Despite pulling away late in the second half, Texas A&M is not finding the dominant performances against mid-major programs it needs to be to begin the season. The Aggies have won their first three games by a combined 24 points, and haven’t found their rhythm.
This team needs to be healthy come conference play
Offensively, A&M is looking as bad as, if not worse than, it did last season.
The 17 points scored in the first half is the worst this season, and the losses of several floor generals for the Aggies have been a direct result of the offensive ineptitude.
After the loss of veteran guard T.J. Starks to injury and then a suspension, freshman guard Andre Gordon has stepped in to run the team’s point guard position, A&M coach Buzz Williams said.
After Gordon injured his foot in practice, Williams made the decision to start former walk-on guard Mark French — who posted a career-high 12 points against the Trojans on Wednesday.
Despite French’s strong performance, the Aggies are in desperate need of the return of those key players and will need more depth when they enter conference play. Highly touted freshmen Cashius McNeilly and Bakari Simmons also have yet to see the court this season due to injury.
French was encouraged despite the Aggies’ slow start.
“I think our pace was better,” French said. “That’s something we talked about. We had more execution, but I think the biggest thing was that we weren’t robotic. Even against Gonzaga, and in the first half tonight, we got a little robotic. At halftime, we just let it out. If we had a good shot, we would take it. We trust everyone in here.”
Where are the dominant performances from Savion Flagg?
It’s been a rough start to the season for last year’s leading scorer for the Aggies. Flagg has had a slow of a start as any, averaging 9.3 points per game through the first four games of the season, and only accounting for five of the team’s 56 points tonight.
Flagg has scored 15 points combined in the last three Aggies after scoring 22 in the season opener, and had a season-worst shooting percentage against Troy — hitting only one of his six shot attempts.
The junior’s minutes over the last two contests have gone down as well, going from 35 and 38 minutes, in his first two games, to 24 and 23 in the two latest games this season.
Another game with the opponent being up the majority of the game
What should’ve been a rout for A&M was anything but, as the Aggies only led for seven minutes of play on Wednesday night against Troy.
Although this may come as a surprise to most, the Aggies have struggled all season with staying ahead of their non-conference opponents.
Against ULM the narrative was similar, where the Warhawks led for nearly 19 minutes of game time.
Williams said he implemented a new offense on Monday, and it did not start out very well in practice.
“We practiced on Monday, and we had 67 turnovers in practice,” Williams said, “So we tried again early Tuesday morning, and we kind of had a different practice with five guys on defense five guys on offense. I was just drawing up every play that I've ever run as a head coach to see if maybe any of them would gain traction. We played 48 possessions, and we scored 13 times.”