#42 Texas A&M Men's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies
2016-2017 Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
Texas A&M took the Southeastern Conference by storm last year and won the regular season championship surpassing Kentucky. The Aggies also had arguably the most epic comeback in NCAA Tournament history as they were down 10 to Northern Iowa with 30 seconds left and rallied to win 92-88 in overtime to punch a ticket to the Sweet 16. Head Coach Billy Kennedy has steadily built this Texas A&M program and has turned it into a highly competitive program on a nightly basis.
2015-16 Record: 28-9, 13-5
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Billy Kennedy
Coach Record: 99-70 at Texas A&M, 310-249 overall
Who’s Out:
There is about 43 points per game of offensive production that will need to be replaced this season for the Aggies with the loss of Alex Caruso, Danuel House and Jalen Jones. Caruso did an outstanding job of taking the care of the basketball and running the offensive attack out of the backcourt, dishing out 185 assists with just 87 turnovers last season. House and Jones were very consistent scorers as they both scored over 15 points per game and were the best threats to score from behind the three point line as they combined for 109 made three point shots last season.
Who’s In:
A very talented freshmen class will have to be ready to play right away if the Aggies are to contend for the SEC title and get back to the NCAA Tournament. J.C. Hampton, a graduate transfer from Lipscomb, is going to have to make an immediate impact in the backcourt as J.J. Caldwell was declared ineligible for the 2016-17 season just recently due to being home schooled last year of which the NCAA did not approve of for eligibility purposes. Hampton’s experience is going to be invaluable to a younger team like this, especially when they go on the road and play in some hostile arenas within the Southeastern Conference.
Who to Watch:
Tyler Davis is the lone returning starter for Texas A&M this season and the center should be one of the best inside players in the SEC. Davis averaged 11.3 points per game, while shooting over 65 percent from the field. Defensively, Davis took care of business rebounding the basketball at just over six rebounds per game and earned all SEC Freshman team honors last season. Admon Gilder is a rising sophomore that should slide into a starting role this season. Gilder is a bit of an all-purpose player who scored seven points per game and gave the Aggies a spark defensively on a nightly basis. D.J. Hogg is going to have fill the shoes of Danuel House from the perimeter this season. Hogg made 46 three-point shots last season and, with more playing time, should be able to get that up into the 75-80 range this season.
Final Projection:
The schedule will provide some interesting tests for the Aggies during the early portion of the season. A very talented USC team visits Reed Arena on November 14th. Then over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend Texas A&M will go play in the Wooden Legacy tournament out in Anaheim and will take on Cal State Northridge in the first game and then could get a tricky matchup with either New Mexico or Virginia Tech on Black Friday. The two other huge out of conference games will be on December 17th in Houston against Arizona and then on January 28th at West Virginia for the Big 12/SEC Challenge. This should help the Aggies end up with a rock solid strength of schedule. The first road trip in SEC play will take Texas A&M to Kentucky and South Carolina in the first part of January. It will be important for this Aggies team to try and split those two games at a minimum. Overall, it will be a battle all season long, but if Texas A&M can stay healthy they should be in the NCAA Tournament conversation in March. 
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Admon Gilder, Sophomore, Guard, 7.0 points per game
J.C. Hampton, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Robert Williams, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
D.J. Hogg, Sophomore, Forward, 6.2 points per game
Tyler Davis, Sophomore, Center, 11.3 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.4 (89th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.4 (47, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (128, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (42, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (115, 5) 
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (191, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.2 (271, 10)
Rebound Margin: 4.4 (50, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.6 (20, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.1 (112, 8)
Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#66 Robert Williams
#69 J.J. Caldwell
#94 Deshawn Corprew