Texas A&M Basketball wrapped up its’ exciting season with a dismal loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sweet 16.
The Aggies got out to a quick lead, but then went ice cold for pretty much the remainder of the game. Unlike Northern Iowa, Oklahoma capitalized on Texas A&M’s mistakes and did not let the Aggies stage any type of come back.
While the performance of Billy Kennedy’s squad in their last game was not good, it should not be a reflection on the teams season as a whole.
A&M lived up to and exceeded many pre-season expectations. While the season was filled with some extreme highs and extreme lows, the overall body of work is something these players can be proud of.
They racked up a school best record of 28-9, won a conference championship for the first time in 30 years, reached the conference tournament championship game, garnered the school’s highest ever ranking of number five in the nation, tied the schools highest NCAA seed of three, completed the largest comeback in the last minute of a game in NCAA history, and tied the deepest NCAA Tournament run in school history by reaching the sweet 16. The list goes on and on.
This team reached an all-time high in program history after reaching a 17-2 record to start the season, garnering a top five ranking in the country.
The Ags followed that hot start with a very concerning five game conference losing streak.
Credit the players on this team for their unquestionable mental toughness. After starting what could have been a free fall to the season with five straight conference losses, A&M capped off the season on a 10-2 run.
Season Grade: A
For me to have given the Aggies an A+, they would have needed to reach the deepest round in the NCAA Tournament in school history. They were able to tie it however, which deserves an A.
This team is definitely right up with the best in terms of best A&M basketball history. They will sorely miss seniors Alex Caruso, Danuel House, Jalen Jones, Anthony Collins, and walk-ons Kyle Dobbins and Juan Aparicio.
While it is obvious that the Aggies are losing a lot of firepower after this season, the future looks bright.
Freshmen DJ Hogg, Tyler Davis, Admon Gilder, and Kobie Eubanks will all return as sophomores next year. Tony Trocha Morelos will be a junior, and the lone scholarship senior will be Tavario Miller.
While at first glance next years squad appears to be very young, their play on the court surely doesn’t show it. The three pivotal freshmen from this year, Davis, Gilder, and Hogg, played light years ahead of their age.
With a solid foundation for years to come, there’s no reason why Aggies shouldn’t expect to keep dancing in the NCAA Tournament in the near future.
The starting five for next year will most likely be Hogg, Gilder, Davis, Trocha Morelos, and incoming point guard JJ Caldwell.
The addition of JJ Caldwell should help the Aggies immensely. For the past few years Texas A&M has lacked an attacking guard, one that can drive to the hoop at any moment. JJ Caldwell will provide that. In crunch time it is critical to have somebody that can get to the basket. Aggie fans know this, having watched Donald Sloan and Acie Law back in the day.
As of right now this does not appear to be an extremely deep team, but it has a chance to. Billy Kennedy still has a few recruits he is targetting for next year that have yet to commit. Along with those recruits, Kennedy will probably look at the transfer, graduate transfer, and foreign market for a couple more players.
If Kennedy can add a few more pieces to the incoming class for next year, watch out. This team could be very dangerous. The starting line up for next year already looks like one that could compete for an SEC Championship. The determing factor in this teams’ ability to be elite versus pretty good will be the bench.
If the guys coming off the bench next year can contribute some solid minutes, this team will be NCAA Tournament bound no doubt.
The coaching staff for next year also looks like it will have a new appearance. With multiple reports on assistant coach Rick Stansbury taking the Western Kentucky job, and Kyle Keller being a candidate for the Stephen F. Austin job, it is absolutely necessary that Kennedy fills these holes with solid coaches.
Texas A&M basketball was resurrected this season, and it appears to be around in the near future.