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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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A&M hosts No. 8 Gonzaga

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Photo by Photo by Angelina Alcantar

Jay Jay Chandler scored 22 points in the game against Northwestern State. 

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team is looking to pull off one of the biggest wins of the season on Friday against No. 8 Gonzaga.
The contest will wrap up the home-and-home series between the two programs after a 94-71 win for the Bulldogs in Spokane last season.
After a pair of narrow victories to open the season in College Station, A&M may find its groove offensively with the return of veteran forward Josh Nebo. The senior said he feels ready-to-go after sustaining a hamstring injury during coach Buzz Williams’ boot camp.
“I feel that I’m 100 percent now in terms of my health,” Nebo said. “It felt good last game to get out there and play with the team and be out there with the guys.”
After missing the opening game against Northwestern State, Nebo saw the floor against Louisiana-Monroe and recorded seven points, four rebounds and three blocks in just under 18 minutes.
“He gives us great athleticism,” Williams said. “He may be as good of a vertical athlete off a bounce as I’ve seen in a long time … He’s a real go-get guy, I think that will drastically help our team. [He’ll] maybe get a shot-and-a-half more per game, but maybe prevent at least a shot-and-a-half relative to defensive rebounding.”
Friday’s matchup will come as a first against a top-10 opponent for A&M’s freshmen and junior college transfer Quenton Jackson.
Freshman guard Andre Gordon said although playing against top tier programs like Gonzaga are a large part of playing college basketball, the Aggies are focused on getting better every day.
“We’re just trying to prepare for us,” Gordon said. “Not exactly for Gonzaga or Kentucky, just trying to get better over the next few days … We’re trying to come out playing hard and playing smart.”
Gonzaga also brings back former A&M standout Admon Gilder back to College Station after transferring for his last year of eligibility. Through the first three games of the season, the guard is averaging 12.3 points per game and just over two rebounds.
Forwards Filip Petrusev and Corey Kispert are leading the Bulldogs in scoring, averaging a combined 40 points per game. Freshman forward Drew Timme is also a big contributor offensively, averaging 14 points per game.
Led by coach Mark Few, Gonzaga has been a consistent NCAA Tournament team, and has never missed a tournament berth in his tenure. Just three seasons ago, the Bulldogs made their way to the national championship game, but lost a close game to North Carolina.
“I think they’re good enough to win the national championship,” Williams said. “Just because I have a very narrow lane that I live in, what coach Few has been able to do is unheard of. He may be a guy that is in the Hall of Fame before his career is over. He’s the winningest active coach in the country.”
A&M hosts Gonzaga Friday night at Reed Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.

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