The Jayhawks (24-1, 10-0 Big 12) will look to continue their best start since 1996-97.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M (18-6, 7-3 Big 12), which was picked to finish fifth
in the Preseason Big 12 Coaches' Poll, enters tonight's showdown tied
for second in the league with K-State. After starting conference play
at 1-2, A&M has won six of its last seven games, including four
straight. The Aggies' three losses in Big 12 play came at Oklahoma State (76-69), at Texas (72-67, OT), and at KSU (88-65).
Five of the Aggies' six losses this season have been to teams that have
been ranked in the Top 25 for multiple weeks (Texas, West Virginia,
Washington, New Mexico and Kansas State).
A&M, which has rallied from double-digit deficits each of the
last three games, is coming off a 67-65 victory at Texas Tech on
Saturday. Junior guard B.J. Holmes led the Aggies with 18 points, while
senior forward Bryan Davis added 13 points and 16 rebounds. A&M
won despite shooting just 16-of-27 from the free-throw line.
Head coach Mark Turgeon's Aggies are averaging 73.4 points per game
while allowing 65.6. A&M is shooting 44.7 percent from the
field, 32.2 percent from three-point range, and 65.2 percent at the
free-throw line. The Aggies are holding foes to 41.2 percent field-goal
shooting and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding
opponents 37.0 to 34.7 boards per game.
Senior guard Donald Sloan paces the team with 18.3 points per game (No.
4 in Big 12), while ranking second with 31 threes and 51
assists. Davis is next in scoring at 10.4 points per game (team-high
7.6 rpg and 45 blocks), followed by Holmes (9.5 ppg, team-best 41
threes), sophomore forward David Loubeau (8.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg), junior
forward Nathan Walkup (6.0 ppg), freshman forward Khris Middleton (5.8
ppg), sophomore guard Dash Harris (5.0 ppg, team-high 79 assists and 38
steals) and freshman guard Naji Hibbert (2.1 ppg).
Turgeon, the former KU point guard (1983-87), has posted a 67-27 record
in his third season at College Station. He's compiled a 220-146 record
in his 12th season as head coach overall. Turgeon has led A&M
to two NCAA tournaments and an average of 24.5 wins per season. He
coached at Wichita State the previous seven seasons.
Turgeon began his coaching career as an assistant under Larry Brown at
KU in 1987-88, and then under Roy Williams (1988-92).
He was the first player in Jayhawks history to play in four consecutive
NCAA tournaments, helping the team to a 108-33 record under Brown.
Turgeon is 0-3 as head coach against Kansas.
HUNGRY AT HOME
The Aggies have won 16 straight home games dating back to last year
(eight straight in Big 12 play), tying Duke and Murray State for the
ninth longest active streak in the nation. A&M, which is 29-2
at home the last two seasons, is 13-0 at Reed Arena this season,
including 5-0 in Big 12 play.
SELF ON THE AGGIES
A&M's 7-3 start in Big 12 action is its second-best in the
league's 14-year history. The 2006-07 team, which finished 27-7 and
advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, started 9-1.
"They're winning close games," Self said of the Aggies, who've won four
league games by a combined 12 points. "They've won a ton of close
games, and really lost a game at Texas they could have easily won.
They're 7-3 and could easily be 8-2. They've got good players, but
(Turgeon) and his staff have done a really good job. And they guard
Self is expecting a rocking atmosphere at Reed Arena tonight.
"It will be a great environment because theoretically if they win out,
and knock us off, they'll put themselves in great position to maybe
play for the league championship," Self said. "We've got to be really
good, just like we were going down to Austin. (KU beat Texas, 80-68,
last Monday.) ... We were focused going away from home and I think our
guys will be focused going down to College Station."
PLAYING WITHOUT ROLAND
The Aggies suffered a major blow when senior guard Derrick Roland broke
his right leg against Washington on Dec. 22 and was lost for the
season. Roland, the team's No. 2 scorer (10.5 ppg), was arguably the
best perimeter defender in the Big 12 and a huge leader for Turgeon's
A&M, though, has gone 9-3 since Roland's injury.
KU leads the overall series with A&M 14-1 in games dating back
to 1967. The Jayhawks have won the last three meetings. A&M was
the last team to beat Kansa at home on Feb. 3, 2007. KU has since won
an NCAA-leading 56 straight home games.
Kansas is 6-0 against Texas A&M in Reed Arena.
Scouting Texas A&M
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