Newcomers will be big in role for Aggies all year
Of the five newcomers that made their regular season debut tonight for A&M, two made their first starts as well.
Junior guard Quenton Jackson and forward Emanuel Miller took the court to begin the game, with Miller making his first start of his career as a true freshman.
Jackson, who finished as the leading scorer in Friday’s exhibition against Texas A&M-Kingsville, posted 13 against Northwestern State and a team-high plus/minus of 19.
Miller wasn’t the only freshman who made his debut for the Aggies. Forward Yavuz Gultekin, Jonathan Aku, and guard Andre Gordon all appeared for A&M in reserve roles on Wednesday. The three freshmen combined for 22 of A&M’s 77 points off the bench.
“It starts us off well,” guard Jay Jay Chandler said. “We just want to keep pushing it. I know Coach is excited that we got a double-digit win in his first game here. So he's going to come at us hard to keep pushing so that we keep getting more and adding on.”
Savion Flagg and Chuck Mitchell still taking large chunk of minutes
Last year, guards Savion Flagg and Chuck Mitchell played 40-minute games consistently for the Aggies under former coach Billy Kennedy — and remains nearly the same after the regular season opener.
Flagg recorded 35 minutes while Mitchell saw the court for 29 minutes, with Flagg leading the Aggies to Wednesday night’s win over Northwestern State with 22 points and seven rebounds.
Despite the slow start, Flagg is encouraged with how the team is progressing in a new system.
“I was pretty pleased with us,” Flagg said. “I think we made some strides in our scheme that we try. Everybody was pretty much locked into what we're trying to do. I'm pretty excited in the way we're going with it.”
Aggies are feeling absence of Nebo and Starks
Last season, guard T.J. Starks and forward Josh Nebo were large factors on both ends of the court, with Starks leading in shots taken and Nebo with blocks.
After suffering a grade-2 ankle sprain, Starks will be on the bench from 12-24 days, coach Buzz Williams said in a press conference Monday. Nebo hasn’t participated in a practice since Williams arrived.
Although Williams’ system doesn’t call for a big man in the frontcourt, but the Aggies are feeling the loss of his presence in the paint.
For Starks, Williams’ system is geared more for guards, and losing his role of being a solid floor general takes away the effectiveness of creating plays.