Friday, February 29, 2008

I think this is the first point of the game, not the rebound put back. Still a good one.
I told the guys [on Monday], the guys that are going to defend the best these two days in practice are going to get a chance to play. I thought we had nine guys that defended well in practice and I wanted to get them in.

--Mark Turgeon

14 guys played, so who worked the hardest in practice?

The following graph is the difference between the each player's average playing time, and the playing time they saw against Tech. So Josh Carter averages 27.9 minutes a game but he only played 18 minutes on Wed, so the difference is -9.9.

Seven guys saw more than average playing time (to be expected in a blow out), but three had significant increases: Holmes, Lewis, and Beau. If you follow A&M, you were not that surprised to see Holmes and Beau in the game; they had seen action in over twenty games. But Lewis is a different story. Before Wednesday's game, he had only played 61 seconds of Big 12 basketball (the final 1:01 of the K-State debacle), and the only ink he has had before last night was his his waffling after BG left.

Given all of that I would say Lewis worked the hardest.
ESPN picked up Bobby Knight for tourney coverage. This should be great.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Texas A&M 98, Texas Tech 54

Night and day. At the end of the first half, the announcers pointed out that our point total in that half was greater than our average point total in the previous three games. Wow. That is both really bad and really good.

So what else changed?

The following graph shows the difference between our performance in the Tech game and our average performance in the OSU, Texas, and NU games. For example, in the OSU, tu, and NU games games we scored 54, 50, and 59, which is an average of 54.3, and we put up 98 against Tech; so the difference is 43.6 points. I also charted the difference in our opponent's performance.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wow. I already checked, the rebound/dunk by DJ is not on youtube... yet.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nebraska 65, Texas A&M 59

Going into this game I felt out season was slipping away, so starting off down 17 - 9 didn't give me the warm fuzzies. We battled back and took the lead with 4:35 let, but it ended like it started with the bad guys going on a 15 - 9 run.

WFT? Where is the team that won the preseason NIT and whipped the Longhorns? Don't ask Turge, he "[doesn't] know what happened to the guys that [he] was coaching when we left Missouri." He has tried to change things, but the players still have to play.

Take the ball screen defense. Turge knows NU likes to roll to the basket after setting a ball screen in hopes of getting an easy layup, so he had our guys squeezed the screen. "By squeezing, [you] can't roll the basket", yet they still manged to get 5 layups off the screen and roll. 10 easy points against a defense whose sole purpose is to prevent that play. "We are guarding it the right way, guys are just not executing."

We have been limited on offense this year. Our point guards can't get us into our sets. We have 234987 big guys, but no one can get them the ball, if they do get the ball they are double teams and can't pass out of it. For the most part teams just have to guard Josh. Fortunately we are usually able to compensate with good defense, but with that gone we can't beat a second tier Big 12 team at home.

So now what? We have been here before. Last time we bounced back and won 5 straight. Turge will "know Monday whether we are out of it or not." The rest of us will have to wait until Wednesday.

Oh ya. DRow played great. 5-7 from the field, 13 points. I guess the nickname worked.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Congrats to Gary Blair for his 500th win. Here's to 500 more!Link
Loose 3 and it is the end of the world; win 5 and you're back in business; but what about now? We are on the bad end of a two game streak and the regular season ends in a few weeks, so where are we?

Joe Lunardi has us as a 6 seed, but we can still blow it. Our last five games are Nebraska and Tech at home, at Oklahoma, at Baylor, and the finale with the Jayhawks at Reed. If we go 3-2 we dance. A 2-3 and finish would put us at 8-8 in the Big 12, and would requite a strong conference tournament performance to be a factor in anyone's bracket (yes, no one does a NIT bracket).

The question I ask is which 3 can we get?

Nebraska? They just beat K-State using a combo of box-and-one and 2-3 zone defense that made a "national player of the year candidate a non-factor." If they can shut down Beasley we should not expect Carter to get a lot of open shots.

Tech? When was the last time we beat these guys at anything?

Oklahoma? We eeked one out in College Station by making all of their players foul out. I don't think Jeff Capel will keep his starting PG in with four fouls that early in the 2nd half again.

Baylor? If you think we were in a free fall, the Bear have lost 6 of 7 since beating us in the marathon game. But those losses were to teams like KU, Texas, and OU; not exactly cup cakes.

Kansas? We cannot play against pressure defense. KU plays very good defense. KU is very good.

