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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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Sam Houston next up for men’s hoops

Vanessa Pena — THE BATTALION
Head coach Billy Kennedy speaks with media members Tuesday.
Vanessa Pena — THE BATTALION Head coach Billy Kennedy speaks with media members Tuesday.

After routing New Orleans 87-65 on Friday, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team welcomes a familiar Sam Houston State squad at 7 p.m. Wednesday to Reed Arena.
Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said Sam Houston has five seniors and five juniors and he doesn’t want his young players to take the matchup lightly.
“I have a lot of respect for Sam Houston,” Kennedy said. “Having coached in that league for six years, I know Jason Hooten and what they have done with that program over the years. I hope our young guys understand that. Those are the ones I’m concerned about. Alex Caruso, Jalen Jones, Danuel House, Kourtney Roberson, Jordan Green, we know what we’re going to get from those guys day in and day out. It maybe some of the new, younger guys that we’re not so sure about at this point.”
For the Bearkats, senior guards DeMarcus Gatlin and Kaheem Ransom lead the team in scoring with close to 10 points per game. Sam Houston State is coming off a 111-51 win over the University of the Southwest last Saturday.
“They shoot the ball extremely well, they’re balanced in their scoring,” Kennedy said. “They have their two leading scorers back from last season. They have four guys close to averaging double-figures and seven or eight guys averaging six points or more. They shoot the three extremely well. They’re smaller on the perimeter so we have to be able to stay out of foul trouble and keep them off the free-throw line.”
The Aggies have had three different starting lineups in the last three games. Junior forward Jalen Jones and junior guard Alex Caruso are the only players that started all three games. Kennedy said he has a deep bench and that several players are capable of being in the starting lineup.
“We’ve got eight or nine guys who can start for us, which is a good problem to have,” Kennedy said. “I’m more concerned with who’s going to finish the game in a close game. Who’s going to be the main go-to guy, inside or outside, and who is going to be in the game the last five minutes. That’s something that we are tinkering with and still trying to figure out. I’m very confident in our bench and our depth this season.”
Texas A&M (4-1) and Sam Houston State (4-2) have a deep history dating back to the 1912-13 season. The Aggies own the series 61-17, winning the last 18 matchups. Last season, A&M defeated Sam Houston State 79-62 in Reed Arena.
Texas A&M hosts the Arizona State Sun Devils at 7 p.m. Saturday at Reed Arena. The Sun Devils, who were an NCAA tournament team last year, return two starters in forward Shaquielle McKissic and center Eric Jacobsen. Arizona State fell to the 7-seed Texas Longhorns 87-85 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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