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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

Williams vs Stackhouse: SEC Co-Coaches of the Year battle it out in semifinals

Junior+F+Julius+Marble+%2834%29+celebrates+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Vanderbilt+at+Reed+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+28%2C+2023.
Photo by Jonathan Taffet

Junior F Julius Marble (34) celebrates during Texas A&M’s game against Vanderbilt at Reed Arena on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023.

On Monday, March 6, the SEC announced not just one but the two honorees most deserving of being called SEC Coach of the Year.
In one corner is coach Buzz Williams for Texas A&M, who, in just his fourth season as head coach, led the Aggies to a 23-8 overall record and a 15-3 conference record.
This season featured A&M’s first undefeated season in its home arena, a second-place finish in the conference and dominant Quadrant 1 wins against then-No. 15 Auburn, then-No. 11 Tennessee and then-No. 2 Alabama.
In the other corner is first-year Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse, who, after their 72-66 loss to A&M in Reed Arena, has coached his team to a 10-2 record.
This featured a win against then-No. 6 Tennessee and two upset wins against No. 23 Kentucky. One in Rupp Arena on March 1, and one in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
Both coaches have proved to be very deserving of the award and now have a chance to battle it out on the big stage in Music City.
Isn’t that just music to your ears?
In their last matchup on Jan. 28, A&M finished on top with a comfortable yet uneasy 6-point margin victory.
The Commodores were red-hot from deep this game, as they shot over 50% from the 3-point line. One player, in particular, scored all but one point from behind the arc in this SEC showdown.
“As an evaluator, he’s the best shooter in the league,” Williams said.
Junior forward Myles Stute finished the game with 22 points, and if it wasn’t for a dominant performance off the glass from junior forward Andersson Garcia and an even more impressive performance from senior guard Tyrece Radford, the Aggies could have very well lost this game.
“Garcia was the MVP of the game,” Stackhouse said. “He gave them a lot of second chances.”
Radford’s 3-pointer at the end of the first half and his ability to ignite multiple, if not every single run in the second, saved the Aggies from losing their second conference game of the season and upsetting a packed Reed Arena.
Garcia finished the game with eight rebounds, six of them coming from the offensive end.
Since this matchup, Stute has not been the only player in the black and gold uniform to catch fire lately. Senior guards Tyrin Lawrence and Ezra Manjon and junior guard Jordan Wright have been carrying the majority of the workload with 7-foot graduate forward Liam Robbins being out for the rest of the season with a leg injury.
In the quarterfinals, the three guards combined for 61 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists in the 80-73 win against No. 3-seed Kentucky. Against No. 14-seed LSU, the three had a combined 54 points, 23 rebounds and 5 assists in their dominant 77-68 win in the second round.
Similar to No. 4-seed Missouri, Vanderbilt is a fast-paced, talented team filled with guards who can space the court and shoot from any spot in the gym.
The Aggies will have some stiff competition today following the matchup against No. 1 seed Alabama and Missouri at 2 p.m. CT inside Bridgestone Arena. The winner will advance to the finals of the SEC Tournament on March 12 at 11 a.m.

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