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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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With healthy Danuel House, A&M basketball started practice last Friday

Basketball+Preview
Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
Basketball Preview

With a healthy Danuel House, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team held its first practice  Friday afternoon inside the Sally and Ray Bowen ’58 practice courts at the Cox-McFerrin Center.

A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said it was time to get the ball rolling with a practice.

“We originally weren’t going to practice today,” Kennedy said. “We were going to push it back to next week. We’re practicing today because of me. It’s the first day we can go, we’re going to take advantage of it. We’re excited about it. Let’s go have fun.”

Kennedy used a microphone to communicate during practice, and occasionally halted practice all together to order his team to run sprints when they did not exhibit loud and clear communication with each other.

Senior forward Danuel House participated in practice after missing the conclusion of last season due to a foot injury and sitting out during the teams exhibition games in Europe over the summer due to a minor knee injury.

Hes good — hes 100 percent, Kennedy said. He was really near 100 percent when we went on the trip. We just chose not to play him, but hes been good for us the last few weeks.

House, a transfer from the University of Houston, led the Aggies in the 2014-15 season with 14.8 points per game. In his absence, the Aggies went 1-3 in their final four games of the season.

On Friday, House showed no signs of injury while executing team drills. In fact, House repetitively dunked the basketball whenever he possessed it inside the paint, displaying explosive vertical leap while also finishing with vicious one- and two-handed slams.

Prior to practice, House said there was a clear increase in the talent level on the teams roster this season, making practices more competitive and beneficial for extracting the best potential from this team.

Everybody on our roster on the guard position can pretty much knock the three ball down pretty solidly, House said. Were having to learn how to be able to help on the pick and roll, but youve got to get out there before a good shooter can shoot the ball — which is helpful because top 25 teams, they got good players just like that. So, I always go by saying, Iron sharpens iron. Thats all it is in practice. Were just ironed metal trying to sharpen each other.

With returning statistical leaders in points per game (14.8), rebounds (6.6) and assists (5.6) in seniors House, Jalen Jones and Alex Caruso, respectively, and with an incoming freshman class ranked inside the top ten, Texas A&M figures to be in the hunt for the NCAA tournament come March Madness in 2016.

Our goal, like I said every year, is to be in the NCAA tournament, Kennedy said. We expect to be there this year. Were trying to win the SEC championship. Thats what Texas A&M is about, excellence, and thats our goal.

Texas A&M opens regular season play on Friday, Nov. 6, in a home matchup at Reed Arena versus Texas A&M International.

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    Photo By: Lawrence Smelser
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