Friday, November 30, 2007

In a rare move, Chris Fowler passed up the opportunity to criticize Texas A&M football. If fact, he actually defended us. The head of Black Coaches & Administrators, Floyd Keith was disappointed that $Bill did not interview a single minority candidate before hiring Sherman.

While acknowledging the "current state of minority representation among I-A head coaches and coordinators is a deep embarrassment to the sport and has been for years", Fowler thinks the critisism in this specific case is "off base." He goes on to say that
It has been common knowlege for more than a month, maybe longer, that Dennis Franchione is out. Sherman -- as a former A&M assistant (very important there), a former NFL head coach (Green Bay Packers) and a current NFL coordinator (Houston Texans) -- has a resume that no one, regardless of race or anything else, could come close to.

What should A&M be criticzed for? Not bringing in "candidates" of any color for bogus interviews? That's the kind of charade, a faux interest in a minority candidate to satisfy somebody, that the BCA rightfully has spoken out against. Sherman was Byrne's guy from the start, for his resume. Going outside the Ags' family didn't work with Franchione. It was predictable that Byrne would make this move. He kept it quiet and discreet and handled it well, without a PR flourish.

The BCA really can't be too bothered by that.
I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this one. The racial divide between head coaches and players is pretty obvious, and embarrassing. The problems is that ADs, like $Bill, are not giving these guys an opportunity to compete for the job. That is why the BCA is complaining. But what do you do when $Bill only interviews one guy for the job? Apparently "several African-American coaching candidates were on Bill's list of prospective coaches" and just started from the top. $Bill rivals Dick Cheney in his levels of secrecy, so we will never know if that claim is true.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sherman is our coach, but he is also the Texans offensive coordinate, and he will continue his duties in Houston until the end of the regular season (I don't think the Texans have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, but at 0-3 in the division and 3-5 in conference, I do not think they are much of a threat). So what does that mean for us? NFL coordinators tend to spend a hundred hours a week watching film and preparing for the next game. How is he going to make sure that we don't loose any more recruits? Fortunately most of our recruits have cell phones and Sherman can "can get them a little later than you would normally call someone's house." What is a few more hours a day on the phone when you are already watching 12 ours of game tapes?
Texas A&M 76, Alabama 63
I was way off on my prediction of what type of game we would have. I said DJ would be slamming it home all night, but "he started pouting" after Hendrix shoved him early in the first half. He ended up with only two points, two boards, and two turnovers in 16 minutes. Hendrix is a great player and had a great game: 19 points, 12 boards, and three blocks with only three fouls. The upside is that we didn't give him easy looks; he shot 40%, which is way below his average (71%). Jones did foul out in only 17 minutes, I predicted he would have 1 less foul and play 6 more minutes. I think I would have been right on the mark if DJ had a decent game, he didn't so Joe was free to find fouls as fast as he could.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If there was a "most improved incoming freshman from game one to game eight" award, DeAndre would win it in a land slide. "Two months ago, he'd almost crawl in a corner and pout, now he accepts coaching." To reward his improvement, Turge has asked DJ to guard Richard Hendrix, Alabama's leading scorer (23.8 ppg), rebounder (14.5 rpg), and blocker (2.5 bpg).

DJ and Hendrix are similar players; they both have very high field goal percentages (85% and 71%) and low free throw percentages (18% and 50%) (I cannot believe DJ shoots under 20%, that is amazing). How does a player make so many shots with out being able to shoot the ball? Easy, they dunk EVERYTHING. Two guys constantly trying to dunk every ball they touch should make for an exciting game.

Any bets on how quick Joe and Brian Davis foul out? I am guessing they both finish with four, Joe plays for 23 minutes and Brain plays for 18.
The All-Big 12 football awards are out and the big winner is Cody Wallace who was name Offensive Linemen of the Year and All-Big 12 first team. Chris Alexander, Chris Harrington, Misi Tupe, and Justin Brantly were all named to All-Big 12 second team. Michael Bennett, Martellus Bennett, Red Bryant, Marquis Carpenter, Corey Clark, Mark Dodge, Kirk Elder, Jorvorskie Lane, and Stephen McGee all received honorable mention.

Monday, November 26, 2007

+ = , ?

