Vanderbilt Basketball Preview: Texas A&M

The 12-9 Vanderbilt Commodores host 18-3 Texas A&M on Thursday night at Memorial Gym. Here is your VandyMania.com preview of the Aggies.

People knew the Aggies would be good but it's safe to say they've exceeded expectations so far this season.  With convincing wins over Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, LSU and Florida, they already look primed for a three seed or above in the NCAA tournament. 

Jalen Jones leads the team averaging 16.8 points per game.  The 6-foot-7 senior sat out the first four games and warmed up before going on a terror to eclipse 20 points or more in eight games on the season.

Danuel House is another powerful senior who can take over games like he recently did against Iowa State scoring 12 points in the final four minutes of the game to lead A&M to a 10-point victory.  The 6-foot-7 guard averages 16 points per game for the Aggies.

Surrounded by a mostly starting cast of seniors, 6-foot-10 freshman Tyler Davis ranks third on the team averaging 11.5 points per game.  Davis is without a doubt one of the best freshmen in the country and has transcended preseason predictions.  He is fifth in the nation in field goal percentage, hitting over 67 percent of attempts from the field.  

Beyond the 3-point line, Columbian 6-foot-10 sophomore Tonny Trocha-Morelos and senior Anthony Collins lead the team with both averaging above 45 percent from behind the arc.

Alex Caruso leads the Aggies in steals. He also tops them in assists, averaging over five per game on a team that is in the top 10 in the country in assists per game.

Davis leads the team with 21 blocks on the season and is second on the team averaging 5.9 rebounds per game.  House and Jones are the other big rebounders for Texas A&M with Jones leading the team averaging 7.4 per game.

The Aggies and 'Dores are very similar with the Aggies slightly leading in points per game and defense.  The Commodores hit a higher rate of 3-pointers and free throws than A&M.  The visiting team also slightly edges the 'Dores in both rebounds and turnovers per game.   While the Aggies lead in steals, Vanderbilt comes out on top in the blocks category.  After playing solid competition, the Aggies have a staggering 12th ranked RPI.

The Commodores have a chance if they limit their turnovers and have a good night from 3-point range to compliment Damian Jones who has been on a rampage lately.  They'll also have to not be fooled by A&M's excellent ball movement.  Luke Kornet and Jones need to make it a rough night for freshman Tyler Davis inside.  Vandy has to play in the second half like they usually do coming out of the gate and not let opponents claw back into the game.

Thursday night's game tips off at 6 pm central time and can be seen on ESPN2. 


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