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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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With the tournament in sight, A&M men’s hoops visits South Carolina

Don’t make the bubble burst.
Texas A&M sits as a 10-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology, and it will try to prevent a bad loss as the season nears its end against South Carolina at 11 a.m. Saturday in Columbia.
Coming off consecutive home victories, the Aggies (18-7, 9-4 SEC) worked their way back up to sharing the third place spot in the SEC with Ole Miss. In its 68-62 triumph over LSU, A&M registered three double-digit scorers, and Jordan Green followed with nine points.
South Carolina (13-12, 4-9 SEC) was plagued with suspensions earlier this week. Before the Gamecocks’ last game against Georgia, freshman Demetrius Henry and sophomore Shamiek Sheppard were notified that they would sit out for the rest of the season.
Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin has had his hands full, giving minutes to only seven players Tuesday night. However, they managed to defeat Georgia, who defeated A&M 62-53 in Reed Arena on Feb. 11.
“They did a good job of hitting Georgia in the mouth early and making shots when they were open,” junior guard Alex Caruso said. “We can’t let them get a hot start, especially at their place. The last year we were there, they got up on us big. We have to do a good job of coming out with energy early and being poised throughout the whole game.”
Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice lead South Carolina in scoring with 11.6 and 11 points per game, respectively. In last year’s matchup, the tandum had 19 apiece, roaring the Gamecocks to an 80-52 victory.
In the victory over LSU, A&M squeaked by late, even with giving the ball away 13 times — seven of which came from Caruso. Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy said South Carolina’s defense could cause problems.
“They’re tough defensively,” Kennedy said. “They try to speed you up, they try to get you out of your offense. We have to go make plays on our own. We have to make solid plays, and the biggest thing I’m concerned about is turning the ball over for layups. They make you turn it over.”
Because they’re short-ended on bodies, Martin was forced into implementing a zone defense, something that the Aggies have been successful with.
“They’re not a zone team, and we’ve scored better against the zone than anything else we’ve run up against,” Kennedy said. “I hope that they play us some zone, and hopefully because of their numbers they’ll have to play some. Hopefully we’ll move the ball and shoot the ball a little bit better than we have recently.”
The game can be seen on the SEC Network.

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