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

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Aggies hope to be closer to full strength against No. 21 Kentucky

Junior+guard+Admon+Gilder+scored+14+points+against+Prairie+View.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior guard Admon Gilder scored 14 points against Prairie View.

Texas A&M has had its entire roster available to play for only three games this season.
Injuries and suspensions have caused the Aggies to play with a multitude of lineups with personnel fluctuating seemingly game by game.
In the past three games, the Aggies have been down three starters, resulting in a 0-3 start to SEC play.
But as A&M prepares for its biggest true road test so far this season Tuesday night at No. 21 Kentucky, the Aggies appear to be getting closer to full strength.
Forward Robert Williams will be available again after a virus caused him to miss Saturday’s loss to LSU.
The biggest return may be guard Admon Gilder, who has missed five games after suffering a knee injury against Savannah State on Dec. 13. Still, Gilder’s minutes will likely be limited in his first game back in nearly a month, but Kennedy is hopeful to see him in extended action.
“He looks definitely probable for tomorrow,” A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said of Gilder’s status. “How much, I don’t know. Depends on how much his knee swells up after this practice.”
Without the junior guard, the Aggies are 2-3, averaging 13.8 fewer points per game and are allowing 8.2 more points per game.
Kennedy said Gilder’s defensive presence was greatly missed in the past two games as he would have marked up Florida’s Chris Chiozza and LSU’s Tremont Waters.
Chiozza was the Gators’ offensive catalyst in a runaway 83-66 win, accounting for nine of Florida’s 25 assists. Waters scored a game-high 21 points, highlighted by a pair of 35-foot threes in the final 12 seconds to help LSU steal a 69-68 win over the Aggies.
“He’s an elite defender, elite scorer, elite presence on the floor,” junior forward D.J. Hogg said of Gilder. “We need him to take his time getting back though, don’t need to rush him with his knee injury, but he would mean a lot to come back out there.”
The Aggies will likely need him in hopes of getting back into the win column with back-to-back road games against ranked opponents this week.
“Every game right now is important for us because we’re 0-3, so we need every win we can get,” Hogg said. “These two will be the first two to start it off our winning streak.”
And although A&M has dropped three in-a-row, causing the Aggies to drop from No. 5 to unranked in two weeks, Kennedy pointed to Arizona and Florida who each had three-game losing skids early in the season and have since recovered.
“The fact that we lost them doesn’t mean we can’t get to where we want to get at the end of the year,” Kennedy said of the losing streak.
Kennedy said he expects to see 23,000-plus at Rupp Arena, and with freshmen guards such as J.J. Caldwell, Jay Jay Chandler and T.J. Starks still expected to see extended action, Kennedy said his team must be disciplined offensively in order to put itself in a position to win.
“Our young guards got to be more efficient,” Kennedy said. “Can’t come out and take quick shots and turn the ball over or it could be ugly.”
The Aggies and Wildcats will tip-off at 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.

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