$Bill has called an 11AM (noon for me) press conference to announce the next Aggie head football coach. With no other athletic department announcing that they have granted access $Bill access to their coach, it is very very very likely Mike Sherman is our man. I am hopping for we get more of a Pete Carroll and less of a Bill Callahan.

The vocal minority is not confident in Sherman's ability, but I have no clue how those people judge these things. Yes the Texans stink, and that is a valid point against Sherman, who is the offensive coordinator, but the funny thing is I am sure this vocal minority would have been overjoyed if $Bill tapped Gary Kubiak, who is the head coach of the same stinky team.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The NIT might have the worst website and/or communications department. Here is the championship picture off their website:Half of the team is not in the picture, the picture is way off center, there is a cameraman in the picture, and the team is looking at another photographer. I bet this was taken with a cell phone camera. Terrible.
Warning, this post is not about coaching.

Staring in 2009 we will be playing Arkansas in the Dallas Cowboy's new stadium. This new stadium looks amazing:
According to a source close to Tuberville, A&M is no longer interested in Tubs. We have "decided to go in a different direction." This post also claims that Mike Sherman is likely to be the next middle aged white man to slip on a maroon blazer, but he does not cite anyone close to anything. This guy is from Alabama, so I think his info on Sherman is just a regurgitation what is in the H-Chron.
Reporters, being the carnivores that they are, could not even wait until Mike Sherman got off the field after his offense was outscored by the Browns (whose defense is ranked 30th in my fantasy league) 27 to 17 to ask him questions about the TAMU head coaching vacancy. He, of course, deflected all questions, but the other Texans coaches/execs acted like he was already gone. Saying things like "we don't want to lose Mike because he's a terrific coach", "A&M could search for a long time and not find a candidate better than Mike Sherman", "we would highly recommend Mike for the job", and "we'd wish him the best". Neither owner Bob McNair or head coach Gary Kubiak, a former Aggie, knew anything about Sherman being interviewed, but since Sherman is not a college coach, $Bill does not have to ask permission to talk to him. We would also not have to pay for a buy out, but I am not sure that matters.
I thought this was a cool picture from the game, do you think they worked this out in practice?

Legendary Oklahoma coach "Dingle Barry" Switzer said on the Fox pregame show that, "A&M thinks they're winners, but they never won anything. Not even with Bear Bryant." For those of you that are unfamiliar with Dingle Barry's career, here are a few highlights:
  • sent boosters dressed as painters to Memorial Stadium to spy on Texas's closed practices
  • resigned after the NCAA placed OU on probation for 3 years
  • proved that any one can coach a team to a super bowl win, or more specifically, that Jimmy Johnson is such a good coach that not even Dingle Barry can keep his team from winning a super bowl
  • was arrested for attempting to carry a loaded hand gun onto an airplane
  • resigned after the Cowboys went 6-10
I am sure that by the time I click "publish post" things will have have changed in $Bill's national coaching search, but here is what is going on so far...

According the the H-Cron, it is a three man race: Houston Texans assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, former Notre Dame coach A&M defensive coordinator Bob Davie, and Boise State coach Chris Petersen. Take this list with a grain of salt. $Bill has been overly secertive with his previous coaching searches, and at this point not even the A&M board of regents members are privy to this "closely held secret."

Auburn's head coach, Tommy Tuberville, seemed to be the obvious choice, but $Bill has not contacted him (officially), and someone close to Tubs said he was "not seriously considered for the job." Tubs has said that he would stay in Auburn as long as they wanted him. The victory last night over the other state team should make him pretty popular on campus. Oh wait, our guy did that too but we still gave him the boot.

If you believe the H-Cron, then Mike Sherman is the front runner, but I am a bit sceptical of a Houston paper claiming that a Houston coach tops the list at a school an hour outside of town. Looks more like a sales campaign than an inside scoop.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This has been a very eventful day... we beat Texas, we STOMPED Ohio State to win the NIT, and Fran stepped down.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Aggie Sports Blog turns 1!!

The men beat Washington after a pretty crappy start. They will face Ohio State in the finals tomorrow. I think there may be a football game tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am going to guess that our team has largest player/coach height ratio ever. Check out how short Turge is, he comes up to Jim Boeheim's shoulder. Then again Turge played in the Final Four, best Boeheim did was Elite Eight. Suck it Jim. rates the Texas A&M v Texas BASKETBALL games as one of the hottest rivalries in college basketball.
Lets catch up real quick...

