Turgeon discusses 08-09 newcomers

Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp visits with Texas A&M basketball coach Mark Turgeon about incoming freshmen David Loubeau and Dash Harris in an exclusive interview earlier this week. What does he expect from the duo and how far can they take the Aggies?

In Mark Turgeon's first year at Texas A&M, he knew that the departure of All-American point guard Acie Law left lots of questions at the position. And while Donald Sloan did a tremendous job of filling in, one of the first priorities in recruiting was finding a true point guard.

Turgeon believes he found his guy in Florida's Dashan Harris.

"We needed a true point guard, and we feel like we got that," Turgeon said in an exclusive interview with Aggie Websider this week. "Dash is one of those guys that works hard loves the game, plays all the time and makes guys better around him."

And while Harris has a knack for leading the offense, Turgeon is equally as excited about his ability on the other end of the floor.

"He's a big time defender. He takes a lot of pride in his defense," Turgeon said. "A lot of kids coming in aren't ready to play defense but he's ready because he had a high school coach that pushed him and made him a better defender."

Turgeon, who played point guard himself during his college career at Kansas, says that the A&M coaching staff does want to work with the speedy point guard in a couple of areas before the season starts.

"He's not consistent enough as a shooter yet but he's much further along today than he was a year ago at this time and will make himself a great shooter," Turgeon said. "He's also got to be more solid with his decision-making. He sees things that players don't see sometimes so they've got to get used to his passes."

In addition to Harris, Turgeon and Co. were also looking for a long, athletic big man that can be used in a variety of ways—a different type of player than A&M had recruited in the last few years.

Turgeon believes he found that player in David Loubeau.

"Loubeau is a guy we're really counting on," Turgeon said. "He's the type of kid that I think you'll see us recruit more and more—long, athletic, skilled. He can (score) in a lot of different ways. He can score on the block with the jump hook, he can step out and make a 15-footer, he can make a three and he can do it off the dribble. He's also a solid defender and we're counting on him."

If the Aggies are going to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament, Turgeon says they'll need contributions from both of them.

"We're counting on both of those guys to be a major part of our team this year. They need to be, and that's why they chose us because they knew there was an opportunity to play," Turgeon said. "Both of them will go through growing pains at different times, especially when Big 12 play starts and going on the road and all that, but we feel really good about both of them."

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