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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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Freshman F Solomon Washington (13) has the ball knocked away from him while under double coverage during Texas A&M’s game against ACU at Reed Arena on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

After a disappointing Myrtle Beach Invitational, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team will move on in non-conference play against DePaul on Friday, Nov. 25.

Prior to the invitational, the Aggies earned the No. 24 spot in the AP Top 25, marking the team’s first ranking since Jan. 1, 2017. The 2017-18 season saw the maroon and white reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament and post a 22-13 record under former head coach Billy Kennedy. 

However, with back-to-back losses against Murray State, 88-79, and Colorado,103-75, the Aggies dropped out of the Top 25 just as quickly as they appeared in it. The results from the past few weeks haven’t been up-to-par and leadership was the problem, A&M coach Buzz Williams said. 

“I’ve done a bad job the last three weeks,” Williams said. “We’ve got good players who are better people. I’ve done a poor job as a leader. Over the last 36 hours we got back to what we’re supposed to be about.” 

Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV continues to lead the team, shooting 20-for-46 for 71 points, while junior forwards Henry Coleman III and Julius Marble are tied for second with 44 points. Despite the near last place finish in Myrtle Beach, fla. the team has to stay focused, Marble said. 

“As coach said, we have to get back to our identity,” Marble said. “We had big egos coming into Myrtle Beach because of whatever was going on. Instead of focusing on what we need to do to get better, we kind of strayed away from that and today we got back to who we are. Energy for sure. We have to have everyone engaged and focused on the job and the task at hand which is to win the game.”

The tough losses offered an interesting lesson about egos and how to keep a level head early on, Williams said. 

“If that’s the lesson we learned and we learned it in the second week of the season, over the next 17 weeks if we can maturely handle that wisdom in the right way from this experience then it was worth however much Texas A&M spent for us to come up here,” Williams said.  

The Blue Devils have guard Umoja Gibson leading the squad with 85 points, 32 assists and 18 rebounds. Close behind, Javan Johnson has put up 82 points, eight assists and 34 rebounds. With both teams coming in with the same record of 3-2, the team has to focus on things not on the box score, Williams said. 

“We have to find things to compete in that there’s not a stat for,” Williams said. “Airtime is our time. There’s not a stat for running toward the ball or when the ball is in the air on the rise of a shot. We have to keep score and continue to identify things that are not in the box score.” 

Tipoff between the Aggies and Blue Devils is set for 12 p.m. at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill. 

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