We lost to Texas in the 2nd round of the NCAA soccer tournament. Texas scored three goals in the 2nd half to win it 3-2. Jerks.

We whipped Ouachita Baptist 85-59. This is pretty much what you would expect to happen when a D-I team plays a D-IIIIIIIIIIIIII team (unless you are Michigan State... ZING). Turge some how managed to get 18 guys into this game. Denzel Bowels finally made it into a game for more than a minute, he played two. Bowels was a big-time recruit who followed Turge from Wichita State. Unfortunately he showed up to practice with a lot of "bad weight" and was a "completely different player" than the one the coaches recruited. Subsequently his career at TAMU is only three minutes long.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We face Texas in the second round of the NCAAs tonight. Lets hope our goal scoring efficiency goes above .03 (33 shots, 1 goal) this time.
When we switched form Nike to Adidas we all read about how Michigan had also singed a deal with Adidas worth $60 million. Michigan is clearly wearing Nike uniforms. What gives?
It has been a while since have won on Saturday (Nov 10th), but with the football team idle and the men's basketball team facing Ouachita Baptist (located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; 1,482 undergrads; alumni include 7 Miss Arkansas winners and the founder of TCBY) tonight at Reed, you can be sure that the month long streak will come to an end. The Tigers were 14-14 last season, and 8-6 in the NCAA-DII Gulf South Conference. There best player is Jaranimo Marks who averaged 16 a game last year and was a all conference first team selection. They also have a 6-5 forward who hit 90 threes last year. This guy could be a tough defensive assignment for us, but probably not.
Billy Gillispie wouldn't agree to sign a contract with us, now he is doing the same thing to UK. I wounder if he is also lying to all of his players there too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Basketball season is starting to look a lot like football season; big programs are getting beat, at home, by much smaller programs. After the first half I was concerned we would be part of that trend. UTEP was up by 8, had gone 8 for 16 from 3, and Stephon Jackson seemed to be making any shot past half court. On the other hand we could not buy a bucket: 10-31 shooting and 1-8 from 3. At half time Turge told the team that we just need to stick together and play our game, even "if they hit every shot we were going to stick together and be a team." I guess we stuck together, if the result of sticking together is figuring how to defend the screen and make a shot. In the second half UTEP only made two more threes out of 10 attempts, while we went 5-9, including one from Josh carter with 2 minutes left that gave us the lead.

DJ had a great game; 12 boards, six on offense, and a nasty block. Free throws were again troublesome for him, he one for six. A guy who is that bad from the line can really hurt you in big games. Think Hack-a-Shaq. There were some glimmers of greatness from Derek Rolan and Dolan Sloan, but neither player is "playing anywhere near were they are going to be playing at some point."

One thing I find intresting is Turge's offensive shift. Just a few weeks ago he described our offense as in "constant motion", but now we are going to "live or die playing inside out." Did we miss enough shots to make him give up the motion? He did say that we have to try and find a way to make some shots, maybe this is his way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mack Brown wants the annual Texas A&M v Texas game to be moved from Friday to Saturday so his team can get a by week earlier in the season. Something about playing 11 games in a row makes his kids "tired." I can sympathize some, watching the last 11 A&M games on TV has worn me out. Brown also thinks Audrina is way too good for Justin Bobby and is really upset that she keeps going back to him.
Our defense is progressing. In the first exhibition game we didn't play any defense, in the first game of the season we didn't defend for the first five minutes, and in the first half of this game we did "about as good as we can do defensively." Hell even DJ guarded "for the first time since he has been here." At half time Oral Roberts had only 17 points in 23 shots. The second half we a different story, 36 points in 32 shots, which may be the a conditioning issue. Turge's teams play pressure defense and motion offense, and this teams is just "not in good enough shape to play the way [he wants] to play and do it for 40 minutes."

Last game DJ had only two boards, so coach joked that he was on track to "set a record for the fewest rebounds for a 7 footer in a season." DJ responded with eight boards, three of them on offense. Eight is not quite the 20 he promised, but I will take it.

I have never heard a coach call out an opponent's fans before last night. Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton (remember him? his name was mentioned as a replacement to Billy G) said that DJ is a "special player" and thought it "was a little disappointing that only 8400 people show, they need to get out here and see this kid play." Ouch.