If we play like we did against Texas in College Station, we can win any of these games. If we play like we did in Austin NIT here we come.

Monday, February 18, 2008

1) We need a point guard who can handle pressure defense.

2) We can really leave open some three point shooters
Rickie Barnes thinks that A.J. Abrams's's's ball pressure has been the "biggest difference" in his team's post-Aggie-beat-down performance. Something over there has improved. Since we hung 80 on them while shotting 56% from the field on them, they have kept teams to an average of 39% from the field.

But I am not worried about Abrams, even if his first name ends in J.

I am worried about Dexter Pittman.
Don't be fooled by his 1.8 rebounds per game and 3 points per game. Pittman is dangerous. He is a tactician, a student of the game, and has the inside knowledge of our team to bring us down. Pittman recently commented to we "got so many big men in the rotation, and I know at least every one of them." If he, at least, knows every one, can you imagine what he knows at most? I can't, and that is what makes him so dangerous.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shermie had some kind words for his new defensive co-ordination, "[Kines is] what you call a 'ball coach.' He loves his players and he loves football and demonstrates that passion in his coaching. No one I have ever hired has a greater pedigree or more experience than Coach Kines... His creative and aggressive approach toward defensive football has always intrigued me."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Former University of Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines has accepted the defensive coordinator position at Texas A&M. A source close to Kines said that, "He's pumped. He can't wait to get back on the field." Under Kines, Alabama's defense finished second nationally in total defense in 2004 and in 2005.

Lets hope this Alabama boy works better than the last.
News from around college basketball...

Kentucky only scored 11 points in the first half against Vandy, they went on to lose by 41, the program's worst loss in almost a decade.

Kelvin Sampson is in trouble AGAIN. At OU, Sampson made a bunch (557) of "impermissible" calls to recruits which lead to self-imposed sanctions that included a ban on all calls. New information indicates that Sampson made 100 calls while under that ban at Indiana.
Nolan Cromwell, our new offensive coordinator, has assured us that we will not see a QB run the ball 35 times (as McGee did against Nebraska) as long as he is running the offense. Thank god.

What does this mean for McGee?

Shermie made it clear that he has no favorites, “when you come in new, the only allegiance I have is to Texas A&M." So McGee and Jerrod Johnson will battle it out for the starting spot, but it seems Johnson is already the front runner since McGee's off-season surgery will prevent him from throwing the ball in spring drills.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Texas A&M athletic department will hang Acie Law's No. 1 jersey in the rafters at Reed Arena during Saturday's game against Oklahoma State. Not a big surprise considering I called this last March. That's right, I am one of those guys that points out all of the times they are right.
Bob Davie passed. :(

Next on Shermies radar is former Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Brian Davis of the D-Morn News got posterized by Mike in his last update. Here is the recap...

No LBs other than Pugh?...

Top five offensive players...

5. Kerry Franks, WR

1. Pugh is a Safety, has never been a LB and will likely move to CB in 08.

2. Franks graduated this season. He must be really good to our fifth best player and not even be on the roster.

Good blog.

Ouch. Good thing no one reads my blog.
ESPN analyst Bob Davie declined to comment on whether he was interested in Texas A&M's vacant defensive coordinator position. "I don't think I can comment on that at all. Mike and I are good friends. Any comments should come from Mike."

Davie was a successful defensive coordinator at Texas A&M from 1989-93 under former coach R.C. Slocum. A&M's defense reached its height of success under Davie and earned the nickname "The Wrecking Crew." The Aggies ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense in 1991.

Oh hell yes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our new defensive coordinator Reggie Herring jumped to the NFL. Next season he will be the Dallas Cowboys linebacker's coach. Wtf?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rod Davis picked the good guys, and Funny Guy's cold feat were total BS. Sam just needed a little more attention. His neediness is understandable considering he was only a four-star guy, barely made the top 10 for backs, and barely the top 40 for Texas players. Hopefully he feels wanted now.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

All of our recruits have sent in their letters of intent, except for Rod Davis. He will announce tonight. Here is the list...

