Hop's Hoops Game Analysis - MVSU

The Texas Aggie basketball team jumped back into action against the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State. Despite a loss of focus and intensity in the middle of the contest, A&M ran away at the end for a 91-67 victory. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop takes a closer look at the game inside the numbers.

I really don't like these games. I mean, you have your easy non-conference games and then you have these mismatches. A&M jumped out to a 17-4 lead and then relaxed. The man defense became lax and lazy. Players defended with their hands and not their feet. Way too many baseline drives and relying on going for the blocked shot versus fighting for good defensive position with good footwork. So you can look at the 12 blocked shots and see that as a positive. Yeah, it's a positive because it reflects the improved athleticism and length, but it also indicates lazy defense when so many blocks are coming from the help side.

So A&M became uninterested and MVSU drew a lot of fouls and hit free throws. So you look up and its a 3-point game with 12 minutes to go. But the Aggies woke up with a vengeance quickly went on a 20-3 run.

Leading the run was Jamal Jones. He struggled in the first half missing several 3-pointers badly. He was more of a perimeter 3-point shooter in JUCO, and he wants to be that guy, but he's not accurate at this point. Ironically, he's most effective when he attacks the basket off the dribble. He has a very quick first step for a 6-foot-8 guy, and once he gets a half-step on the drive you can forget about it with his length. He finishes quite well. He had 2-3 drives and finishes to kick start the final push that opened up the eventual 24-point margin. And once he had success off the dribble, he gained confidence and drained a 3-ball. He finished with 14 points after a dismal first half. Unfortunately, on a steal and fast break he twisted his ankle pretty badly and went to the locker room.

Kourtney Roberson had a career high 24 points and 10 rebounds against a much smaller team. Roberson finished some easy plays which is what you want to see, but it won't reflect how prepared he will be against BCS competition.

Alex Caruso continues to be the engine of this team. He does so many things well on both ends of the floor, and he's much better off the dribble this year and he both finishes at the bucket and finds the open man for the easy bucket when the defense collapses.

Jordan Green started again and had another clean game. He finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting along with three assists and no turnovers. That's not a huge storyline but it is a positive development having one of the few upperclassmen playing solid ball.

Seven players logged more than 20 minutes and no other player had more than 8 minutes of action:

Shawn Smith
Jordan Green
Alex Caruso
Kourtney Roberson
Antwan Space
Fabyon Harris
Jamal Jones

That's a senior, three juniors, two sophomores, and a redshirt freshman. For the team being so young with so much young talent, the veterans are still earning most of the minutes.

Anyway, the talent is there and you can see the potential. It's still a matter of so many newcomers finding their role...i.e. Jamal Jones, Antwan Space, Shawn Smith, and the freshmen. We started to see some of that coming together late in the game with Jones starting to gain confidence before his injury.

Anyway, the Aggies return to action on Friday against Rice at Reed Arena.

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