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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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Men’s basketball aims to continue impressive season as Ben Simmons comes to town

Tonny+Trocha-Morelos+has+been+a+vastly+improved+player+this+season.
Photo by Photo by Lawrence Smelser
Tonny Trocha-Morelos has been a vastly improved player this season.

An eight-game win streak, a top-10 ranking and a 5-0 conference start. Now the Aggies will welcome potential No. 1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons and the rest of the LSU Tigers into Reed Arena Tuesday night, with first place in the SEC on the line.

A&M (15-2, 5-0 SEC) had its first eight-game win streak since the 2010-2011 season, their highest ranking since that same season, and their first five-game win streak to start conference play since the 1985-1986 season.

The Aggies stroll in with sole possession of first place in the SEC. Seniors Danuel House and Jalen Jones have been a two-headed monster for the Aggies. Jones has been averaging a team-high 17.2 points per game and comes off a double-double on Saturday, earning him SEC player of the week, twice. House averages 15.9 points per outing this year, placing him second only to Jones. The duo’s efforts — along with the sure handed guard duo of Anthony Collins and Alex Caruso — have led A&M to a chance to make a national statement against an on-again, off-again LSU (11-6, 4-1 SEC) squad.

LSU features future NBA lottery pick Ben Simmons, who has put up 11 double-doubles this season, the most of any freshman in the nation. He also averages 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. The Tigers have a threat from behind the arc as well — Tim Quarterman and Keith Hornsby, who shoot 35 percent and 42 percent from three-point land, respectively.

Watching the Aggies defend Ben Simmons will be what to watch for Tuesday night. Jones will likely be the one tasked with guarding the all-around threat that Simmons presents. The three-pointers are sure to be flying from Hornsby and Quarterman due to the attention that Simmons will gather from the Aggie defense.

On the other side, LSU will be tasked with finding a way to defend House. When he gets hot, House can put up points en masse. A&M will try to get him involved as early as possible to get his shot going against a shaky Tiger defense that allows 75 points per game to opponents.

Coming off a win over Arkansas on Saturday, the Tigers are looking for a big win to solidify their NCAA tournament resume. In their first chance to show their talents in the limelight, the Aggies want to put on a show for the students on the first day of classes.

A&M vs. LSU will be televised in the prime time 7 p.m. time slot on ESPN.

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