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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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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Trio of former A&M hoops stars set to take pro basketball’s biggest stage

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photo by Keith Allison

Wizards v/s Clippers 03/12/11

March Madness may be over, but basketball certainly isn’t. With the NBA playoffs starting Saturday, a handful of teams are still battling for a bid, while few have the luxury of coasting and resting until the weekend.
And though A&M hasn’t made the NCAA tournament in recent years, a handful of Aggies could factor into the NBA championship hunt — Deandre Jordan (Clippers), Donald Sloan (Pacers) and Khris Middleton (Bucks).
Jordan, who played with the Aggies for just one year in the 2007-08 season, is producing his best year, especially on the defensive side. While free throws are his demise, Jordan takes advantage with his length and boasts the highest field goal percentage in the NBA at .709, while second place shoots just .575. He ranks fourth in double-doubles, and averages 11.4 points per game while grabbing 14.9 rebounds, which leads the league.
The center, who is in a contract season for the Clippers, the Western Conference’s third-seed, has many convinced that he will win the Defensive Player of the Year, including his head coach, Doc Rivers.
“If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation,” Rivers said at a press conference.
The Pacers (37-43) needed a point guard to pick up the slack after George Hill and Paul George missed time with injuries, so Sloan saw lots of playing time early in the season. He averages 7.7 points and 3.7 assists.
Since George’s return, the Pacers have mustered a run that could very well send them to Atlanta Saturday. The team is tied for eighth place, while the Hawks are the definite 1-seed.
In head coach Jason Kidd’s first year with the Bucks, he already has them set as the 6-seed in the playoffs, and they will most likely face either the Toronto Raptors or the Chicago Bulls.
The Bucks (40-40) haven’t won a playoff series since the 2000-2001 season, but Middleton could lift them over the hump. Middleton’s contract ends after this year, and he is a hot commodity in the eyes of many NBA teams, including the Bucks. Heads turn at the analytic numbers he posts, as Middleton ranks No. 8 in the NBA in real plus-minus.
While it isn’t likely that any Aggies will face each other, there will be a much bigger Texas A&M presence in these playoffs than in recent years.

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  • Pacers at Wizards 11/05/14

    Keith Allison
  • Khris Middleton

    photo from 12thman.com
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