Texas A&M (23-9) travels to Philadeplhia to face the BYU Cougars in the first round of the NCAA mens backetball tournament on Thursday morning.
The BYU Cougars (25-7) finished 2nd to Utah in the Mountain West Conference, with a conference record of 13-5.
BYU has a record of 15-3 at home and is 10-4 away from home (road and neutral).
BYU was upset by San Diego St, 64-62, in the semifinals of the of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Friday night.
BYU has an RPI of 32 and a Strength of Schedule (SOS) of 67.
BYU's best wins this season have come at home over Utah (RPI 9) , 63-50, on a neutral court over Utah St (22), 68-63, and twice over San Diego St (27), on the road 69-59 and at home 77-71.
BYU has no 'bad' losses for the year. BYU's worst losses have on the road falling to New Mexico (67), 81-62, and twice falling to UNLV (66), on the road 75-74 and at home 76-70. In two of these losses, BYU was held to under 40% shooting. The opponents shot over 35% from three-point range in these wins over BYU.
BYU is ranked No. 30 in the country in the latest Associated Press poll.
BYU is led by a trio of high scoring players, in averaging 77.4 points a game compared to the Aggies 71.7 points a game.
Senior guard Lee Cummard (6-7, 185) is averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists a game. Cummard ranks fourth in the Mountain West Conference in scoring and sixth in rebounding. In BYU's four biggest wins, Cummard on hit 15 of 48 field goals.Cummard is deadly from the field goal line, so not the guy you want to foul.
Sophomore guard Jimmer Fredette (6-2, 195) is averaging 16.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.2 assists a game. Fredette ranks fifth in the Mountain West Conference in scoring. Fredette scored 25 points in BYU's big win over Utah, hitting 8 of 16 field goals and 8 of 9 free throws. Fredette was also BYU's leading scorer in both of BYU's games with San Diego St. In BYU's win over San Diego St, Fredette scored 28 point, connecting on 10 of 19 field goals and 6 of 6 free throws. Fredette scored 17 in BYU's loss to San Diego St, but only hit 5 of 14 field goals.
Junior forward Jonathan Tavernari (6-6, 215) is averaging 15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists a game. Tavernari ranks sixth in the Mountain West Conference in scoring and fourth in rebounding. Tavernari scored 24 points in BYU's win over Utah St.
All three are averaging over 31 minutes a game.
Miles is averaging 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 22 minutes a game, while Emery is averaging 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 28 minutes a game.
The Cougars have settled into a rotation of nine, with the four off the bench being freshman forward Noah Hartsock (6-8, 215), junior guard LaMont Morgan (5-10, 170), freshman forward Charles Abouo (6-5, 210), and freshman center James Anderson (6-10, 230).
BYU gets or relies on very little scoring from their bench.
Hartsock is been racking up the most minutes off the bench lately, and is now averaging 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds a game. Morgan is averaging 3.7 points and 1.4 rebounds in 16 minutes a game. Abouo is averaging while 3 points and 2 rebounds a game while Anderson is averaging 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds a game.
While Cummard gets a lot of attention, it is Fredette that has been key in BYU's big games. The Aggies must play very tough defense on Fredette, trying to limit his field goal percentage, while avoiding foul on Cummard that put him on the line.
BYU is expecting a very physical game from the Aggies and view rebounding, especially on the offensive boards, as being the key to beating the Aggies.
Rebounding will clearly be the key for the Aggies, as it has been all season.
A&M has been outrebounded just once in its last 12 games and has had an average margin of +8.3 in that span. The Aggies have had double-digit rebounding margins in 13 games, including seven of the last 12 games. A&M had a +14 rebounding margin in the narrow loss at Oklahoma, the Sooners’ largest deficit of the year. A&M is 19-3 when out-rebounding its opponent this season and is 4-6 when being beaten or equaled on the boards