1 Total Update since December 10, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
In terms of the rankings, the Washington Huskies' 63-62 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies is an upset.
However, in terms of what actually occurs on a basketball court, TAMU had a considerable rebounding and home court advantage over UW entering the game. And both ended up playing a significant role during the game - TAMU beat the Huskies on the offensive glass 16 to 10, which led to an 18 to 7 advantage in second chance points and a 70th straight win over non-conference opponent at home.
Huskies board work still incomplete | UW Basketball
The Huskies were outrebounded every way possible. They gave up rebounds on missed shots in the paint. They did not get long rebounds. Despite having inside position, Washington allowed offensive rebounds and layins off missed free throws. Until that changes, Washington will not get to where it expects to be.
Offensive rebounding was just one of many things that simply didn't go UW's way in a tight game, as described by miketag of SBN's Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man.
Ags Beat Washington 63-62 - I Am The 12th Man
I honestly thought the Ags were going to lose this game by 20. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Washington team. I expect them to be a Final Four candidate in March. The Ags struggled from the FT line, hitting only 68 percent from the charity stripe. The Ags did not hit a three-pointer in the game. The fact that A&M was able to grind out a win despite their struggles from the outside speaks well to the future of this team. The Ags forced 20 turnovers and held the top scoring team in the country to 37 percent from the field and only 62 points.
There is certainly a lot of negative that can be said about the Huskies after losing an ugly game in their first true road trip, but - and this point is worth repeating - that they still do have Final Four talent even if things aren't going their way right now. It's something people watching closely know and something that Texas A&M fans and coach Mark Turgeon alike noted after the game.
A&M men outlast No. 21 Washington 63-62 | Aggies | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
"I think Washington has Final Four talent, and we’re still trying to find ourselves, but defensively we were as good as we’ve been all year," Turgeon said.
The Aggies held the Huskies, the nation’s top-shooting 3-point team entering the game, to 6 of 22 from the 3-point line. A&M also held Washington to a season low in points and field-goal percentage (37.7), and forced the Huskies into a season-high 20 turnovers.
As a ranked team coming off a Sweet 16 season, the Huskies are going to get everyone's best shot this season, particularly in the Pac-10 where they have to be considered the favorite despite their losses. They have a long stretch between now and the end of conference play to correct their rebounding problem. Until then, it's hard to disregard that they still have Final Four talent and plenty of time to figure it all out.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Texas A&M Aggies has sort of floated around the fringes of the polls over the last few weeks, receiving votes in one or the other but never joining the #21/22 Washington Huskies among the best 25 teams in the country.
With Washington visiting tomorrow, TAMU will be in their strongest position yet poll-wise receiving nine votes in the AP Poll and five in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
Yet as much as people have talked about this being Washington's first test as their first true road game of the season against one of the nation's better teams, it's just as much a test for Texas A&M - Washington will be the first ranked team they've played all season.
And the biggest challenge for the Huskies might be familiar.
Although one of the biggest problems in TAMU's lone loss to Boston College was their shooting efficiency, most of that could be attributed to poor 3-point shooting: they went 0-for-6 in the first half before hitting 7-for-14 in the second half. And having shot 37.6 percent for the season, that would seem unlikely to happen again even against stronger competition.
However, the bigger challenge in this game might be UW controlling Texas A&M on the glass, which is becoming something of a theme this season even if it's bound to get better. TAMU is beating their opponents on the offensive boards by nearly five rebounds a game and their rebounding has been their most consistent strength even in their loss.
Perhaps what's most noticeable about this team is they rebound in a manner similar to that of how Lorenzo Romar-coached team's rebound - nobody averages more than six rebounds per game. But among their top rebounders is Nathan Walkup.
Nathan Walkup, F (6-foot-7, 210, Sr.)
In addition to being one of the top 20 most efficient scorers in the nation, Walkup is among the team's strongest offensive rebounders and the second leading rebounder overall with 5.2 per game. However, his improved three point shooting (52.4 percent) this year and team-high free throw rate are part of what has made him a more efficient player on the offensive end. His offensively versatility makes him a unique threat and someone to watch.
B.J. Holmes, G (5-foot-11, 175, Sr.)
Although more of a distributor than leading scorer Khris Middleton (13.8 ppg), Holmes is more than capable as a scorer as one of the team's three 3-point shooters shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc (41.5 percent) and a free throw rate second to Walkup with just over three attempts per game. But his numbers as a distributor have been most impressive turning the ball over on only 11 percent of his possessions while creating an assist on nearly 30 percent.
As described by SBN's Big XII Hoops, the game also has significance for whatever bragging rights are involved in winning this Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
Big 12 / Pac-10 Hardwood Series Continues: Washington Huskies and Texas A&M Aggies Looking Past Last Year's Roland Injury - Big 12 Hoops
The Aggies (8-1) are led by sophomore forward Khris Middleton's 13.8 ppg. David Loubeau leads in rebounds and B.J. Holmes is the leading assist and steals guy on the squad.
A win by Texas A&M and the Big 12 will win the series. A win by Washington and the series comes down to Tuesday's Stanford-Oklahoma St. meeting.
But most of all, it's a chance for TAMU to prove themselves against one of the nation's top teams and a chance for Washington to prove themselves on the road before conference play begins.