#6 Texas A&M Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
#6 Texas A&M Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


The Texas A&M women’s basketball team heads into the 2014-15 season primed for another trip to the Final Four. They return one of the best backcourts in the nation and they are traditionally one of the best teams in the nation at home. The Aggies over the last nine seasons are 119-17 at Reed Arena. That type of home court prowess will once again keep Texas A&M in the conversation for an SEC title and as a contender to get back to the Final Four.

2013-14 Record: 27-9, 13-3
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Gary Blair
Coach Record: 264-109 at Texas A&M, 672-272 overall

The Aggies were excellent defensively in keeping teams under 60 points per game on average last season. This took the pressure off of them offensively as far as not necessarily needing to push the tempo of the game into the 80s in order to win. The veteran trio in the backcourt of Jordan Jones, Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams are going to set the tone for Texas A&M this season. Walker is going to be the leader of this group as she averaged 15.6 points per game last season and was very efficient from the floor, shooting just over 46 percent. Williams and Jones provide valuable rebounding that will take the pressure off of players like senior Achiri Ade so she won’t have to carry the load for the Aggies on the boards this season.
The ability to get quality shots by attacking the basket is another strength for Texas A&M as they shot just over 45 percent from the floor last season.

The inability to be dominant from the perimeter is a concern for the Aggies as they averaged just 2.3 made three-point shots per game last season. That number has to at least double or go higher this season if Texas A&M is going to get past teams like Connecticut, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee. Teams are going to do their best to clog the paint and dare the Aggies to beat them from the outside. Another key question that has to be answered by Texas A&M is replacing the production of Karla Gilbert down in the low blocks. Gilbert was very tough to deal with at both ends of the floor and it will be up to incoming freshman center Khaalia Hillsman to come in right way and make an immediate impact for the Aggies.

Final Projection:
The Aggies will find out right away where they stand nationally when they open the season against DePaul on November 14th as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic. If Texas A&M can contain the Blue Demons backcourt to around their average career scoring numbers, then they should have a great shot at a road win in that matchup. Duke visits Reed Arena on November 30th in what will be a very dynamic matchup of potential Final Four teams. The in-state battle with Texas will occur on a neutral floor in Little Rock, Arkansas on December 21st. Finally, a tricky road trip to Seattle to take on a feisty Washington team will conclude the non-conference portion of the schedule. The conference schedule is very road heavy as far as tough matchups, but with a veteran team that should serve the Aggies well. They have road games against Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky and LSU that will go a long way in dictating the success of Texas A&M this season. Overall, the experience in the backcourt should be more than enough to get the Aggies back to the Elite Eight stage with a shot at the Final Four.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Jordan Jones, Junior, Guard, 13.3 points per game
Courtney Walker, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Courtney Williams, Junior, Guard, 13.2 points per game
Achiri Ade, Senior, Forward, 6.9 points per game
Khaalia Hillsman, Freshman, Center, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.6 (98th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.6 (34, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.1 (19, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.7 (28, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 2.3 (339, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: NR
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.0 (177, 7)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (49, 4)
Assists Per Game: 16.2 (32, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.3 (126, 4)

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#51 Khaalia Hillsman


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