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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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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Heartbreak in H-Town

Senior+F+Andersson+Garcia+%2811%29+sits+on+the+sidelines+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Houston+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+16%2C+2023+at+the+Toyota+Center+in+Houston%2C+Texas.
Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Senior F Andersson Garcia (11) sits on the sidelines during Texas A&M’s game against Houston on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half of Texas A&M men’s basketball’s game against Houston, the home-town team’s fans were content. Expectedly, as the No. 4 Cougars carried a 15-point lead into halftime.
Senior Houston guard LJ Cryer had 13 points and Houston held the Aggies to just 30.4% shooting. And to add icing on the cake, junior G Wade Taylor IV only had 8 points.
That’s until the second half began.
Taylor almost single handedly willed A&M to a 21-point comeback, scoring 26 points in the second half on 6-12 shooting from beyond the arch.
The Aggies had the chance to potentially tie the game at 68 after senior Houston G Damian Dunn ran the baseline on an inbound after a timeout, resulting in a travel and a turnover by the Cougars.
Taylor got one more shot and missed, but senior forward Henry Coleman III snagged the rebound and was fouled. His two free throws would have tied the game, but the Richmond, Virginia native missed both and the Maroon and White’s comeback fell short.
A&M has to find a second go-to bucket getter
Taylor has been a fan favorite since his performance last season, and he has continued to lead the Aggies in scoring this year, albeit with a worse shooting percentage.
The most electric aspect of the Dallas native is not just how much he scores, however. It’s how much he scores when he is relied upon. He scored a career-high 35 points in a 20-point comeback against No. 19 FAU and racked up 34 against No. 4 Houston. The Aggies have kept themselves in close games mostly due to his ability to score in bunches.
However, when you look at the team that won, there is a glaring discrepancy in the scoring. The Cougars had four scorers in double figures, accounting for 85.7% of Houston’s total points.
The Aggies’ lone double-digit scorer was Taylor, who accounted for 51.4% of A&M’s points.
This problem for the Maroon and White has either a very simple or more complex solution to this issue. If graduate G Tyrece Radford ends up overcoming whatever is keeping him off of the court, then that’s the guy A&M can look to besides Taylor.
However, that is easier said than done, as it is unknown as to what is stopping Radford from playing. With that, relying on his return could put the Aggies in a difficult situation come conference play.
Junior G Manny Obaseki, Coleman, junior G Jace Carter and senior G Hayden Hefner have all shown sparks this season offensively. This issue is none of it is consistent.
Asking Taylor to have 34 point performances each game against some of the nation’s best is not a reliable formula. The Aggies have to have someone contribute on a consistent basis.
The Aggies have no bad losses, but they don’t have many quality wins either
With the gauntlet of a non-conference schedule coach Buzz Williams devised for A&M, losses were inevitable. Playing away from home in the ESPN Events Invitational, then going to Virginia and coming back to Reed Arena to play Memphis is rough. Tie that together with a semi-road game against Houston, and that’s as difficult of a schedule as anyone in the country.
Losses to FAU, Virginia, Memphis and Houston are all quality losses, if there is such a thing. The selection committee will look more favorably upon these than racking up wins against Quadrant-1 and 2 opponents.
The problem lies when looking at the Aggies’ quality wins.
A road win against Ohio State and a neutral-site victory over Iowa State are great Q1 wins for the Maroon and White. However, when looking at the possibilities, the Aggies could have finished non-conference 4-2, 3-3 against Q1 schools. If they find the way to close out just one win against any of the teams they lost to, the Maroon and White are sitting in a completely different position than they are now.
With the rest of A&M’s non-conference being against Q4 opponents at home, there are no more chances for the Aggies to bolster their resume. On Selection Sunday, A&M’s non-conference shouldn’t hurt them, but it didn’t help them as much as it could have.

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