Tag:Texas A&M
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:23 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:57 pm

Night Court: Missouri survives another close game

Oklahoma's Steven Pledger reacts after his game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer against Missouri. (AP)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Oklahoma has had several close games recently, and Monday night against Missouri was no different, with the Sooners falling, 71-68. Both teams came out of the gate knocking down shots, especially Marcus Denmon, who finished with 25 points. Missouri had the lead for the entire second half, but Oklahoma kept it within one possession for the final minutes. The Sooners had a chance to tie the game, but Romero Osby missed two free throws and Steven Pledger’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.

Win to brag about: Beating Texas A&M this season isn’t the same as it was the past couple of years, but Texas couldn’t afford another close loss (or a loss in general). The Longhorns were 0-7 in games decided by six points or fewer heading into Monday, but they held off Texas A&M down the stretch for a 70-68 win. J’Covan Brown had 20 points and seven assists to lead the Longhorns.

Loss to hide from: Remember when we thought Connecticut might turn things around after its win over Seton Hall on Saturday? Yeah, that didn’t happen. The Huskies were outhustled, outmuscled and outworked by Louisville en route to an 80-59 loss. And it didn’t even feel that close. Louisville shot 44 percent from 3-point range, and held Andre Drummond, Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb to 16 points on 6-for-26 shooting.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Marquette’s Jamil Wilson has only reached double-figures in scoring four times this season, and has not grabbed more than seven rebounds in a game. On Monday night, Wilson led Marquette to a 89-76 comeback win over DePaul, totaling 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks – on 8-for-12 shooting.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Connecticut’s debacle of an offensive performance deserves more than just one mention. Andre Drummond was dominated by Gorgui Dieng all night, as the Louisville big man finished with 15 points, six rebounds and six steals. Even worse, Drummond went 0-for-6 from the field and didn’t score a single point. Drummond has all the talent in the world, but the desire is lacking.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 4: Four of Missouri’s last five wins have been by three points or fewer.
  • 3:45: Vermont has trailed for just 3:45 in its last 133:02 played. The Catamounts have won seven in a row after beating Maine.
  • 0: Kennesaw State remains winless in the Atlantic Sun after losing at home to USC-Upstate. The Owls are 0-13 in the league, 2-22 vs. D-I competition.
  • 93: Southern beat Jackson State, 49-44. In overtime. That’s 93 combined points in 45 minutes of basketball.
  • 16: South Carolina State had lost 16 games in a row before beating beating Longwood on Monday.

Three other notable results:

  1. Mississippi Valley State is 11-0 in the SWAC after beating Alabama A&M. MVSU was just 1-11 in non-conference play.
  2. Davidson has now won three in a row since dropping its first league game last weekend, beating Wofford by 22.
  3. Stony Brook stayed atop the America East at 11-1 with a 57-48 victory over New Hampshire.


  • Belmont steamrolled Austin Peay, 94-55, in a non-conference tilt.
  • Mercer took a half-game lead in the Atlantic Sun, beating East Tennessee State, 54-46.
  • Idaho State played Montana close for a half, but the Grizzlies dominated the second half in a 76-40 victory to move to 10-1 in the Big Sky.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:36 pm

Former A&M guard Jamal Branch picks St. John's

By Jeff Borzello

His transfer situation didn’t get the attention of Khem Birch, but former Texas A&M guard Jamal Branch also made his decision on Monday night.

The freshman is moving on to St. John’s, his father Jerome confirmed to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com.

Branch took a visit to the Red Storm’s campus over the weekend, and didn’t take much longer to make his decision. Originally, it seemed like he might wait a week and take another visit but he wanted to make his decision.

Branch left Texas A&M on December 29 after having an up-and-down 11 games for the Aggies. He was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, and should be a huge addition for St. John’s when he is able to play.

Branch averaged 4.2 points and 2.5 assists at A&M.

Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:22 am

Night Court: UVA reps for hoops on Bowl Monday

Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Alright, so we didn’t have anything that matched Oregon vs. Wisconsin or Oklahoma State vs. Stanford, but Virginia holding off LSU down the stretch wasn’t too bad. The Cavaliers needed two late free throws from Mike Scott to get the 57-52 win over a Tigers team that had defeated Marquette and was on a seven-game winning streak. Virginia improved to 13-1 on the season; Monday night’s win was its 11th in a row.

Win to brag about: Despite turning the ball over 31 times, Robert Morris went into Ohio and knocked off the Bobcats, 70-67. Ohio had won nine in a row heading into the game, including wins at Marshall and Northern Iowa. The Bobcats’ only previous loss had been to Louisville. The Northeast Conference should be very competitive at the top this season, but Andy Toole’s Colonials might be the favorite.

