After a 1-3 start in Big 12 Conference play, many A&M fans began to question the hire of A&M head coach Mark Turgeon. The pot bangers were out in full force, predicting a 1-5 start to Big 12 play, and all but ending the Aggies' hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row.
"We're at least .500 now," Turgeon said. "We were 1-3 going on the road with at Oklahoma State and Texas coming up? I haven't slept much."
But after a win at Oklahoma State, Turgeon began to get more sleep and fans began to feel a little better. After Wednesday night's throttling of No. 10 Texas—the fourth consecutive win against the Longhorns at Reed Arena—the Aggies are back in business and Turgeon should sleep like a baby.
At least for a night.
"I couldn't be more proud of our team," Turgeon said. "To think about where we were a week ago, we lose a 5 OT game, we lost three in a row, the world was coming to an end. The way these kids have bounced back, I'm really proud of them. Hopefully they'll stay humble and continue to work hard for us and practice well because it's been carrying over to the games."
While many fans and some members of the media may be surprised about the Aggies' return to .500, Turgeon said he understands it's just part of the ups and downs of a long season.
"It's a long season," Turgeon said. "We started playing Nov 1, and we play all the way through March, so you're going to have periods where you don't play well. We had it, and hopefully we only have one. I thought we played well against Baylor, we just didn't have the confidence to win that game. Now we have that (confidence) back."
And the Aggies are going to need that confidence, because the road back to the NCAA Tournament isn't going to get any easier.
A&M faces a talented OU squad at home on Saturday who is much more equipped to handle the Aggies' inside game than Texas and the Aggies have to bounce back from an emotional win in front of a record crowd to keep their momentum going.
"(The win against Texas) is big, but what's big is how we handle this now," Turgeon said. "If we stay humble and continue to work hard and stay focused and play well."
If the Aggies are able to navigate the rocky road ahead back to the NCAA Tournament, Turgeon believes they may look back to a game in January.
"The difference between (the win against Texas) and the Baylor game, is we kept doing a good job with our posts on the ball screens," Turgeon said. "The Baylor game we let down. That was the difference. I think we learned so much about ourselves that night (against Baylor), and even though we lost, that may be the game that changed our season."
Back in Business
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