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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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Fool’s gold: Takeaways from the Aggies’ victory over the Golden Eagles

Photo by Photo by Kyle Heise

Sophomore F Solomon Washington (13) guards Oral Roberts G Issac McBride (10) during Texas A&M’s game against Oral Roberts in Reed Arena on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.

For the second time in the Buzz Williams era, Texas A&M basketball is off to a 4-0 start after a 74-66 victory over Oral Roberts, Friday, Nov. 11, at Reed Arena. Here are some takeaways from the Maroon and White’s victory over the Golden Eagles:
A&M’s 3-point shooting needs major improvement
It’s been a rough start for the Aggies behind the arc. Against Oral Roberts, the Maroon and White went 2-for-21 from 3-point land and are shooting a mere 25% from deep in the season.
A&M lacked a lights-out shooter in recent years and so far they have not found that guy this season. Junior UIC transfer guard Jace Carter was viewed as somebody who might be able to make a difference in that category, shooting 32% from behind the arc in his career.
However, Carter is off to a slow start from deep, shooting 15% from downtown this season.
Junior G Wade Taylor has also not been able to find his groove shooting the 3. Taylor came into the season shooting 31% from 3, but has only knocked down five of his 26 shots from deep.
Luckily for the Aggies, offensive rebounding remains a strong point, pulling down 28 offensive boards opposed to the Golden Eagles’ six.
“Shots weren’t falling, guys took good open shots and I think that’s what coach wants to continue to do,” senior forward Henry Coleman III said. “When guys are open that is your opportunity to shoot the ball and you shoot it with confidence so never to deter that, but I thought overall we played well throughout the game and especially on the offensive boards.”
The Aggies play a style of defense that allows their opponent to get off good shots from deep. There is no doubt against tougher competition they will find themselves in a situation where their opponent is hot from beyond the arch and will need to go blow-for-blow to pull out the victory.
Look no further than the Aggies first round matchup in the NCAA tournament last season against Penn State. The Nittany Lions shot 59% from deep in the game to the Aggies’ 29% in a blowout loss.
Fortunately for the Maroon and White, that situation has yet to arise. However, improvement will need to be made before they are faced with that scenario, especially considering the Nittany Lions are the next game on the Aggies’ schedule.
The Aggies excel with Andersson Garcia and Solomon Washington on the floor
Senior F Andersson Garcia and sophomore F Solomon Washington do not add much to the scoreboard, but they make plays that lead to success for the Maroon and White.
In Friday’s matchup against the Golden Eagles, Garcia and Washington tied for a team-leading +11.
Much of the production for the two forwards takes place on the defensive end. Washington plays a hard brand of defense, which in turn leads to points for the Aggies and sometimes himself.
Garcia is no stranger to making plays on the defensive end as well, recording two blocks against ORU. On the boards, both Garcia and Washington also shined, pulling down seven and five rebounds, respectively.
Although much of their production may not be evident on the stat sheet, A&M is better with Garcia and Washington on the court.
Julius Marble is severely missed 
As the university continues its undisclosed process with senior F Julius Marble, his absence on the court is noticeable. Marble averaged 9 points and four rebounds last season while also providing a big presence in the paint defensively, with 14 blocks and 15 steals.
In place of Marble, the Aggies have started graduate F Wildens Leveque in his place. Unfortunately for A&M, Leveque has not stepped up and played the role the Aggies are missing with Marble.
Leveque was -6 against ORU, shooting 1-for-7 from the field for just 2 points. Defensively, Leveque has not provided much production either in his limited minutes.
It appears Leveque only starts to jump for the opening tip, as he has been subbed out at the first media timeout in each game. Even still, Leveque has only won one tip this season, that coming against Oral Roberts.
Henry Coleman is a double-double machine
For the third-straight game, A&M received a double-double from Coleman, who scored 19 points and brought down 10 boards against ORU.
The streak has been impressive, but Coleman said he has not paid much attention to it.
“I’m trying to help the team on the glass,” Coleman said. “We could be one of the best rebounding teams in the country and my opportunity comes about to score the ball, being efficient and an effective scorer around the rim.”
Coach Buzz Williams said that because of Coleman’s ability to produce, it’s hard to not have him on the floor.
“I think the maturity and how he is competing is much, much more mature than it’s ever been, and he’s never been immature,” Williams said.
It is still unclear when or if Marble will be back, so it will be important for the Aggies to continue to receive the type of production Coleman is giving them.
The fans are showing up early
ORU was just the second game of the season at Reed Arena, and the 12th Man is showing up in masses early. Over 10,000 people packed Reed for the game Friday night, severely outnumbering the crowd in last season’s second game against Abilene Christian that had 6,782 in attendance
Fans began to show up in large masses during the Aggies’ undefeated run at home in conference play last season and haven’t missed a beat since.

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