aggies will face either Gonzaga or Washington after the Longhorns, and then an opponent to be determined after that to close out the tournament.
A&M and Texas will tip-off at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25.

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