Aggie Hoops Scrimmage Report

The Texas Aggie basketball team held its first scrimmage of the new season as 1000 fans attended the event at Reed Arena. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop breaks down the game and discusses individual performances of each team member in the best Texas A&M basketball analysis on the Internet

First, just some overview thoughts and then I'll give a brief thumbnail of each scholarship player. If this scrimmage is any indication, this team plays much faster than Turgeon's team. Shot selection isn't as prudent as it was under Tuegeon. The shot clock was rarely a factor. Typically there were 2-3 passes and then a shot. It made for some very impressive made baskets, but it also created a lot of missed shots. Both teams combined to shoot 8-of-32 from the 3-point line.

Big men are shooting more mid-range shots and they don't have the reins on them like in recent years. That has its positives and negatives, and it's simply too soon to know what this will look like in its finished product especially since you have so many bench players participating. For example, David Loubeau dominated in the post scoring 21 points but half the time he was matched up with a freshman or we have to put these scrimmages in proper context which is why I look more at athleticism, decision-making, foot speed, shot form, ball handling, etc. and not simply end-result (did he score or not).

The defense was hit-and-miss, which is usually the case this early in the season during scrimmages for the very reason I mentioned previously...a lot of mismatches with all bench players on the court. So let's go to the individual player breakdowns.

1. David Loubeau

He was usually double-teamed when he received the ball in the post, and the first team all-BIg 12 better get used to it. He's even quicker in his spin moves and he'll be impossible to stop without a double team. His mid-range shot has become almost automatic. Finished hitting 9-of-12 from the field.

2. Elston Turner

Turner isn't most impressive looking athlete. He's like a junk yard dog. Most of his point production comes from his outside stroke and he has a very quick, efficient release and he can get his shot off with defenders in his face because of his size and quick release. But where I saw Turner's greatest value is in his ability to drive the lane, attract contact, and find ways to get his shot off whether it's a jump stop, pull-up jumper, or even a variety of runners. He finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 (3-6 from 3-pt). I'm not sure about his defense just yet, but he cuts off passing lanes with his length and size.

3. Ray Turner

Now that's the Ray Turner I've been waiting two seasons to see. He played more consistently and with more of a purpose tonight. He pulled down a team high 8 rebounds and he made a variety of shots from in the post to outside the paint. If he plays with that kind of energy for 25 minutes a game this season, he's going to win some ball games for the Aggies and take some of the defensive pressure off of Loubeau. Hit 7-of-9 shots and no turnovers.

4. Dash Harris

Dash looks more in control running the offense and he even hit a nice mid-range jumper early in the first half. He made some nice decisions on the fast break and didn't try to do too which plagued him in his younger days. Now, he still doesn't have an outside shot, and I've come to accept the fact that never will. However, with Middleton, Turner, and HIbbert he doesn't need to shoot the outside shot. His job is to collapse the defense and kick it to an open shooter. I think he's improved, but it's all relative. He's not going to transform into a player that he's not. He had six assists and only two turnovers. If he can keep that ratio positive all season, that's about all we can ask.

5. Khris Middleton

There's no question that Middleton is stronger and quicker off the dribble, and he's more comfortable off the dribble this season, but he's still getting into trouble and creating turnovers. He had four turnovers and most of those came off the dribble and he was double-teamed. His shot wasn't falling as he hit only 4-of-11 (0-4 from 3-pt), but I never thought he got off many good shots squared up to the basket. He did have 6 assists.

6. Kourtney Roberson

He's not spectacular and he's not the most athletic, but he's a quick jumper in the paint and he is money around the basket wth putbacks. He tied Ray Turner for high rebounder at eight. You know what you get with Roberson. Brother Bernard King was in the crowd.

7. Naji Hibbert

Naji slowly gets better every year. He has the tools and he has a good 3-point shot, but his deal is confidence and he showed more confidence in all phases of the game. It's not a huge transformation from last year, but he is playing with slightly more confidence and he'll be a solid contributor in the season as long as he doesn't freeze up under the bright lights which has been his M.O. to date in his career.

8. Jamal Branch

His long arms and quickness can give guards fits. Branch made the play of the game on a steal and he is incredible in transition. He finished with five assists and only two turnovers. The issue with Branch is he needs to understand that he's not going to win A&M games with his outside shot. He went 0-4 from the 3-point line and his shots weren't that close. He's at his best creating scoring opportunities for others. Once he realizes this, he'll become a much better basketball player. His length on defense will cause opposing guards problems.

9. Daniel Alexander

He's playing much bigger now than he was a year ago when he weighed under 200 pounds and physically wasn't ready to play at the D-1 level. One source told me yesterday he's the most improved player since the summer, and I won;t disagree after seeing hi bang around in the paint and playing above the rim. He also stepped out and hit two 3-pointers finishing 2-of-3.

10. Zach Kinsley

As you expect, he's not the most athletic guy but he remainds me of Chris Walker. If he's left open, he'll hit the 3-pointer and with more talented teammates on the court, he's usually left open. He'll get some big buckets along the way this season, but in a situational role.

11. Keith Davis

The problem here is probably me. I see his long frame and the way he moves on the defensive end with those long arms and I keep thinking this kid has a chance to be a special player. He's only a sophomore so that can still happen, but he's still not playing with the confidence needed to succeed at this level on the offensive end. He just doesn't have the post-up moves or the touch to be an offensive factor. He'll play and eat up minutes because A&M has only four post men on the roster and he's actually a pretty decent defensive player, but I haven't seen him take his game to another level from last year.

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