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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. 9 men’s basketball returns home to host UT–Rio Grande Valley

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Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Junior forward DJ Hogg had two of the Aggie’s blocks in the season home opener victory over UCSB. 

Just six games into the season, the 6-0 Aggie men’s basketball team has already flown over 15,000 miles traveling to and from games.
After a rigorous traveling schedule to open the season, the Aggies will return to Reed Arena Thursday and host 3-5 UT Rio Grande Valley.
“It feels great to be home, we’ve been traveling so much that we had our last home game against Pepperdine and I was like ‘man this doesn’t even feel like a home game’ because we’ve been on the move so much,” junior center Tyler Davis said. “It feels good to slow it down a little bit and get a nice home game in.”
The Aggies come into the game riding a six game win streak highlighted by two Top 25 wins against No. 11 West Virginia and No. 10 USC who they defeated on Sunday.
A key part of the Aggies streak has been the performance of junior shooting guard DJ Hogg who missed several games last season after injuring his foot. Hogg has started in five games this season and has been a difference maker, averaging 16.8 points per game and shooting .525 percent from behind the arc. Davis, who played with Hogg at Plano West High School, says that it’s Hogg’s confidence that has allowed him to perform at such a high level.
“He’s extremely confident. He worked very hard last summer to get back from his injuries that he had last year. It’s just a mind thing with him, he believes in himself right now and he’s doing extremely well,” Davis said.
With immense depth at the position, A&M head coach Billy Kennedy has used a point guard-by-committee thus far, giving the minutes to the hot hand. For the majority of the season, graduate student Duane Wilson has had the hot hand, averaging 11.7 points per game and shooting .512 percent from the field.
Wilson attributes his early season success to the talent across the board on the Aggie team that forces teams to focus on stopping one or two players, creating opportunities for others.
“It depends on the team [we’re playing] if they want to let us guards keep getting layups or let Tyler [Davis] or Robert [Williams] beat you up inside. Either way it goes, I feel like we’re going to score,” Wilson said. “I feel like a lot have teams have been trying to take the lob inside [to Davis and Williams] away so, that’s why us guards have been getting so many layups.”
UT Rio Grande Valley on the other hand, is riding a three game losing streak. However, they are not a team that can be overlooked as they have some shooters that can catch fire.
Redshirt senior point guard Nick Dixon is one of those shooters and is averaging 22.5 points per game and shooting .500 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Xavier McDaniel Jr. has been successful from behind the arc, making .423 percent of his three-point attempts.
The Aggies will attempt to cut down on their turnovers in the game, as turnovers are one of the lone weak spots for the Aggies this season.
“They’re a team that’s going to pressure us and we’re going to have to take care of the ball,” Kennedy said. “They’ve played against high level competition and they’ve got a lot of seniors on this team. Older teams always make a coach nervous.”
The game will be played at Reed Arena and be televised on SEC Network + with tipoff slated for 7 P.M.

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