4 start
  • Jeff Fuller WR 6-4 202 McKinney, TX
  • Cyrus Gray RB 6-0 188 DeSoto, TX
  • Derrick Hall ATH 5-10 201 Beaumont, TX
  • Tony Jerod DE 6-5 255 DeSoto, TX
  • Matt Moss DE 6-4 270 El Cajon, CA
  • Andrew Wolridge DE 6-2 235 Lexington, TX
3 stars
  • LeRoy Chevalier OL 6-6 325 Houston, TX
  • Keon Furtch DB 6-2 180 Paris, TX
  • Chris Lathrop OL 6-4 288 Cypress, TX
  • Brian Thomas OL 6-3 265 Pearland, TX
  • K.J. Williams ATH 6-4 235 Norman, OK
  • Tommy Dorman QB 6-3 204 North Richland Hills, TX
  • Adren Dorsey DT 6-4 285 Tyler, TX
  • Trent Hunter DB 5-10 189 Katy, TX
  • Josh Ayers OL 6-5 282 Euless, TX
  • Eddie Brown DT 6-2 266 Waller, TX
  • Aaron Buckley LB 6-1 225 Palacios, TX
  • Jeffrey Hyde OL 6-7 295 Colleyville, TX
  • Kyle Mangan LB 6-2 225 Brenham, TX
2 stars
  • Joe Villavisencio OL 6-4 305 Jacksonville, TX
  • Ricky Cavanaugh LB 6-2 215 Austin, TX
  • Terrence Frederick DB 5-10 170 Katy, TX
Another signing day surprise is Sam McGuffie. You may recall this televised announcement where he pulled on a Michigan hat after briefly pausing over a Texas A&M hat (skip to the 1:44 mark if you get tired of the guy's slurping)

HA! Thats great Sam. I have never seen a recruit ever pull the fake out move... Anyway. Funny guy has apparently gotten cold feet, and has not sent Big Blue his letter. According to one of his teammate, Chris Lathrop (a three-star o-lineman who signed with us today), he is "thinking about Cal and Texas A&M (in addition to Michigan)."

Brain Davis is a beast. Going into halftime we had a 6 point lead. In little over a minute of game-time later, BD had doubled our lead. 6 points in 1:11. He would finish with 16 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks; and that 6-0 streak that Davis started would extend to 20-5.

The first half was we what have seen this year. Poor shooting, stifling defense, and a small lead. The second half is what we all expected to see this year. Lights out shooting, stifling defense, and a large lead. When asked out the game, Iowa State senior forward Alex Thompson said, "They have a lot of depth on that front line - a lot of big bodies they bring in to bang around down there, and they really focus on getting the ball inside. I let them get too deep a few times." He let them get? I watched the game. I am pretty sure he had no choice.

In the OU game I was impressed with how quickly we were able to double-team down load. In the Iowa State game I was impressed with how we fought through screens. Overall "we're playing with much more toughness and much more poise, home and away."
Today is national signing day (watch the press conference at 2PM EST), and with the 15th best class in the country we are looking pretty good for a team that has just fired their coach and hasn't won a bowl game in 34202 seasons. That 15th ranking could tumble a bit depending on what Rod Davis does. The four-star defensive tackle will pick between Texas A&M and Texas today. I always look forward to the handful of guys like this who feel they need the extra attention.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Vegas is giving us 6.5.
We are (were?) so bad from the line that Turge is coaching for the miss. "We've missed so many, we figured we might as well try to get a rebound on them." That is a very Turgeon thing to say; brutally honest and pragmatic. The extra work may have helped Josh Carter tip back a missed free throw and seal the OU W.

Tonight we face Iowa State in Ames.

In the OU game we seemed to turn the corner on missed free throws, hell Sloan made ALL of his foul shots, and "hopefully it's a phase that continues to get better, and phases should as the season goes on."
Bob Knight resigned yesterday; some bs about after coaching 42 seasons and being the winingest coach of all time he is now "tired". Maybe we now have a shot at beating these guys.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The most impressive stat of the OU game (other than the final score) was the number of points scored by Blake Griffin; 6. Boy-beast has only scored fewer points twice: 4 against USC way back in Nov, and 0 against KU when he busted his knee 5 minutes into the game. Capel thinks he is "going to be an NBA guy". I think he needs to learn how to pass out of a double team faster.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

OU's freshman forward Blake Griffin leads the 3-2 Sooners in both points (14.7) and rebounds (8.7) per game, but has been hampered by a series of injuries. His 17 and 15 point performances against Baylor and OSU seem to indicate that he is be back from the knee injury, but it remains unclear how his play will be effected after he shit a ball.

KSU assistant coach did his best Billy G impression and got a post-KU win DUI.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What do DeAndre Jordan and I have in common...

Neither of us can make a shot from here. Although he did make 2-3 against Texas.