Texas A&M (6-6) at North Carolina (4-5)
Dean E. Smith Center
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: (Listen live)
Previewing Texas A&M
The Aggies enter Sunday's game with a 6-6 record. After a disappointing 10-20 campaign in 2000-2001, the team has shown signs of growth, posting wins over George Washington and Purdue this year. However, they've had their share of mid-major losses, falling to Loyola Marymount, SW Missouri State, Illinois-Chicago and La.-Monroe. (2001-2002 Schedule/Results w/Stats)
Head coach Melvin Watkins is in his fourth season in College Station. He is a (UNC-)Charlotte grad, leading the 49ers to the Final Four in 1977. Watkins then assumed assistant coaching duties at Charlotte for 18 seasons, before being named the head coach in 1996. In his two seasons as head coach in Charlotte, Watkins led the 49ers to a 42-20 record and two straight NCAA Tournament first-round victories. UNCC posted a two-year conference record of 23-7 and advanced to the Conference USA Tournament finals both years. Watkins is 30-55 in his first three seasons with the Aggies.
Texas A&M played North Carolina last season on Dec. 9 in Houston, Texas, losing 82-60.
The Aggies are led by Bernard King. The 6-5 junior guard was the 2000 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and is a two-time All-Big 12 pick. Last year, he became the first A&M player, and the 13th from a Big 12 school, to reach 1,000 career points in his sophomore season. He also was one of just three Div. I players to average at least 18.0 points and 4.5 assists, joining Duke's Jason Williams and Monmouth's Rashaan Johnson.
ACC fans will recognize A&M reserve forward Keith Bean, a 6-8 junior who played one season at N.C. State (appearing in 24 games for the Wolfpack in 1998-99) before transferring.
A&M is currently a battered club, with several injured players. In their last game, a loss to La.-Monroe a week ago, they played without sophomore Jesse King, who suffered a bruised knee on Friday, and senior Andy Leatherman, who did not make the trip after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last week. At the same time, Nick Anderson played with a sprained ankle and Bernard King was nursing a strained groin and a thigh bruise.
Probable Starting Lineup:
Michael Gardener (5-11, So., G) 6.9 pts, 2.6 ast
Bernard King (6-5, Jr., G) 18.4 pts, 5.2 reb, 4.1 ast
Jesse King (6-7, So., F) 8.1 pts, 3.7 reb
Nick Anderson (6-6, So., F) 12.4 pts, 5.7 reb
Andy Slocum (7-0, So., C) 6.3 pts, 4.8 reb
Keith Bean (6-8, Jr., F) 5.7 pts, 4.3 reb
Bradley Jackson (5-11, Jr., G) 4.6 pts, 2.6 ast
Daryl Mason (6-6, Fr., G) 3.5 pts, 2.3 reb
Larry Scott (6-6, Jr., F) 2.5 pts
Tomas Ress (7-0, So., F) 1.3 pts, 2.3 reb
Head Coach Melvin Watkins
(Thanks to the A&M Media Relations Office for the photos.)
Background Location: College Station, TX Enrollment: 43,031 Conference: Big 12 Nickname: Aggies Colors: Maroon and White Head Coach: Melvin Watkins Career Record: 72-75 Years at Texas A&M: 3 Record at Texas A&M: 30-55