#25 Texas A&M Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
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The Aggies came crashing down from their 28-win 2015-16 season by winning just 16 games a year ago. This year, Texas A&M and Billy Kennedy will be expected to bounce back and compete in the SEC. The Aggies return their top five scorers, while adding a much-needed true point guard and experienced sixth man to the lineup. Texas A&M will have a roster nicely blended with experienced upperclassmen and talented youngsters. This team should be a top-25 caliber team all year long and will be expected to find themselves in the hunt for an SEC title.
2016-17 Record: 16-15, 8-10
2016-17 Postseason:
Billy Kennedy
Coach Record:
115-85 at Texas A&M, 326-264 overall
Who’s Out:
Texas A&M’s depth will take the hardest hit with their losses. JC Hampton is gone after one season at Texas A&M as a grad transfer. Hampton started 22 games and averaged 6.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Hampton’s shooting will be missed as he led the team with a 41.3% mark from behind the arc. Tavario Miller graduated after a four-year career at Texas A&M. Miller played in 123 career games as an Aggie, and averaged a career-high 3.1 points as a senior. Eric Vila elected to transfer after just one year at Texas A&M. Vila played in 20 games as a freshman, averaging 2.3 points in 11.9 minutes per game. Caleb Smith and Kobie Eubanks have also transferred after limited roles last season. Smith appeared in 14 games as a freshman, averaging 7.2 minutes. Eubanks saw action in 17 games as a sophomore and averaged 6.9 minutes.
Who’s In:
Billy Kennedy attempted to improve the Aggies’ depth by bringing in seven new players to the roster. Duane Wilson is a grad transfer from Marquette who adds immediate experience and scoring to the A&M roster. Wilson averaged 11+ points in his first two years at Marquette, but averaged just 4.8 points in limited minutes last year. Wilson should be a valuable sixth man for the Aggies. JJ Caldwell signed with Texas A&M last year, but was ruled ineligible to play. Now, Caldwell adds a much-needed point guard presence to the Aggies as a former four-star recruit. Kennedy will welcome five true freshmen to team this year. Savion Flagg, a 6-7 forward, is the highest rated newcomer. Flagg was ranked as a four-star recruit just outside of the top-50. TJ Starks and Jay Jay Chandler are both three-star guards who were ranked right around the top-150 prospects. Both players will give A&M help with their backcourt depth. The Aggies also added three-star forwards John Walker and Isiah Jasey. This year, Texas A&M should have fewer issues with their bench production.
Who to Watch:
The Aggies return each of their top five scorers from a year ago. Tyler Davis earned All-SEC second team honors as a sophomore. Davis led the SEC with a 61.7% field-goal percentage while averaging 14.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. Robert Williams joined Davis on the All-SEC second team behind a breakout freshman season. Williams was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Williams’ return to school was surprising to some, as he was viewed as a potential NBA lottery pick. Williams has freakish athleticism as displayed by his 11.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Admon Gilder greatly improved as a sophomore, starting 30 games and nearly doubling his scoring average from his freshman season. Gilder paced the Aggies in assists (3.9) and steals (1.9) while also scoring 13.7 points per game. DJ Hogg’s solid sophomore season ended prematurely due to an injury. Hogg played in 22 games, averaging 12.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists. If Hogg stays healthy, he could be in line for a breakout junior campaign. Tonny Trocha-Morelos is the lone senior among the returners for the Aggies. Trocha-Morelos started 27 games as a junior and averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. Chris Collins is a walk-on, but he played in 27 games last year, making seven starts and averaging 13.7 minutes.
Final Projection:
Texas A&M had plenty of talent last year but injuries, chemistry and depth issues all contributed to their disappointing season that ended without a postseason appearance. This year, Billy Kennedy should have a roster that solves the problems that plagued this team last season. The top five scorers are all back, while adding a slew of incoming players to add bench depth. J.J. Caldwell gives the Aggies a true point guard, while Duane Wilson gives them an established scorer off the bench. The returns of All-SEC players Tyler Davis and Robert Williams among others should put Texas A&M right in the race for an SEC championship.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
Projected Starting Five:
JJ Caldwell, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Admon Gilder, Junior, Guard, 13.7 points per game
DJ Hogg, Junior, Forward, 12.0 points per game
Robert Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 11.9 points per game
Tyler Davis, Junior, Center, 14.1 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.2 (245th in nation, 12th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 67.8 (61, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (93, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.4 (24, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (294, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.9 (273, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.9 (327, 14)
Rebound Margin: 5.3 (35, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.8 (40, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.2 (277, 12)
Madness 2018 NBA Draft Rankings:
#8 Robert Williams
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#56 Savion Flagg
#135 Jay Jay Chandler
#153 T.J. Starks