#11 Texas A&M Women's Basketball 2012 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
Texas A&M Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


A very youthful, but athletic, squad will be taking the floor in College Station for the Texas A&M women’s basketball program.  And there is a very strong likelihood that the three very talented freshmen in the College Sports Madness recruit rankings could end up starting from day one, which could lead to some interesting challenges for veteran head coach Gray Blair as the Aggies also prepare to take on their first go around in the Southeastern Conference.

2011-12 Record: 24-11, 11-7 (Big 12)
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Gary Blair
Coach Record: 212-90 at Texas A&M, 620-253 overall

Kelsey Bone is the leading returning scorer for the Aggies.  She had an excellent first season and was the 2012 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.  Bone was also the leading rebounder and will be very important on the boards again against this rugged schedule. Alexia Standish had a very solid freshman season as well.   She started 21 games and averaged just over 22 minutes a game. Standish’s valuable experience gained last year is going to be very important for the incoming freshmen to learn from in adjusting to college game. Speaking of the freshman class, it is headlined by Courtney Williams, who is a dynamic 6-1 player and can be inserted just about anywhere on the floor. She was ranked number 6 overall in the College Sports Madness women’s basketball recruit ranking. The versatility of Williams is going to be a huge bonus for Coach Blair and the Aggies.

The lack of a second post player with extensive starting experience to complement Bone is an important question. Karla Gilbert had three starts last season and was a very consistent shooter, hitting 54.1 percent from the floor. Her development will be a huge plus to complement Bone and allow for a greater margin for error in regard to issues like foul trouble. Also, they are going to have to be sharper from the foul line.  With a higher likelihood of tighter games in the SEC, the ability to perform at the line is going to be a difference maker between an upper level finish in the league and being in the middle of the pack.

Final Projection:
The schedule for the Aggies is going to provide plenty of opportunity for exposure on television against some of the nation’s best. Right off the bat Texas A&M takes on Louisville, UCONN, and Penn State. Thus, by the time the conference slate comes along, Coach Blair’s young squad should be battle tested to take on the likes of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt among others. This move, in the long term, should be a very beneficial for the Aggie women’s basketball program as the national television exposure from the SEC/ESPN partnership should only enhance recruiting and continue to make Texas A&M a national contender on an annual basis. This season the key is to get the three freshmen to make an impact as quickly as possible and to continue to develop Standish, Bone and the bench. Look for another 20-25 win season for Coach Blair’s squad with another shot to make plenty of noise come NCAA Tournament time.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Alexia Standish, sophomore, Guard, 5.8 points per game
Jordan Jones, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Courtney Jones, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Courtney Walker, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Kelsey Bone, Junior, Center, 11.9 points per game

Madness 2012 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Jordan Jones
#6 Courtney Williams
#36 Courtney Walker
#44 Peyton Little
#53 Chelsea Jennings
#69 Curtyce Knox