Saturday, December 10, 2016

TV: SEC Network: Texas A&M Aggies Host SC State at 8 pm ET

South Carolina State (2-6) at Texas A&M (6-2)
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 · 7 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,989) · College Station, Texas 
TV: SEC Network (For more info –
   Dave Baker, Play-by-Play
   Will Perdue, Commentary
RADIO: WTAW 1620 AM (Bryan-College Station)
   Dave South, Play-by-Play
   Al Pulliam, Commentary
COLLEGE STATION – Seeking a third consecutive win on its home court in less than a week, the Aggie men's basketball team is back in action inside Reed Arena on Saturday as it hosts South Carolina State at 7 p.m.
Saturday's game will be part of the always popular Holiday Hoops promotion which features adult general admission tickets for $5 and youth tickets at $3. Prior to the game, families can take advantage of Kid's Court, which features a bounce house, a crafts table, a visit from Santa Claus and other activities,  inside the women's practice gym from 6:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.
The contest will be nationally televised on SEC Network with Dave Baker calling the play-by-play and Will Perdue providing color commentary. Additionally, radio coverage will be provided on the Aggie Sports Network, which can be heard locally in the Bryan/College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).
On the court, the Aggies (6-2) will be aiming for a third straight win after dispatching Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Denver earlier in the week as the talented young team continues to come together in advance of SEC play and another run at the NCAA Tournament.
Texas A&M's offensive attack features five players who average 9.8 or more points with just one member of the group, junior Tonny Trocha-Morelos at 10.1 points per game, being an upperclassman.
Sophomore center Tyler Davis stands out as one of the country's best big men as the Preseason All-SEC honoree leads the Aggies in both scoring (13.6 points per game) and rebounding (7.5 rebounds per game).
Classmates Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg, meanwhile, have each made huge strides forward on the court after playing supporting roles in last season's SEC Championship and run to the Sweet 16. Gilder averages 12.1 points per contest while leading the Aggies with 40 assists while Hogg, who stands out as one of the SEC most-feared sharpshooters, contributes 12.3 points per game and paces the team with 16 made 3-pointers.
Rookie Robert Williams has emerged as one of the country's most exciting players, ranking among the national leaders with 21 blocked shots while chipping in 9.8 points per contest on the offensive end.
The Bulldogs come to Aggieland with a 2-6 overall record after falling 82-46 at Miami (Fla.) during their most recent outing. Senior guard Eric Eaves paces SC State in scoring at 13.3 points per game under the direction of fourth-year head coach Murray Garvin.
Saturday's affair will stand out as the first meeting between the schools on the hardwood, but fans may remember the South Carolina State football team made a visit to a visit to Kyle Field to take on the gridiron Aggies during the 2012 campaign.
TEXAS A&M'S STRONG TEAM DEFENSE (Through 12/8 games)
A calling card of Texas A&M basketball under Billy Kennedy has been a commitment to stifling team defense. This season is no different as the Aggies rank among the country's leaders, featuring both an in your face man-to-man defense as well as a long, athletic zone.
• Texas A&M ranks 36th nationally in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 62.6 points per game on average, and ranks 24th in the country in field goal percentage defense, limiting foes to just 37.5 percent shooting from the field.

• The Aggies have held all eight of their opponents to below their season average this season as well as limiting six of the eight teams to their lowest point total of the season ... Highlighting the list was UCLA, which ranks second nationally averaging 97.0 points per game, was held to 74 points.
Billed as one of the SEC's most athletic rookies, Robert Williams has wasted little time making his presence felt on the court for the Maroon & White and one of his biggest statistical impacts has come in the blocked shots column.
• As a team last season, the Aggies collected 133 blocks in 37 games for an average of 3.59 blocks per game ... This season in eight games, A&M has 52 blocks for an average of 6.5 per game.
• Williams has 21 blocks in eight games (2.6 per game) to rank seventh nationally in block percentage on (through Dec. 8 games). The metric is the percentage of opponents' two-point shots that are blocked by the player while he is on the court.
• The rookie from Vivan, La., notched five swats against Northwestern St. during his first collegiate game to become the first Aggie to notch five blocks in a game since Keith Davis vs. Sam Houston St. on Dec. 7, 2011.
• Williams also collected four swats against Denver on Dec. 7 to give him a blocked shot in eight straight games, the longest streak by an Aggie since Bryan Davis had a 17-game block streak from Nov. 29, 2009 to Feb. 3, 2010.
Having already faced a pair of Pac-12 schools this season in USC and UCLA, the Aggies will get another shot at a marquee victory against a well-regarded West Coast team when Texas A&M faces No. 20 Arizona inside Houston's Toyota Center on Dec. 17.
The contest will be the opening portion of an exciting college basketball doubleheader that will also feature Arkansas and Texas facing off on the hardwood at the Toyota Center following the A&M contest.
After a week off from competition, the Aggies will face their third Pac-12 opponent of the season next Saturday when they make the short trip to Houston to face No. 20 Arizona inside the Toyota Center ... Tip-off is slated for 11 a.m. with television coverage on ESPN2.


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