#22 Texas A&M Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies
Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
 Texas A&M Logo
Texas A&M has reached the NCAA Tournament for 12 straight seasons and they are poised to reach number 13 in 2018. Coach Gary Blair returns four starters and brings in a slew of newcomers to provide quality depth. Transfers Caylinne Martin and Lulu McKinney will add experienced depth, but the most important newcomer is Chennedy Carter. The freshman point guard will have the job of replacing Curtyce Knox, who dished out an NCAA high 8.9 assists per game.
2016-17 Record: 22-12, 9-7
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Gary Blair
Coach Record: 331-141 at Texas A&M, 739-304 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Curtyce Knox, Guard, 10.8 ppg
Taylor Cooper, Forward, 6.2 ppg
Walnatia Wright, Center, 1.3 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Danni Williams, Junior, Guard, 16.6 ppg
Khaalia Hillsman, Senior, Center, 16.4 ppg
Anriel Howard, Junior, Forward, 10.2 ppg
Jasmine Lumpkin, Senior, Forward/Guard, 6.0 ppg
Jasmine Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Aahliyah Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 1.0 ppg
Key New Players
Chennedy Carter, Freshman, Guard
Ciera Johnson, Sophomore, Center, Transfer, Louisville, not eligible
N’dea Jones, Freshman, Forward
Caylinne Martin, Junior, Forward/Center, JC Transfer
Lulu McKinney, Senior Guard, Graduate Transfer, UTEP
Emer Nichools, Freshman, Center
Jada Walton, Freshman, Guard
Kayla Wells, Freshman, Guard
Aaliyah Wilson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer, Arkansas, not eligible
Easing in a new point guard will be much easier with the return of Danni Williams, Jasmine Lumpkin, Anriel Howard and Khaalia Hillsman. Williams led the team with 16.6 points per game and is the only proven outside shooter on the roster. She should take all of the big shots for the Aggies. Howard and Hillsman form one of the best frontcourt duos in the nation. Howard, a 5-11 junior, averaged a double-double last season and will have another big year. While Howard dominates the glass, Hillsman will be scoring in the paint. The 6-5 senior averaged 16.4 points per game last season and is nearly impossible to stop once she gets the ball in the paint. Hillsman added 8.2 rebounds and also led the team with 41 blocked shots. As long as Carter can set up her new teammates, this could be a very dangerous team that could compete for an SEC title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.7 (94th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.1 (137, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (54, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.9 (284, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.0 (316, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (15, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.8 (18, 2)
Rebound Margin: 6.4 (30, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (46, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (54, 6)
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#7 Chennedy Carter
#71 Kayla Wells
#85 N'Dea Jones
#150 Emer Nichols