#83 Texas A&M Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #83
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
Texas A&M Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


The Aggies struggled under Coach Billy Kennedy during his first year at the helm. This is a program that has come a long, long way over the last decade and Coach Kennedy will not let this team regress too far. The move to the SEC should be much easier on the basketball team than it will be for the football squad. The Aggies may be able to sneak up on the competition and surprise a few people, but they have some major holes to fill first.

2011-12 Record: 14-18, 4-14
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Billy Kennedy
Coach Record: 14-18 at Texas A&M, 225-197 overall

Who’s Out:
The most notable loss is that of Khris Middleton. The 6-7 wing did not have the greatest junior campaign, but he was still a vital part of the Aggies offense, tallying 13.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He left early and was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. David Loubeau was the most consistent interior scoring threat on the team during his senior campaign. He could also knock down the mid-range jumper with consistency. The loss of point guard Dash Harris is just as devastating. He rarely did much scoring, but Harris was lightning quick on both ends of the floor and did a superb job finding the scorers while keeping the turnovers down. Naji Hibbert spent most of his career providing quick offense off of the bench, but he was a solid secondary ball handler as well. Hibbert plans to finish up his collegiate career at Gardner-Webb. Jamal Branch played in just 11 games before transferring to St. John’s, so the Aggies can get by without the highly regarded shooting guard. Zach Kinsley, a wing who averaged fewer than ten minutes per game, rounds out the long list of departed players.

Who’s In:
Most of the newcomers will help fill in the holes on the perimeter. Junior college point guard Fabyon Harris has the experience to immediately step into the starting role. However, Coach Kennedy has brought in freshmen point guards J’Mychael Reese, Shawn Smith and Kyle Dobbins as well. Reese is the freshman point guard who has the ability to compete with Harris for the starting job from day one. Even if he is not starting at all this season, Reese will likely see plenty of quality minutes off of the bench. Shooting guard Alex Caruso can do a little bit of everything. He has the vision and passing skills of a point guard, but at 6-5, has the size and athleticism to attack the rim. He will need to get stronger and beef up his 176 pound frame to be effective getting to the basket in the SEC, but he has the skills to provide a nice spark offensively from the bench. The lone big man coming into College Station is junior college transfer Andrew Young. Young could compete for a starting job and, at 6-8 and 241 pounds, has the size to man the five spot in the A&M system. At the least he will be a nice option off of the bench.

Who to Watch:
Elston Turner and Ray Turner are the two returning players who will have to emerge as leaders on the floor. Elston, a 6-5 senior, is a great all-around scorer who can use his size to attack the basket and shoot over smaller defenders. He connected on 38.9 percent of his 5.6 three-point attempts per contest and finished his junior year with 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Elston will have to keep being an efficient scoring threat and probably score even more if Texas A&M hopes to improve on last year’s disappointing campaign. Ray is the inside threat. He only started half of the team’s games last year, but he did prove to be a fine interior scorer and the strongest rebounder on the team. There are pieces to build around Turner and Turner, but those two will have to emerge as leaders and have strong senior seasons.

Final Projection:
The competition for filling in around the Turner’s will be fierce. Sophomore Kourtney Roberson is an extremely tough rebounder and had a fine freshman campaign two years ago. Last season he played in just nine contests before breaking his ankle. Daniel Alexander is another young post player who could be in for a big sophomore season. Alexander is not as tough on the glass as Roberson, but he is a very good shooter for a 6-9 forward. Keith Davis started 14 games as a sophomore, but averaged just 1.4 points per game. However, his rebounding and shot blocking ability is worth some playing time even if his offense never comes around. The key for Davis will be staying out of foul trouble. On the perimeter Jordan Green has a shot at shooting his way into the starting lineup. He played quite a bit as a freshman, but never found his stroke. He needs to shoot much, much better than 22.9 percent from the floor to compete with the newcomers on the perimeter for quality minutes. But he did earn plenty of starting experience last season and that will give him the early leg up on filling in on the wing opposite of Elston Turner. This group is pretty talented, but no more so than the squad last year that went 4-14. This is a team that needs to find a way to be more efficient on offense and tougher on defense. The shakeup in the roster could be a blessing in disguise as the young team rides on the leadership of Turner and Turner.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Fabyon Harris, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Jordan Green, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 points per game
Elston Turner, Senior, Guard, 13.8 points per game
Ray Turner, Senior, Forward, 9.1 points per game
Keith Davis, Junior, Center, 1.4 points per game

Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#58 Ray Turner
#101 Elston Turner

Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#60 J-Mychal Reese
#73 Alex Caruso