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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

No. 24 A&M and No. 16 Baylor set for top 25 showdown

Mens+Basketball+vs+Kansas+State
Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel
Men’s Basketball vs Kansas State

Two old Big 12 rivals No. 24 Texas A&M and No. 16 Baylor will get together for the 207th meeting of the “Battle of the Brazos” at Reed Arena on Saturday night in the first top 25 matchup at Reed Area since 2011.
It is the third former Big 12 foe the Aggies will face this year, and even though A&M left for the SEC, the two schools separated by just 88 miles are still familiar with each other. As A&M head coach Billy Kennedy mentioned, they constantly battle Baylor both on and off the court, but the team is focused and ready for action against their hated rival.
“We’ve been looking forward to it. We know those guys,” Kennedy said. “We recruit against them every day…since we have been in the SEC…there are not those natural rivalries anymore. We want one every year, and this year it happens to be Baylor.”
The Aggies (8-2) come in after a win over Kansas State last weekend. Jalen Jones enters the game for A&M having averaged 19 points per game in the previous four contests, including dropping a season-high 25 points in the win over KSU last weekend.
Also, senior Alex Caruso had an excellent outing against KSU, notching 13 points with nine assists and six steals. He now has 224 in his Aggie career, just four behind the school record.
As he says, playing Baylor at home is a special thing for him as a senior.
“It is going to be fun,” Caruso said. “A lot of people have told me they are excited for the game and a lot of friends said they are going to come. It is going to be a good atmosphere and I am looking forward to it.”
Baylor (8-1) is off to a nice start this year, and come in after dismantling Hardin-Simmons this week by a 104-59 score. Rico Gathers leads the way for the Bears, averaging 15.7 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per contest.
He will be a load to handle down low, but Aggie freshman center Tyler Davis says he has a strategy in place for trying to contain Gathers.
“I’m going to put my body on him and make him feel me all night, hit him as hard as I can, use my fouls wisely and just be physical, because he is a physical guy,” Davis said. “Hopefully the referees let us play against each other like we want to.”
A&M will be looking to avenge their 77-63 loss last season in Waco and improve to 7-0 at home on Saturday night. Game time is set for 8 pm and the game will air on ESPNU.

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