Up next is the other team dumped by Billy G, UTEP. The Miners play a style similar to what Memphis played last year, which is good and bad. Good because we played Memphis in the tourney last year, so we will be familiar with the scouting report. Bad because, well, they beat us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The women got thumped by Team USA 75-24 (Team USA had 14 blocks!), but that didn't stop Chinemelu Elonu's (aka Junior) little sister, Adaora Elonu, from committing to play for coach Blair. Adaora is a preseason second-team All-Greater Houston selection and is rated as the nation's 34th best prospect.

Monday, November 12, 2007

One of the "unfortunate, ugly facts" of soccer is that you can totally dominate a team and lose. Such was the case in the Big 12 championship game on Sunday. We dominated Texas, 33 shots to their 8, 11 shots on goal to their 4, but lost 2-1. Fortunately, the work we did in the regular season was good enough to allow us to host the 1st and 2nd rounds of the tourney. The other team playing in College Station are Texas, BYU, and Stephen F Austin. The first round will be Thursday and the second round will be on Saturday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My guy says we met with Steve Spurrier's agent, and the old ball coach is not interested in the job. NEXT!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The media really wants DJ to be the story of the game, claiming that he "overshadowed" Turge in the pair's first victory as Aggies. However, if you listen to the coaches, the game ball goes to Bryan Davis and Derek Roland for their efforts on defense. Before BD (I think that is what the team calls Davis) and Roland came into the game, McNeese State had put 15 points up in five minutes. After he came in we held them to 11 points in the next 15 minutes. BD finished with 9 boards, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 8 points. Don't get me wrong, DJ's 12 points were very good, but the dude only pulled down 2 boards. He is 7 feet tall!

Free throws were a problems again. We only made 56% of our shots, which is odd for a team that shoots several thousand a week. McNeese State made all of their shots from the line, all three of them. Yep, Joe Jones had more fouls (4) than the other team had foul shots.

When Turge first put Dom Kirk at the point the thought we had "problems." But after dropping six dimes in this game, it is pretty obvious that he has come a long way. Sloan is not quite where Kirk is yet, but once he is there this team is "going to be fun to watch."

Friday, November 9, 2007

I am listening to the game (we are killing them, up 19 with about 3 left) and the announcers just said that students get in free to the first game of the NIT preseason tournament game against Oral Robers because Turge paid for the tickets. That may be the coolest thing I have ever heard of a coach doing. This guy really knows how to win over the fans.
The soccer team faced Missouri in the semifinals of the Big 12 tourney. We didn't score the first goal, but we did score the next four and took the win. We face the winner of the Texas/OSU game in the championship game on Sunday.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Andy Katz picked us to win the preseason NIT, and has us as the 2nd best team in the Big 12.
Ha! The stats are on our side. Missouri is 1-2 to teams whose coaches who are about to get canned (loss to Iowa State last year who canned Dan McCarney, loss to Kansas State in 2005 who canned Bill Snyder, and a win over Nebraska who is about to can Bill Callahan).
There will be a lot of growing pains that come with a new coach. We had another one today, 4-star defensive tackle Rod Davis is "committed to A&M until somebody comes around and changes [his] mind." Those somebodies include USC, California, Minnesota, Florida, and LSU.
As you may or may not know, Baylor's football team is not doing so hot this year (0-6 in the Big 12), and head coach Guy Morriss will probably get the boot. The talk in Waco is that legendary Chicago Bears linebacker, and Baylor Bear alum, Mike "I only play for a team with a bear mascot" Singletary could take over next year. The only problem is that old wide-eyes might not be able to start until January, which could put Baylor at a "disadvantage in recruiting." Baylor's 2008 class is headlined by five 3-star guys, and is ranked 56th nationally. Unless a disadvantage means they can't fill out the team, I don't think that should be much of a factor.
Mizzou is gearing up to "stop A&M's option attack." In last year's 25-19 defeat, they saw J-Train run for 127 yards. This year the Tigers are ready for the big fella, they are going to "play assignment football", "control the line of scrimmage", and get to Lane before he can "gather steam."

Wait. This can't be what the coaches in Missouri are talking about.

