Texas A&M Preview

Saturday, Texas was able to hold off one of college basketball's fastest teams in terms of tempo. Tonight, they'll get a shot at one of the slowest.

Texas A&M will host Texas tonight, and the Aggies will undoubtedly look for revenge from the last time the two teams met. In that contest, the Longhorns shot a blazing 58 percent from the field, including a 66.7 percent clip in the second half in running away with an 81-60 win.

But there were some anomalies in that contest that led to the massive margin of victory. First of all, it's unlike the Longhorns to shoot at such a hot rate, including a 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) performance from the free throw line, just as it is unlikely for the Aggies (a top-50 defense in effective field goal percentage) to allow such a torrid shooting day. Likewise, the Aggies, who shoot nearly 72 percent from the line as a team, suffered a rough day from the stripe.

The Aggies also rate as one of the country's best rebounding teams, snatching 40.9 percent of available offensive rebounds (sixth) and 72.4 percent of defensive rebounds (17th). Yet they were out-rebounded 33-25 in the first game against Texas.

The Aggies also allowed 81 points, the only time they've allowed more than 65 in a non-overtime contest. While Texas A&M ranks as a top-50 defense in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency, the real reason opponents struggle to score is the low tempo that the Aggies play at. So much for Missouri's "fastest 40 minutes" … the Aggies are the 308th fastest team in adjusted tempo.

All of which means that Monday's result won't necessarily mirror that of the first time the two teams meet. Sure, the Longhorns are still a tough matchup. Jordan Hamilton is tough for wing Khris Middleton to defend. Dogus Balbay and Cory Joseph guard players in B.J. Holmes and Dash Harris who aren't exactly threats to light teams up. And the Longhorns certainly have an advantage down low, where Tristan Thompson is longer and more athletic than any real Aggie option, whereas Gary Johnson is a versatile threat that the Aggies don't seem to have an answer for.

But the revenge factor, as well as the fact that the Aggies will be stomping mad following a loss at Nebraska, means that this one probably won't be decided as early on.


Horns Digest Top Stories