#17 Texas A&M Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
#17 Texas A&M Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


After losing point guard Jordan Jones to an ACL injury, Texas A&M’s season fell apart. She was injured on February 26th against Missouri and the Aggies lost that game. They also lost three of their next four, including a first round NCAA Tournament upset at the hands of Arkansas-Little Rock. Obviously Texas A&M was not quite ready to lose their floor leader at that point in the season. But now Jones is back to lead a very talented team back to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th straight season. Before the injury, Jones was averaging 9.0 points and 6.6 assists per game. The senior is not a particularly good outside shooter, but she is at least a threat. If the defense backs off, she can occasionally make them pay, but most of her scoring is done by attacking the basket.

2014-15 Record: 23-10, 10-6
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Gary Blair
Coach Record: 287-119 at Texas A&M, 695-282 overall

Three other starters are also back, including the dominating senior duo of Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams. Walker, a 5-8 guard, is a superb slasher and finisher around the basket. She lacks the outside shooting ability one would expect from a guard, but she certainly knows how to score. Last year she averaged 14.3 points per game. Williams, a 6-1 wing, was right above Walker in the scoring department with 14.8 points per game. Once again, Williams is very dangerous attacking the basket, but lacks a consistent outside shot. Williams is strong on the glass though and averaged 6.0 rebounds per game and added 2.4 assists as well. The other returning starter is center Khaalia Hillsman. The 6-5 sophomore did not have the starting job locked down the entire season, but she proved to be the most capable on the glass.

Returning four starters is great, but it remains to be seen if this group has depth. On paper, without Achiri Ade, Tori Scott, Jada Terry and Tavarsha Scott-Williams, there is not much depth to be found. But there is a lot more depth than it would appear. Chelsea Jennings and Curtyce Knox are upperclassmen with plenty of experience. Knox deserves some credit for trying to take over the point guard duties for Jones in March. If an injury strikes Jones again, Knox may not have to be relied upon so heavily this time around. Shlonte Allen ran the point off the bench early last season before suffering a leg injury just six games into the season. Allen’s numbers are not impressive since she averaged just 5.8 minutes in those six games, but she was one of the best players coming out of the junior college ranks last season and can make a big impact. It would also help if somebody could knock down some three-pointers. The Aggies made just 1.9 three-pointers per game. Incoming freshman Danni Williams could help with that if she can find the minutes.

Final Projection:
The frontcourt depth could be more of a concern. Rachel Mitchell and Taylor Cooper have experience, but Mitchell will be Hillsman’s backup at the five spot and it remains to be seen if Cooper is ready to step into Ade’s starting spot in the frontcourt. The answer could come at the semester break when Michigan State transfer Jasmine Lumpkin will be eligible. Lumpkin is more of a wing than a direct replacement for Ade, but she is tough on the glass and that is what Coach Gary Blair will be looking for out of a power forward. Another option would be to slide Williams to the four spot and insert another guard. That would be especially beneficial if that guard could hit some outside shots. At the least, there are options and this team will make a much deeper run this March as long as they can stay healthy.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jordan Jones, Senior, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Courtney Walker, Senior, Guard, 14.3 points per game
Courtney Williams, Senior, Guard, 14.8 points per game
Taylor Cooper, Junior, Forward, 2.1 points per game
Khaalia Hillsman, Sophomore, Center, 5.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.7 (123th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.6 (39, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.6 (35, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.0 (21, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 1.9 (342, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.6 (222, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.4 (217, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.9 (63, 5)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (123, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (73, 4)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#8 Courtney Williams
#13 Courtney Walker

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#50 Danni Williams


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