It's true, in the last two week we had our asses handed to us by the #1 and #2 ranked run defenses, and Missouri is #4 so it is reasonable to expect a similar outcome... if we run. But these guys are terrible against the pass; they give up almost 260 yards a game. When we played the #11 and #12 pass defenses McGee has averaged over 200 yards in the air, and Missouri is #10 so it is reasonable to expect a similar outcome... if we pass. In that game last year when they saw J Train run all over them and they learned their lesson, McGee also threw for 223 yards. If that article is accurate, I think the Tigers may have learned the wrong lesson.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I really need to do a better job covering women's sports, especially women's soccer. These girls are by far the most accomplished athletes on campus: #2 national ranking, four consecutive big-12 regular season titles, seven all-Big 12 honors, six academic all-Big 12 honorees, and they are our next best shot at a national championship. Today we advanced to the Big-12 semifinals by beating Iowa state in PKs. We will now face Mizzou on Friday. There will be a live video stream of the game here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Texas A&M 71, Tarleton State 62

After the Emporia State game Turg was "really concerned", "we look like we hadn't been coached". But "we made great strides in 3 or 4 days" and did a much better job against Tarleton State. Joe in particular had a good game. We started hammering the ball down to him and he ended up on the foul line 14 times, making 11 of them. One thing that is not there yet is the rebounding, especially offensive rebounding. We missed 31 shots but only got 13 o-boards. "We should be dominating in rebounding especially when you miss as many shots as we did."

One of the many adjustments we will have to make is on offense. Last year it was all high-low ball, which gave our guys a chance to rest. Turg wants our offense to be "in constant movement". Unfortunately our guys are "not in shape yet to run and guard" and that shows in our 2nd half stats.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Anyone else getting nothing but a green screen from CSTV's live feed? Very annoying.

[Halftime Update]

Score: 22 - 31 goodguys

Bryan Davis's starting days didn't last long, but he has put in more minutes three of our starters: Joe, Carter, and that man who replaced him, DJ. I hate reading box scoring and trying to figure out what is going on.
Whether Fran has agreed to a buy out, or is close to a buy out is irrelevant. He is gone. I believe $Bill when he says that he only "evaluates his programs at the end of each season", so there will be no pre-Texas game firings. Melvin Watkins announced he was stepping down before the Big-12 tournament. So I am thinking that is what Fran will do, announce his departure before our bowl game.
More positive signs from Auburns head football coach Tommy Tuberville (Tubs). When Tubs was asked about the TAMU HC spot he said, "We're not going to get into that in the next two weeks. That would be a headache if we started doing all those 'ifs' and 'ands.'"

Now that is not as obvious as wearing a maroon tie to a football game, but he is certainly leaving plenty of room for speculation.

In other news, Fran feels that the team will be motivated by the "pain of this loss." Hu?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

12 points. Offensive production is good, which is usually the case when you shoot 53% from the field and pull down 13 more boards. I was hoping that the defense would keep them around 60. I was not able to watch/listen to the game, and the box score is not out yet, so this is all I have.

Here is a question, do you think Turge is just trying to "win by one point" (Fran's favorite quote after a narrow victory, later picked up by McGee)?


I was able to get into the CSTV site for some stats. Here are the highlights:
  • Starting 5: Davis, Sloan, Jones, Carter, and Kirk
  • Davis logged 1o min, but some how managed to foul out. I really hope he is not following in Joe's footsteps this year.
  • Speaking of Joe, he had 4 fouls. Great. Do you think Turg is going to sit him?
  • Kirk played 33 minutes, I am guessing most of that was at the point. 2 assists, 0 turnovers, 11 points, 5 boards, 1 steal.
  • Josh carter had a great game: team high 14 points, team high (tied) 6 boards, 4 of his 6 were offensive, 4 assists.
  • DJ came off the bench and put up 12 points, 6 boards, and 2 blocks. More good news is that he committed only 2 fouls in 24 minutes. He was 4-11 from the stripe, that needs to improve, a lot.
  • Sloan shot 7 free throws. This makes me think he was getting to the rack. This makes me happy.
Our first men's basketball game is today. I am mostly interested in... well everything. I think there will be a live video stream available for the game. I watched a bunch of games this way last year, the best part is listening to Dave South et al. chat during radio commercial breaks.