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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 hoops hopes to end losing skid at No. 24 Tennessee

Graduate+student+guard+Duane+Wilson+went+9-9+in+free+throws+made.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Graduate student guard Duane Wilson went 9-9 in free throws made.

Robert Williams said only one thing as he walked off the court Friday afternoon, “I just want to win again.”
Texas A&M’s star forward likely summarized his entire team’s feelings in one statement, as the Aggies have lost four-straight games to open SEC play.
Another chance to right the ship comes Saturday evening, as A&M travels to No. 24 Tennessee.
“I think our guys are excited to get back to playing and hopefully get back on a winning track,” head coach Billy Kennedy said. “Everything’s still out in front of us. We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of catching up to do, and hopefully we start tomorrow.”
For the first time since Dec. 9, the Aggies will be at full strength as starting guard Duane Wilson returns to the fold after missing three games with a knee injury. Kennedy said he is unsure how many minutes Wilson will play, but his teammates are excited to have him back on the court.
“It’s going to be big, he’s going to come in and give us everything he has,” guard Admon Gilder said. “He’s the type of player that’s going to put everything on the line for his teammates and for the university. I’m glad to have him back.”
Gilder himself returned to action against Kentucky on Tuesday after missing six games with a torn meniscus, but played 35 minutes which surprised him.
“I told coach when he put me into play I’d be willing to do anything it takes to win,” Gilder said.
Trying to turn the season around against Tennessee may be difficult though, as the Volunteers have won two-straight games. In their win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday, forward Grant Williams scored 37 points.
“I think Tennessee’s one of the toughest places to play in this league, and as well as they’re playing right now with the depth they have on the perimeter is something that goes unnoticed because Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield are so good that you forget about their guards,” Kennedy said.
Still, the Aggies are aiming to get back on track, and veterans such as Gilder are using the 2015-16 team as a talking point to prove A&M can recover from a long losing streak. But Gilder said that there is a big difference between the two situations.
“We talk about that every day, but I told them the key with that year was that we won seven to start with and then lost five,” Gilder said. “Now we have try and win out basically. We have the team to do it, we have the potential … We’re going to be okay.”
Regardless of the start, Kennedy reiterated that his team is trying to take things one game at a time, sustaining the end goal of winning a conference crown.
“We understand every game is important,” Kennedy said. “We’re approaching it like we can still win the SEC, and that’s how we’re going to continue to look at it.”
A&M and Tennessee tip off at 5 p.m. and the game will be televised on SEC Network.

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