Loss to hide from: Wake Forest was without leading scorer C.J. Harris, but that’s no excuse for losing 56-52 at home to Wofford. The Terriers had lost four starters from last season and already had losses to High Points and UMKC this season. Travis McKie had 25 points and six rebounds for Wake Forest, but Wofford’s Brad Loesing countered with 17 points – and a win.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel went for the first triple-double in school history in a 67-41 win over Bethune-Cookman. The senior forward had 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks. Gabriel shot 11-for-13 from the field and also pitched in with three assists and four steals for good measure.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: In order to beat No. 5 Baylor on the road on Monday night, Texas A&M needed all the offense it could get. Instead, leading scorer Khris Middleton shot just 4-for-17 from the field and also turned it over four times en route to a 61-52 loss. The team as a whole shot below 29 percent from the field and scored just 17 points in the first half, but Middleton’s struggles set the tone. Perry Jones’ 14 points and 12 rebounds paced Baylor.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 16.4: That’s how many points per game Jamal Wilson was averaging before Rhode Island kicked him off the team. The Rams are 2-0 since dismissing him, including a double-overtime win at Boston College on Monday.
  • 10: Georgia State has now won a school-record 10 straight games after beating Drexel by 14 on Monday. The Panthers are one of the biggest surprises in the CAA.
  • 12: That’s how many consecutive points Miami’s Shane Larkin scored against UNC-Greensboro. And he did it in 1:27. The Hurricanes won, 99-89, behind 30 points and 12 boards from Kenny Kadji. Trevis Simpson had 36 for UNCG. 

Three other notable results:

  1. VCU further showed why it is the CAA favorite heading into the final two months, beating Hofstra on the road, 80-63.
  2. Long Beach State kicked off Big West play with a 74-60 win over UC-Irvine. The 49ers can’t afford more than one or two losses if they harbor even remote at-large hopes.
  3. Vanderbilt made just two of its first 14 shots, but the Commodores bounced back to beat Miami (Ohio), 69-62. 


  • UC Santa Barbara’s Orlando Johnson hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left to give the Gauchos a 58-57 win over Cal Poly. UCSB head coach Bob Williams is now the winningest coach in school history.
  • Vermont and Stony Brook could be the two best teams in the America East. On Monday, Stony Brook landed the first punch, knocking off the Catamounts.
  • In other America East action, Gerardo Suero had 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Albany in its win over Hartford.
  • VMI’s Stan Okoye had one of the best all-around lines of the night: 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, four steals.
  • Campbell stayed undefeated in the Big South, beating previously-unbeaten Coastal Carolina in overtime, 70-65. The Chanticleers didn’t hit a field goal in the extra session.
  • Keith Rendleman racked up 24 points and 18 rebounds to lead UNC-Wilmington to a win over Delaware. The two teams combined for just two turnovers in the second half.

On tap: The competition picks up a little bit on Tuesday. The game of the night features Michigan State putting its 13-game winning streak on the line at Wisconsin. Two of the best big men in the Big East will battle when Seton Hall’s Herb Pope takes on Connecticut’s Andre Drummond. I will be in attendance for that one. Missouri also puts its undefeated record to the rest against Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener.

Photo: AP

Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:33 am

Texas A&M freshman Jamal Branch will transfer

Jeff Borzello

Texas A&M has had its fair share of problems this season, but one of the main culprits for its up-and-down start has been turnovers.

Now, the Aggies will have to go at it with just one point guard on the roster: freshman Jamal Branch has decided to transfer.

“Jamal Branch and his father decided to look at some other options and transfer,” head coach Billy Kennedy told reporters on Thursday night. “We wish him the best.”

Branch’s father, Jerome, told Evan Daniels of Scout.com that they don’t have a new list of schools yet.

Branch was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, ranking in the top 50 in most rankings. He was averaging 18.6 minutes coming off the bench behind senior Dash Harris. Branch added a different dimension than Harris, with the ability to get to the rim and create shots for himself. Branch was expected to take the reins next season and run the show for the next three years. He averaged 4.2 points and 2.5 assists in 11 games, with a season-high 10 points coming in a loss to Mississippi State earlier this season.

Without Branch, the Aggies are very thin in the backcourt. Harris is the lone ball-handler on the team, while shooter Elston Turner will need to get some backup minutes at the point. 

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: December 29, 2011 4:19 pm

It's a big night for some disappointing teams

By Gary Parrish

There are exactly 10 schools that were ranked in the preseason AP poll that are no longer ranked.

The schools are:
  • No. 7 Vanderbilt
  • No. 11 Memphis
  • No. 14 Xavier
  • No. 16 Arizona
  • No. 17 UCLA
  • No. 19 Alabama
  • No. 20 Texas A&M
  • No. 21 Cincinnati
  • No. 23 Gonzaga
  • No. 24California

Those schools have gone from ranked to unranked for a variety of reasons -- injuries, suspensions, dismissals, fights, overscheduling, etc., -- but the fact remains that on Nov. 7 those 10 teams were ranked and on Dec. 29th they are not. And I just realized that six of those 10 play tonight.

