Turgeon wants more from Aggie front court

They're one of the biggest front courts in the country, but according to A&M coach Mark Turgeon, the Aggie big men aren't living up to their potential just yet. Aggie Websider takes a look at the front court's production so far and visits with Turgeon about his plans to make them better.

Aggie basketball fans had several question marks heading into the 2007-2008 basketball season. Who would fill the lack of point production left behind by NBA lottery pick Acie Law? Would Dominique Kirk be able to fill Law's shoes as the primary ball handler? Would Mark Turgeon be able to continue to build on the program's momentum after a Sweet 16 run a year ago?

But not many Aggie basketball fans were worried about the front court—a front court consisting of senior Joseph Jones, sophomore Bryan Davis and freshman DeAndre Jordan—and very few fans seem worried as Big 12 Conference play draws nearer.

But head coach Mark Turgeon sees little things on film—things that are keeping the Aggies' big men are living up to their potential.

"We looked at our numbers (against Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and you think our guys aren't getting (the ball), but they got a lot of touches, we got the ball inside, we just don't post up well," Turgeon said. "They call it squibbling, where you get your body in the right position, and we don't do that. We don't run to the right spot every time as a post player and I don't think we post feed very well but we can get better at it."

Perhaps one reason why most fans haven't noticed it is because the Aggies' foursome in the paint hasn't been bad

Jones is the No. 2 scorer on the team, averaging 11.2 points per game. Jordan follows as the No. 3 scorer, adding 9.0 points per game, despite averaging just 20 minutes on the floor per game. Davis is averaging 7.4 points per game of his own off the bench and Junior Elonu is adding another 4.4 points per game.

Only Josh Carter averages more than Jones and Jordan, and he's not far ahead with 13.6 points per game in an Aggie offense that is extremely balanced.

The Aggies are also outrebounding their opponents by an average of 11.7 rebounds per game as well, so there's no need to panic just yet.

But Jones and Jordan combined for just 11 field goal attempts against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which is what triggered post-game comments from Turgeon on Sunday night. And while Turgeon acknowledged on Monday that it was partially the result of double teams, which forced the Aggies to kick the ball back out to the perimeter, that's not a good enough excuse for the new A&M coach.

He knows how much tougher the defenses will get when Big 12 play rolls around, and he knows that he's got less than one month of practice and just five more non-conference games to get it all figured out.

"We'll continue to work at it," Turgeon said. "There's 50 little things we're not doing at a high level right now. They're at a six or a seven, when we get it to a 9-10, we're going to be pretty good."

The good news for Turgeon and the Aggies is that a lot of that improvement should happen naturally as the non-conference portion of the schedule begins to wind down.

Jordan will continue to mature and everyone involved will get more comfortable with Turgeon's new offensive system. Jones will play more minutes and take more shots when conference play rolls around. Davis will continue to drop his seven to 10 points per game off the bench and Elonu will continue to come in for 8-12 minutes per game as well.

They should all be more comfortable in the new offense by January, which, combined with a month of working with Turgeon and Co. on their post technique in practice, the entire Aggie front court should see their offensive numbers improve.

Which should also keep the number below "W" increasing as well.




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