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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Twice bitten

Photo by Photo by CJ Smith

Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) heads to the locker room after Texas A&M’s game against Memphis on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 at Reed Arena. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, Texas A&M men’s basketball shot the lights out against DePaul, draining 14 from behind the arc while shooting 53% from the field.
The next game on Wednesday, Dec. 10, the Aggies shot just 39.1% and only made six 3s en route to a 81-75 loss to the Memphis Tigers. This marks the first loss at home for the Maroon and White since December of last season, when A&M was upset by Wofford, 67-62.
David Jones was electric and Memphis’ offense made shots when it mattered
In an overtime victory against VCU, junior Memphis forward David Jones, who averages 19.1 points per game, suffered an ankle injury which put his availability against A&M in question. Despite this, he was available to play against the Aggies.
If there was any discomfort in his ankle, the Dominican Republic native definitely didn’t show it.
Jones had 29 points — 21 in the first half — and was 5-9 from deep. He also hit all eight of his shots from the charity stripe.
“David was phenomenal,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “He came to play. I’m not ever worried about him coming to play. He made big shot after big shot. Every run that they tried to make, it seemed like he made the bucket to keep us ahead or keep us in the game.”
If Jones was the first blow, senior Memphis guard and Alabama transfer Jahvon Quinerly was the knockout punch. Although Jones only scored 8 in the second half, Quinerly picked up the slack, erupting for 15 points on 8-13 in the second half, giving him 24 on the game.
As a team, the Tigers shot 48.1% from the field and were 9-22 from deep. Every time it appeared the Aggies could get back into the game, Memphis made clutch shots to halt any potential momentum.
Down the stretch, fifth-year G Caleb Mills made multiple clutch shots, including back-to-back 3s with 7 minutes left, to stretch the Tiger’s lead back to double figures.
“We didn’t get enough stops,” coach Buzz Williams said. “Their offensive numbers were distinctly better.”
Memphis found ways to get buckets when it mattered most in the second half. Even after A&M cut it to 2 early, the Tigers continued to find ways to score to hold back any kind of moment for the Maroon and White.
A&M’s offense can’t be a flash in the pan, it needs to be a consistent burn
If you only watched A&M against DePaul, you’d think the Aggies were one of the best shooting teams in the country.
Unfortunately for Aggie fans, this hasn’t been the case so far this season.
The Maroon and White shot 39.1% as a team, and only sank six 3s on 33 attempts. Memphis’ defense sped up A&M’s offense and forced shots the Maroon and White were not comfortable in taking even with the return of graduate G Tyrece Radford, who had been a calming force for A&M before missing the last 3 with an injury.
“Whatever category you want to look at, it wasn’t terrible,” Williams said. “If all of those [offensive] categories are sub your average, and it’s a two-possession game, it’s not your effort, it’s not your together-ness, it’s not your chemistry. It’s not that they were hitting, in every category we didn’t meet the standard.”
When A&M was successful last season, it was forcing teams to play at its own pace. At the end of last year, the Aggies finished No. 1 in free throw attempts per game. This year, they’re tied for 175th.
A&M is not efficient when it becomes a shooting team, but that’s exactly what it isn’t. The formula for the Aggies has not changed this season, with almost all production returning. If the Maroon and White want to succeed not just in the conference, but on a national scale, they have to play their game, not the game that other teams force them to play.
Wade Taylor IV has a lot of weight on his shoulders
Last season, junior G Wade Taylor IV finished the year averaging 16.3 points per game, shot almost 40% from the field and was 35.6% from deep. With these numbers, the Dallas native earned an All-SEC First-Team selection and a preseason SEC Player of the Year nomination this year.
Despite averaging 17.1 ppg this year, Taylor is shooting 37.3% from the field and just 25.4% from beyond the arch, while averaging 3.1 turnovers per game.
Taylor, since stepping onto the court, has always been a leader for the Aggies, and they need him to be. However, after last year, he is no longer just another guard. His national recognition has put a target on his back and a weight on his shoulders.
“Early on, we double teamed [Taylor] right away and made him get off the ball,” Hardaway said. “He’s such a willing passer, which was good for us because he advanced the ball and got it to [Andersson] Garcia and those guys. We wanted those guys to be the playmakers and not him.”
Taylor set himself a precedent last season, and as a team, the Aggies have evolved from the hunters to the hunted with their No. 12 ranking to start the year. Its uncharted territory for the Maroon and White as a whole, but especially for Taylor.
There is no simple solution to getting out of a slump — if you can call 17.1 ppg a slump — but for Taylor, he just has to keep playing his game. As evident from last season, he is not a 25% 3-point shooter, but he can’t let himself get into his head.
That hasn’t seemed to be a problem yet, but what makes Taylor special is his ability to make shots that make you scratch your head in disbelief. When he stops taking his shots, the Aggies could find themselves in trouble.

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