So let's call Thursday Night of the Underachievers.

Here's the list of games:

  • Vanderbilt at Marquette
  • Robert Morris at Memphis
  • Arkansas Tech at Texas A&M
  • USC at California
  • Jacksonville at Alabama
  • Oklahoma at Cincinnati

Can Vandy avoid its fifth loss by getting a marquee win?

Can Memphis stay undefeated against unranked opponents?

Can Cincinnati keep winning with four guards and without Yancy Gates?

Will any of these schools prove good enough to enter the Top 25 again this season?

The answers to those questions (in my opinion) are probably not, probably so, probably so and almost certainly yes. But either way, this is a big night for six schools that've gone from ranked to unranked in a span of seven weeks. So wish them luck. Because, to date, they haven't had much.

Posted on: December 23, 2011 9:56 am

Texas A&M loses Roberson for 4-6 weeks

Jeff Borzello

Thursday night was a rough one for Texas A&M.

The Aggies had their 67-game home nonconference home winning streak by Rice, a team who had beaten three non-D-I teams and no one ranked better than No. 323 by KenPom.

But they also lost sophomore forward Kourtney Roberson for four-to-six weeks with a fractured ankle, according to Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News. Zwerneman said earlier that Roberson was helped off the court with a left leg injury.

Roberson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Louisiana, was averaging 4.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in 12.7 minutes off the bench for the Aggies. He was shooting 60 percent from the field. His minutes had dropped considerably over the past month, limited by a foot injury. He only played 21 minutes in his last six games, including not appearing at all in two of them. However, earlier in the year, he was productive, averaging 6.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in the first five games of the season.

The Aggies should be able to replace Roberson, but they have bigger problems. They have no one (besides Elston Turner) knocking down shots from the perimeter, and are also struggling to get free opportunities from the charity stripe. Dash Harris doesn’t have the shot to get defenses honest, and freshman Jamal Branch hasn’t proven himself at the point either. Khris Middleton, Ray Turner and David Loubeau are fine up front, but the backcourt needs to step it up in a hurry.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:39 pm

Texas A&M's Kennedy says Middleton to return Sat.

By Jeff Goodman

Texas A&M is expected to get Khris Middleton back on Saturday.

Aggies coach Billy Kennedy told CBSSports.com on Friday afternoon that Middleton, who led the team in scoring a year ago, has been cleared to play against Louisiana-Monroe.

The 6-foot-7 Middleton injured his knee in the season-opening win against Liberty.

Texas A&M was a preseason Top 25 team that has gotten off to a 7-1 start - even without their top offensive player.

The Aggies lone loss came in New York City against Mississippi State.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:41 pm

A&M will take on different look with Middleton

Jeff Borzello

Since Texas A&M announced on November 11 that forward Khris Middleton would miss 3-4 weeks with a partially torn meniscus, we’ve had to reserve judgment on the Aggies.

It’s not that A&M has been bad; the Aggies are 6-1 with the lone loss coming in New York City against Mississippi State. They don’t have any wins of note, however, with the best victory coming at St. John’s.

Middleton could return as soon as tonight, when Texas A&M plays host to Sam Houston State. If not, he will come back this weekend against Louisiana-Monroe. Either way, Middleton will certainly be back in time for next Saturday’s game against Florida.

Texas A&M is a different team with him in the fold.

He’s easily the Aggies’ best offensive player, leading the team in scoring last season at 14.4 points per game. He can score in different ways, capable of getting points around the rim or stepping out and knocking down 3-pointers. He’s a good rebounder and can also get teammates involved. Moreover, Middleton is able to create his own shot and either score or get fouled.

The offense this season has not been overly efficient for the Aggies. Ray Turner and David Loubeau are good around the rim, and Elston Turner has a reputation as an effective 3-point shooter. At the point, Dash Harris has been forced to take a few more shots than usual, which is probably not a good thing for A&M.

The Aggies have been fairly one-dimensional. Nearly 67 percent of their points come from inside the arc, with A&M struggling from 3-point range and not getting to the foul line consistently. A lot of their points come off second-chance opportunities or in transition – there are not enough players who can get their own shots off, leading to somewhat stagnant offense in the half-court.

With Middleton in the mix, though, the offense takes on a new dimension. He will open up the perimeter for shots from Turner, and he will also create more shots from Turner and Loubeau for easy baskets at the rim. With Middleton scoring in different ways and freshman point guard Jamal Branch getting more burn at the point, the Aggies will be more dynamic on the offensive end.

A&M has plenty of solid role players, but Middleton is a go-to-guy and a difference maker.

When you combine that with Texas A&M’s lockdown defense under Billy Kennedy this season, the Aggies have a chance to contend for the Big 12 title.

Photo: US Presswire

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com