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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

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggies look to keep momentum going against South Carolina

Photo by Photo by: Kevin Chou

Freshmen Point Guard TJ Starkgets past two defenders and scores a layup.

The A&M men’s basketball team (14-8, 3-6 SEC) will return to the hardwood Saturday as they take on South Carolina (13-9, 4-5 SEC) at Reed Arena.

The Aggies come into the game with a sense of rejuvenation as everything seemed to click in their last game against Arkansas. D.J. Hogg and Admon Gilder looked back in very good form and combined for 24 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field. 

Freshman guard T.J. Starks was a huge presence for the Aggies and showed more poise than he had all season, slowing the game down and running the offense.

“His decision making is getting better, he’ always been a good defender on the ball. [Now, he’s] been able to handle scouting reports [and]  get the ball to other people,” head coach Billy Kennedy said.

T.J. Starks also shot 4-of-5 from behind the arc and finished the game with 16 points. Starks’ four three-point shots were a career-high and surprised Kennedy,

“To see T.J make four threes that was somewhat of a surprise. I know he’s capable of making threes, but the way he played and the confidence he’s played with has been a big plus for us.”

The Aggies will need to carry their electric offense into their game against South Carolina as the Gamecocks average an SEC-best 66.7 points against per game. The Gamecocks also pose a threat on the boards and average 37.5 rebounds per game.

The Gamecocks are a dangerous team on offense as well and find the majority of their success through their big men duo of Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar 

Tyler Davis and Robert Williams will have their hands full down low, as Silva averages 14.9 points per game 7.8 rebounds and Kotsar averages 8.5 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game. With guard play a weakness on both teams, Kennedy recognize that this game will likely be decided by who can win the battle in the paint.

“Everything is going to be run through their post guys. They’re really physical. It ought to be a war around the basket,” Kennedy said.

Despite the threat that South Carolina poses, Kennedy believes that his team will get the job done.

“It’s called faith. You’ve got to believe and I believe in these guys, and we’ve got guys that can make shots,” Kennedy said.

The game will be televised on ESPN2 with tipoff slated for 1 p.m.

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