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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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A&M glad to be home as Mizzou date awaits

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Cody Frankin — THE BATTALION

Texas A&M returns to College Station for a Wednesday matchup with the Missouri Tigers with momentum on its side after a thrilling win in Baton Rouge.
“We’re excited to be back home,” head coach Billy Kennedy said. “We’re looking forward to a good crowd, hopefully, with the students being back. There’s a little more enthusiasm on campus and we have a big game coming up against the Missouri Tigers, who are coming in here hungry and are ready to play.”
Missouri (7-10, 1-3 SEC) leads the all-time series with Texas A&M (11-5, 2-2 SEC) 16-11. The last time these two programs faced each other was in the second round of last year’s SEC Tournament on March 13. The Tigers came away with the 91-83 victory in double overtime despite Alex Caruso’s 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Tigers are led by forward Johnathan Williams III, who leads the team in scoring and rebounds at 12.7 and 6.8 per game, respectively. In the 2013-14 campaign, Williams III averaged only 5.8 points per game, but has more than doubled his production under new head coach Kim Anderson.
“They’re better defensively,” Kennedy said. “They may not have the maturity or talent that they had the last year or two with skilled guards or guys that could score, but as a team they’re better defensively. [Johnathan Williams III] hurt us last year and he is having a good year again this year.”
The Tigers fell to the Tennessee Volunteers 59-51 in their last game Saturday. Missouri guard Namon Wright led the team in scoring with 13 points and went 3-of-7 from behind the three-point line.
Missouri brought in the No. 3 recruiting class in the SEC and No. 13 nationally, according to 247sports.com, with highly touted guards Montaque Gill-Caesar and Namon Wright and forward JaKeenan Gant. Gill-Caesar has played in 14 games and averages 11 points per game. Wright has played all 17 games and Gant has played in eight — both are averaging around six points per game.
“They’ve got a really good freshman class coming in,” Kennedy said. “Our older guys remember that we lost to Missouri twice last year. We know what they’re capable of and we should warrant that even more, because one of those games we felt like we gave it to them. So Alex Caruso, Jordan Green and Kourtney Roberson know how important this game is.”
Tipoff is at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Next, the Aggies will head to Knoxville for a matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers (11-5, 3-1 SEC) at noon Saturday inside Thompson Boling Arena.

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