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Texas A&M By The Numbers

Official photograph of the Texas A&M Aggies.

Last night’s game in Nashville against the Vanderbilt Commodores was certainly one to try and block from memory.  From the turnovers on offense, lack of defensive rebounding, and overall lack of effectiveness on offense late in the second half, this was certainly a dreadful game against a lackluster opponent in which many would like to forget.  Fortunately for John Calipari, his team, and fans everywhere, Saturday’s home contest against Texas A&M will allow an opportunity to do just that.  On the surface, this looks to be a much more difficult task than taking down a struggling Commodore team.  Billy Kennedy’s Aggies enter Saturday’s match-up with a respectable 11-3 record and are coming off a 69-51 dismantling of Arkansas.  However, Texas A&M’s record is likely due to their strength of schedule which is ranked 304th nationally according to Kenpom.com.  But as Kentucky’s young squad learned last night, never underestimate a team, even if their record (or schedule) is less than stellar.

 

When it comes to offense, not many will accuse Billy Kennedy’s squad of being exciting.  Reason being, the Aggies average 61.5 adjusted possessions per game, ranking them 336th nationally (31 spots behind Wisconsin), so don’t look for too many fast-breaks in this match-up.  While A&M doesn’t fit the profile for entertainment, they’re capable of efficient scoring from multiple players.  The two main threats being Elston and Ray Turner.  While the two are unrelated, their skill on the floor is certainly comparable.  On the season, Elston, a 6’5” guard, pours in 15.5 points, pulls down 3.6 rebounds, and dishes out 2.8 assists per game.  While Elston is the leading scorer, Ray, a 6’9” forward, is averaging 6.7 rebounds while scoring 11.8 points per contest. In fact, Ray’s rebounding is one of the key reasons for the Aggies’ offensive successes this season.  A&M ranks 47th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage, due in large part to Ray’s effort on the glass, but Kourtney Roberson and Andrew Young both deserve credit for their rebounding prowess as well (6.2 and 3.7 rebounds per game respectively). Obtaining offensive boards also allows their excellent three point shooters second chances to sink perimeter jumpers.  The Aggies, as a team, hit 38.1% of perimeter jumpers.  They also have two shooters in previously mentioned Elston Turner and Fabyon Harris who both connect on 42% of three point attempts.

 

The Aggie defense isn’t elite in terms of efficiency by any stretch of the imagination, but like their offense, they have pieces capable of frustrating a young Wildcat team.  The biggest detriment to Kentucky’s offensive effort tomorrow will be Alex Caruso, Texas A&M’s most notorious ball hawk.  On the season he’s averaging 1.9 steals per game which places him in a tie for 90th nationally in that respective category, but that statistic doesn’t tell the complete story.  In terms of steal rate (a stat that measures steals obtained, minutes played, and possessions used by a team), Caruso is 12th nationally, taking the ball on 5.6% of possessions.  In addition to his excellent steal rate, he blocks 0.6 shots per game.  Again this is skewed due to his limited playing time, when accounting for time played and possessions used, he swats 3.4% of opponent twos (403rd nationally).  In addition to Caruso’s defensive prowess, the Aggies get help from 6’9” sophomore, Kourtney Roberson.  He may only average 0.7 blocks per game, but like Caruso’s skewed raw stats, he’s a deceptive shot blocker, swatting 4% of opponent twos (317th nationally).

 

When it comes to predictions, tomorrow’s contest is forecasted to be somewhat similar to what the Vanderbilt game “should have” been.  That is, a victory for Kentucky by a comfortable margin.  But, Vanderbilt’s zone late in the second half threw those predictions out the window.  Luckily for Calipari and his Cats, Billy Kennedy’s defensive philosophy of man-to-man matches up well with what we try and accomplish offensively.  According to Ken Pomeroy and his magical rating system, the Wildcats are 16-point favorites and have a 94% chance of winning tomorrows match-up. While Kentucky is clearly the better team of the two and the predicted margin of victory is large, we found out last night that we don’t have the luxury of winning games based upon the name on the front of our jersey.  Luckily, last night’s game with Vanderbilt may have awakened a majority of our players to the fact.

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

14 Comments for Texas A&M By The Numbers



  1. Dr. Phil McCreavice
    9:39 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Those young ladies need to finish what they started…



  2. Honestly
    9:45 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Calipari suffers first SEC home loss. By 4



  3. Mike
    10:07 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    How much turnaround can this train wreck do in less than 48 hrs?? The debaucle in Nashville was not forecast by anyone. This was a meltdown of epic proportions. Wiltjer had probably his worse game ever, Poythress was in another world that only he can claim as he watches his future disintegrate, Mays was apparently oversold before he got here, Goodwin has problems getting his decision making to keep up with ability and speed, and Noel and WCS were lacking the intensity they have shown to this point. I agree with many others that Cal is leaving too much emotion and verbal abuse on full public display and this is working against the motivation and production he is trying to inspire. That 2nd half might have been the worse display of UK BB these eyes witnessed in a long time. Which team will show up tomorrow and how can we feel good about last night’s ending. TG for Harrow….if the other players would dedicate only 50% of what Harrow has brought to the floor the last few weeks, we could be smokin again. I am not sure this team has the collective heart, pride, or energy to live up to their preseason expectations. Camp Cal has flamed out to date, and they don’t seem to want to drink the kool aid.



  4. Hi ya Georgie!
    10:11 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    No, but they poop ice cream so it’s all good.



  5. Austin
    10:17 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    been with both girls at the same time, turns out they were both dudes. boy was I satisfied



  6. Garrett
    10:23 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    That picture never gets old.



  7. 6xJimmy
    10:27 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Those 2 girls are gorgeous. This has to be the go to A&M picture. It looks like their apartment is being robbed in the back ground.



  8. Off topic
    10:31 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Is jorts still on the heat.



  9. JDMedia
    10:48 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    I could almost root against the Cats for these ladies… lol

    I’d be pretending my ass off— Go AGGIES!
    LOL



  10. BlueFins
    11:02 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    I would “dunk shot” on both of them



  11. snarkster
    11:10 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Wouldn’t root against the Cats for the two of them, but (with the right kind of persuasion) I’d definitely skip the game for them (wouldn’t tell’em it was being DVR’d though).



  12. bsquared
    11:47 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    We all need to shake their daddy’s hand



  13. Mack
    6:31 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    This team could just as likely win by 15 as lose by 15, who could know. Noel, WCS, and Goodwin will always play hard, Harrow played great in the 1st half but a couple of times in the 2nd half he threw himself on the ground and seemed to cry, seeking a hug I guess. Coach will have to earn his money this year, they seem as lost as the Knight team did to start out the season. Maybe the light will also come on for this team.



  14. Ready 1
    6:57 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Why are you so fancy by calling it a contest? It’s a game tomorrow. A game. I doubt they’ll be sipping tea at half way point in tomorrow’s gentleman’s match in rupp arena.