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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Takeaways from A&M’s defeat on the road to Virginia

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Photo by Kyle Heise

Sophomore F Solomon Washington (13) reacts to the referee after a no-call during Texas A&M’s game against Iowa State at the ESPN Events Invitational in Kissimmee, Florida on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.

Texas A&M men’s basketball failed to help out its conference in the ACC-SEC Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 29, as the Aggies fell to Virginia on the road, 59-47. The Maroon and White shot a measly 30% from the field en route to the loss.
This game will be one the Aggies look back at in March as an opportunity lost when the NCAA Tournament selection committee decides its seeds. There are still plenty of games in the conference along with non-conference games against Memphis and No. 6 Houston where the Aggies can improve their resume.
However, no win is guaranteed, and taking advantage of games like this are important for the Aggies to avoid tougher opponents come time for The Big Dance.
The Aggies need their ‘Boots’ back
There is no question the Maroon and White are feeling the absence of graduate guard Tyrece ‘Boots’ Radford. Radford has been missing from the Aggies lineup since the second half of the Florida Atlantic game on Nov. 24 due to an illness, in which coach Buzz Williams said Radford had trouble breathing after halftime.
Since then, A&M failed to defeat the Owls, despite 35 points from junior G Wade Taylor IV and had to pull off a 21-point comeback to defeat Iowa State. Against the Cavaliers, the guard play as a whole was disappointing. Taylor shot 2-for-10 from the field, senior G Hayden Hefner shot 1-for-9 and Boots’ replacement in the starting lineup, junior G Jace Carter, scored just 7 points.
A&M is severely missing Radford’s 13 points per game and veteran presence on the court, especially when they are faced with road atmospheres like Virginia.
Henry Coleman picked up where he left off
The double-double machine, senior forward Henry Coleman, is on fire to start the season. Coming into the contest, Coleman was averaging 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
In front of his parents in his home state, Coleman racked up a double-double for the fourth time this season, scoring 16 points while also pulling down 14 rebounds.
Coleman was forced to exit the FAU game early on with an apparent lower leg injury, forcing him to miss the following game against the Cyclones. However, Coleman was back in the starting lineup against Virginia and was the lone bright spot of the game.
The Richmond, Virginia native did everything he could to help his team pick up a victory but fell short, as the rest of the team was 11-of-42 from the field. If A&M hopes to win against tough competition on the road, they are going to have to give Coleman some help.
The three-point shooting is still poor
Before Wednesday’s contest, the Aggies were ranked No. 298 in the nation in 3-point percentage, shooting 28.76% behind the arch. A&M shot well below that average against the Cavaliers, making just 4 of its 23 attempts.
It’s known that A&M plays a style of defense that allows its opponents good looks from 3. Unfortunately for the Aggies, they are nowhere near to matching the success of their opponents from behind the arch.
Virginia made 9 of its 25 attempts, which played a large part in the Cavaliers’ victory. A&M does not need to change its defensive style, they need to start making its 3-point shots more consistently.
If the Aggies fail to improve from behind the arch, they will have trouble winning games against teams like Kentucky and Alabama, who rank No. 5 and No. 12 in 3-point percentage in the nation, respectively.
It won’t get easier to match its opponents 3-point percentage in the Aggies next contest either, as they host DePaul on Dec. 6, who is shooting 36.21% from behind the arch.

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