After opening Southeastern Conference play with a home win over Arkansas earlier in the week, the Texas A&M men's basketball team hits the road this weekend for Knoxville, Tenn., to face Tennessee on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT) inside Thompson-Boling Arena. The match-up will be televised on FSN.
The Aggies (10-4, 1-0 SEC) received great contributions by a couple of the new faces on this year's squad during Wednesday's victory over Arkansas as both Davonte Fitzgerald and Jamal Jones provided a scoring punch for the Maroon & White.
Fitzgerald, a true freshman from Atlanta, enjoyed a career night in his first action against SEC copetition, finishing with a personal-best and game-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and a 7-of-8 mark from the free throw line.
Jones, meanwhile, approached his first career double-double by ending play with 14 points and a personal-best eight boards. In six games since being inserted into the starting line-up, Jones is averaging a team-best 12.7 points per contest.
Also making his presence felt in the win over the Razorbacks was sophomore guard Alex Caruso, who joined elite company with contributions on the court. The College Station, Texas, native tallied a career-high 11 assists vs. Arkansas to become the first Aggie to reach double-digits in assists since Acie Law IV accomplished the feat against Texas on Feb. 5, 2007.
Caruso enters the weekend leading the SEC in assists (69) and assists per game (4.9) while ranking fourth in the league in steals per game (2.2).
The Volunteers (10-4, 1-0 SEC) also opened SEC play earlier in the week as they earned a 68-50 win at LSU on Tuesday night. Junior forward Jarnell Stokes led the way for UT with a double-double against the Tigers, finishing with 15 points and 15 rebounds while senior guard Jordan McRae contributed a game-high 19 points.
A year ago, Tennessee and Texas A&M engaged in one of the most epic battles of the SEC season when the two teams traded blows in a four-overtime thriller at Reed Arena. The Vols walked away with a 93-85 victory despite a Reed Arena record 38 points from A&M's Elston Turner.
• After opening Southeastern Conference play with a win over Arkansas on Wednesday at Reed Arena, the Aggies are back in action Saturday as they make just their second-ever visit to Thompson–Boling Arena to face Tennessee.
• The Aggies and Volunteers have faced off just six times in the series with the Vols walking away winners in five of the contests.
• The visit to Knoxville will be the Aggies' first true road game of the season after playing 11 home games at Reed Arena and three on neutral courts this season.
• During the victory over Arkansas the Aggie defense held the Hogs, which entered the game leading the SEC and ranking seventh nationally in scoring offense by averaging 87.2, to season lows in both points (53) and shooting percentage (36.2%) ... This season, the A&M defense leads the SEC in field goal percentage defense (.377) and ranks second in scoring defense (60.1 points per game).
• Texas A&M has proven to be a good closing team as the Aggies are shooting 60.2 percent during the final five minutes of games this season while holding their opponents to just a 32.7 shooting percentage during that same time frame.
• Dynamic sophomore guard Alex Caruso dished out a career-best 11 assists during the win over the Razorbacks Wednesday and in the process became the first Aggie to reach double-digits in assists since Acie Law accomplished the feat against Texas on Feb. 5, 2007 ... The College Station, native enters the weekend leading the SEC in assists (69) and assists per game (4.9) ... Additionally, Caruso ranks fourth in the league in steals per game (2.2) and on the Aggies in scoring (9.5 points per game).
• Junior guard Jamal Jones has continued his growth into one of the Aggies' most reliable scoring options after scoring 14 points in the win over Arkansas ... In the last six game since joining the starting line-up, Jones is averaging 12.7 points per game.
• Freshman forward Davonte Fitzgerald enjoyed the highest scoring contest of his young A&M career during the win over Arkansas, finishing with a game-high 17 points in 19 minutes off the Aggie bench.
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