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GAMETHREAD: Basketball at #11 Texas A&M, 1:15pm, SEC Network

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The Tigers seek their first conference win against disgruntled Aggies

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After a heartbreaking, yet encouraging loss to Kentucky Wednesday evening, the Tigers (9-4, 0-1) travel to College Station to take on a seemingly stronger opponent in Texas A&M (11-3, 0-2). The Aggies somewhat surprisingly dropped their first two SEC contests against Alabama and Florida, losing both by 22 and 17 points, respectively.

The last two games for Texas A&M are eye-opening; the Aggies entered conference play with an 11-1 record, and ranked as high as 4th in the KenPom ratings. They are currently ranked 19th, with the 8th best defense, but only the 68th best offense. KenPom also gives the Aggies a 10 point edge for this afternoon’s contest, but this could honestly go either way given how each team has played recently.

Despite their proficiency on the defensive side of the ball, that side of the game has left a particular void in a spot where it matters: turnovers. The Aggies play a very tight, efficient zone defense, but are ranked 318th in forcing turnovers. As a matter of fact, even on offense they rank 240th in giving up the ball. Keep an eye on the turnover battle this afternoon, as it could be the key for Will Wade’s first SEC victory.

The Aggies will likely be playing this afternoon without two high contributors in Admon Gilder and Duane Wilson. Gilder missed the last four games and Wilson the most recent game, both to a knee injury. This afternoon will, however, see the return of junior DJ Hogg, who was suspended for three games for an undisclosed team rules violation. Hogg is the leading scorer for the Aggies with 14.6 PPG.

Projected Texas A&M Aggies Starting 5

#34 F - Tyler Davis: 13.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 28.1 minutes

#1 G - DJ Hogg: 14.6 PPG, 2.6 APG, 30.9 minutes

#10 C - Tonny Trocha-Morelos: 8.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 24.3 minutes

#44 F - Robert Williams: 8.4 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 25.0 minutes

#5 G/F - Savion Flagg: 7.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 21.6 minutes

This afternoon’s game tips off at 1:15pm in the Reed Arena, and will be televised on the SEC Network. You can listen to the game on 98.1 FM or follow along in the comments below.