#44 Texas A&M Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #44
Conference Rank: #4 SEC

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Texas A&M has been up and down during Coach Billy Kennedy’s three years at the program. Last year the Aggies did a decent job in SEC play, going 8-10 and even won a postseason game, although it was in the CBI. But it was a nice step for bigger and better things that Texas A&M hopes for this season. With four starters returning and a talented group of newcomers, this is a squad that is ready to take a big step up in the SEC. Senior Kourtney Roberson will be asked to carry much of the load. He is the team’s top returning scorer and rebounder at 9.8 and 6.8, respectively. The 6-9, 247 pound Roberson has been one of the better rebounders in the SEC for a couple years now, but he does need help on the glass from the rest of the frontcourt.

2013-14 Record: 18-16, 8-10
2013-14 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Billy Kennedy
Coach Record: 49-47 at Texas A&M, 260-226 overall

Who’s Out:
Jamal Jones is the lone starter lost and his transfer is significant. He was the only player on the team to average double figures in the scoring column and he was the only player who was much of a threat to shoot from long range. The big 6-8 guard averaged 13.4 points and 4.1 rebounds and others will need to start finding their shot now that he is gone. Fabyon Harris was in the regular rotation during his senior season. His scoring dropped significantly during the season, but Harris was always capable of big games. Shawn Smith showed his potential as a freshman, but will spend his sophomore campaign elsewhere. J-Mychal Reese transferred six games into the season, so the Aggies have had plenty of time to get by without him.

Who’s In:
Most of the losses for Texas A&M were players with potential that was yet to be reached. They can replace them with more young potential. However, the best of the newcomers are a couple of transfers who, if eligible, will take this team to the next level. Danuel House is still awaiting word whether or not he will be eligible this season, but the 6-7 guard is a superb talent. Last year at Houston he averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, a slight increase over his production as a freshman with the Cougars. House can score in a variety of ways and is a nightmare to defend when his shot is falling. Jalen Jones, another big 6-7 wing, averaged 14.0 points and 7.7 rebounds at SMU two years ago. He should be eligible for the second semester of the 2014-2015 campaign. Five freshmen hope to make an impact this season as well. In the backcourt, Avery Johnson, Alex Robinson, Peyton Allen and Derek Cahn will all look for minutes. Robinson is the most talented of the bunch and his ability to run the point will give Coach Kennedy more options on the perimeter. If Robinson is ready to lead this team, Coach Kennedy can slide returning guard Alex Caruso off of the ball. In the frontcourt, Tonny Trocha-Morelos is finally ready to see the floor. The big 6-10, 221 pound Colombian is the tallest player on the roster.

Who to Watch:
Caruso was inconsistent shooting, but he is a great all-around player who can attack the basket with ease. On the year he averaged 9.0 points, 5.0 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals. The more minutes Robinson can take running the point, the more Caruso can move off of the ball which should allow him to be able to make more shots. But if Caruso needs to run the show, he can certainly do that. Senior Jordan Green averaged 6.9 points last season and was another one of the many Aggies who struggled with their shot. But Green is a savvy veteran who can play a variety of roles for the Aggies. Davonte Fitzgerald is listed as a 6-7 forward, but he is basically a really big shooting guard. After a promising freshman campaign, Fitzgerald is poised for a big year.

Final Projection:
Antwan Space figures to start beside Roberson in the frontcourt. The former Florida State transfer averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds during his first season with the Aggies. Sophomores Tavario Miller and Dylan Johns, along with Trocha-Morelos, give Texas A&M plenty of quality depth in the paint. There is a lot of potential for this team, especially if House is eligible, and this should be the year the Aggies make some serious noise. With so much experience and talent and with an SEC that is not the toughest conference in the nation, the Aggies look ready to compete for an NCAA Tournament spot.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Alex Caruso, Junior, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Jordan Green, Senior, Guard, 6.9 points per game
Davonte Fitzgerald, Sophomore, Forward, 7.3 points per game
Antwan Space, Junior, Forward, 6.4 points per game
Kourtney Roberson, Senior, Forward, 9.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.7 (304th in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.8 (29, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.5 (263, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (25, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (207, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.7 (268, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.2 (328, 14)
Rebound Margin: -2.8 (278, 13)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (152, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (78, 4)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#62 Alex Robinson


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