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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Men’s Basketball hosts No. 9 Kentucky to close out regular season

Texas+A%26M+v.+Alabama
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
Texas A&M v. Alabama

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team (16-13, 8-9 SEC) will wrap up its regular season on Saturday as the No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats (25-5, 15-2 SEC) visit Reed Arena. The two teams already met once before this season in Lexington as Kentucky dominated the Aggies 100-58 on January 3. The Aggies come into the matchup having won two straight games against Alabama and on the road against Missouri. Kentucky comes into the game having won seven straight games.

“We’re excited for another big game,” A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. “We’ve been playing better the last few weeks and Kentucky always brings a special flare too, and this is obviously going to be a tough game for us, and these guys are the best in our league and probably the best in the country. We’re going to have to handle their pressure, that’s the biggest key for us.”

The Aggies are led by sophomore center Tyler Davis, sophomore guard Admon Gilder and freshman forward Robert Williams. Davis comes into the matchup averaging 14.1 points and 6.9 rebounds. Gilder is averaging 13.5 points, 3.9 assists with 3.9 rebounds. Williams is averaging 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, leading the team in both  rebounding and blocked shots.

“It’s always exciting to play Kentucky,” Davis said. “It’s more exciting because it’s senior night for Tavario [Miller] and JC [Hampton] so the energy is going to be high but we’re going to be prepared. We have to rebound, run in transition and play defense. We have to take care of the ball as well, but I think rebounding and stopping their transition offense will be big.”

The final game of the season marks the last home game for the two seniors on the team, center Tavario Miller and guard JC Hampton. Miller is a native of the Bahamas and has played every year he’s donned the maroon and white. This year, Miller is averaging 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.5 minutes a game. Hampton is a graduate transfer from Lipscomb and has started 20 out of 29 games at point guard for the Aggies.

Kentucky is led by two dynamic freshman guards in Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox. Monk is averaging a team-high 21.7 points, while Fox is averaging 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and a team-high 5.2 assists per game.

Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Reed Arena and the matchup will be shown nationally on CBS.

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