#47 Texas A&M Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #47
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
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Texas A&M had an up-and-down 2017-18 season which ended with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen. The Aggies started the year 11-1 and were ranked in the top-5 of the AP Poll, but injuries and suspensions hit the team hard during conference play. Texas A&M started 0-5 in the SEC but rebounded to finish 9-9 overall and earn a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies then pulled off the upset of 2-seed North Carolina before losing by 27 to Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen. This year, Texas A&M loses three of their top four scorers and will be more inexperienced than they were a season ago. The Aggies should still compete in the SEC and be in the NCAA Tournament race.
2017-18 Record: 22-13, 9-9
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Billy Kennedy
Coach Record: 136-98 at Texas A&M, 347-277 overall
Key Departed Players:
Tyler Davis, Forward, 14.9 ppg
DJ Hogg, Forward, 11.1 ppg
Robert Williams, Forward, 10.4 ppg
Duane Wilson, Guard, 9.0 ppg

Tonny Trocha-Morelos, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Admon Gilder, Senior, Guard, 12.3 ppg
TJ Starks, Sophomore, Guard, 9.9 ppg
Savion Flagg, Sophomore, Forward, 4.1 ppg

Jay Jay Chandler, Sophomore, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Chris Collins, Senior, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Isiah Jasey, Sophomore, Forward, 0.4 ppg

Key New Players:
Brandon Mahan, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Junior College

Christian Mekowulu, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Tennessee State
Wendell Mitchell, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Baylor/Junior College
Josh Nebo, Junior, Forward, Transfer from St. Francis
John Walker III, Freshman, Forward
Texas A&M will be without their entire starting frontcourt from last season, but Admon Gilder and TJ Starks are back to man the backcourt. Gilder, a senior this year, was the team’s second leading scorer in 2017-18 behind 12.3 points per game. Starks had an impressive freshman campaign, averaging 9.9 points and starting 15 games after Duane Wilson was injured for the season. Starks showed flashes of stardom dropping 23 points against Alabama in the SEC Tournament and scoring 21 in the upset against North Carolina. The Aggies will need bounce back sophomore seasons from promising freshmen Savion Flagg and Jay Jay Chandler. Flagg battled an injury in the first game of the season and never appeared to fully develop, averaging only 4.1 points in 15.6 minutes per game. Chandler only played 11.4 minutes per game, averaging 3.7 points per game. Both players will need to step up in bigger roles this season. Texas A&M will have four transfers join the team as well. Wendell Mitchell played at Baylor in 2016-17 before transferring to play in junior college last season. Mitchell then became the top-ranked JUCO player in the nation and will instantly add experience and talent to the backcourt. Josh Nebo spent his first two collegiate seasons at St. Francis (PA), starting 61 games and averaging 12.0 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore. Christian Mekowulu is a grad transfer from Tennessee State where he averaged 12.7 points and 7.9 rebounds last season. Nebo and Mekowulu will add experience to the Texas A&M frontcourt where they lost Tyler Davis and Robert Williams. JUCO transfer Brandon Mahan and true freshman John Walker III will add depth this season. Texas A&M has quite a bit of production to be replaced, but the Aggies should find themselves right back in the NCAA Tournament discussion.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (136th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (127, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (105, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (25, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (276, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.9 (283, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.1 (322, 14)
Rebound Margin: 6.5 (18, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (60, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (246, 11)