welp, we're moving. It's been in the works for a while now, and it's finally official. I'm leaving blogspot and joining the SportsBlog Nation network of blogs. Thanks to yall's input, I'll still be writing under 'The 12th Manchild' alias, the only difference will be a new site layout.
Please update your bookmarks to this address: The 12th Manchild.com
I encourage all of you to come on over and register (takes two seconds) and say hello.
Thanks & Gig 'em,
The 12th Manchild
- Ags over longhorns, will probably end much the same way as 2.28, except this time Acie isn't all by himself.
- After watching much of the K-State vs. KU game earlier this season, While I see no reason why K-State won't give KU a run for their money, KU doesn't lose this game.
- A great game that will help both teams prepare for the Dance, I wouldn't put money on either team, but my gut goes with KU.
Ask anyone around the country to describe Texas A&M Basketball, and they will undoubtedly associate Texas A&M with defense. "Stifling", is how the pundits usually choose to describe Billy Gillispie's Aggies, but looking at the last three games in conference, one wouldn't know it.
Heading into the Baylor game on 2/24, the Aggies averaged 60.69 pts allowed/game in conference play. Against Baylor, Texas, and Mizzou the Aggies allowed 87, 98, and 78 respectively.
Is this just a random coincidence? a small hiccup? or is this the beginning of an alarming trend as we head into tournament play?
I set out to see if I could find any kind of correlation between points allowed and various defensive statistics:
*note - the blue line is opposing shooting percentage (from the field)
The two stats with the most telling relationship to A&M's increase in points allowed seem to be fouls called on A&M and shots allowed.
Shots allowed seems to be the the statistic with the least variance, with exception of the marked increase between the OSU game and Baylor. This increase, followed by continued weak variance indicates a concious strategic shift between the OSU and Baylor games. Either Baylor, Texas, AND Mizzou all figured out how to shred the Aggie Defense, or Billy Gillispie is up to something. It's not obvious while watching, but it almost seems like the Aggies aren't contesting as many shots as before, almost like they're daring teams to try to beat them with their perimiter shooting, or trying to see if Acie Law and Josh Carter are feeling hot that night. I'm not going to question Coach Gillispie's strategy and methods (Billy is Lord, Amen), but playoffs in all sports are won with consistently tough defense. Let's hope we see those points allowed start to drop off in the Big XII tournament.
Fouls, Fouls, Fouls.. It's no surprise that there is a direct relationship between Aggie Fouls and Opponents Points. I'm more concerned about the refs the Aggies will face than the possible opposing teams. No team like A&M's that has the true potential to reach the final four, should ever be concerned with the officiating, but Acie Law IV can only do so much when his Jones, AK, Kirk, and Carter are on the bench.
Hopefully this weekend's tournament will put all of these issues to rest.
The baseball team is off to a fantastic start in 2007. The Ags are currently at 15-2 in coach Childress' 2nd year, with key wins over #1 Rice and last year's champs, #7 Oregon State.
Everybody remembers last year's great start followed by disastrous conference play. The question on everyone's mind is whether the Ags can translate their current success into the Olsen Magic that we've yearned for since the late 90's.
The staple of the Aggies so far this season has been solid pitching from the mound, mostly from these two:
Kyle Nicholson (left) leads the bullpen in ERA (1.12) Innings Pitched (24) and K's (21). Scott Migl (right) is 2nd in ERA (2.35) and leads the team with the 3 Wins.
Nicholson picks off a runner in the Ags' sweep of UT-Arlington
Lock it up.
On the line tonight: Lonestar Showdown Trophy, Big 12 POY Award, Big 12 season championship, Big 12 Tournament #1 seed, and NCAA Tournament #2 Seed.
How to win:
Public Enemy #1
Some of you are confused, it's ok. Kevin Durant may be a god that can't legally buy a drink, but what he isn't is a one-man team. Every major Longhorn victory depends crucially on the supporting role that D.J. Augustin plays. Forget Durant, even if he scores 50, that won't be enough, we need to lock down Augustin.
Own the Tempo
Last month in College Station, the Longhorns pushed the game tempo at every opportunity, practically negating an injured Jones. While we did end up winning by 18 as we hit 100 pts, we played their style on our court. We can't let that happen again. If we're playing our style, neither team should break 75.
lots and lots of boards. With the size and experience we have in the paint, there is no excuse that an undersized Texas should even get half the rebounds of A&M. To be honest, A&M will NOT be able to stay out of foul trouble, thus we gotta compensate those free throws with increased boards, denying the longhorns 2nd chance points.
3-pt Shooting. It will be our safety net. If we have trouble controlling the tempo, if the crowd gets into the game, if for some reason we aren't getting the boards, the 3pt line will be our last line of defense (err..offense). Carter, Kirk, Law, hell even Jones. Basically, our whole starting 5 can and do hit that shot. Let's hope it doesn't come down to "The Shot: Part II".
prediction: Aggies 75-65
My pre-emptive response to the inevitable signs implying that Aggies for unlawful carnal knowledge livestock:
So does that make yall our bitches?
Mix Billy Gillispie's rockstar status with the impending bubble bursts for many programs around the country, then throw in a dash of message board rumormongering, and all of a sudden the sky is falling in College Station.
first, a look at what the chicken littles are saying:
"At Texas A&M, football will always be king. No coach that has such a potential for greatness would ever want to stay at a school where basketball is #2."
I will concede that football will always be #1 at Texas A&M, and at any big school in the south for that matter, but to say that a coach is more focused on being the #1 sport at that school vs. building a program that competes for championships is a stretch. While I don't have the financial records in front of me to prove that the basketball program is receiving equal monetary support, it's pretty damn clear that the AD, the 12th Man Foundation, and the student body are fully supporting Gillispie. (Just look at the plans for the new basketball center breaking ground this summer)
why Gillispie is staying put:
- Billy is just getting started:
2007-2008 will be his 4th year in building the program, he will finally have everything in place to show what his vision for A&M Basketball is capable of.
- Much of BCG's success is a result of his Texas high school and AAU ties:
Billy's incredible ability to network and recruit within Texas combined with A&M's proximity to the major metro areas of Texas has provided the base upon which Gillispie has built the program. If Gillispie were to leave for another school, his ability to maintain his Houston and Dallas pipelines will be severely hampered.
- Rick Barnes, not Billy Gillispie:
While Billy may have the spotlight this year, Rick Barnes has built a program at Texas that is consistently competing for championships. Barnes has also demonstrated that he can recruit the best from anywhere (Durant from Massachusetts). All this combined with some very public comments expressing his disatisfaction with the support of Basketball at Texas would make him a very juicy and likely target for a major program looking to hire big.
Mark it down, following the madness of March, Durant declares for the NBA, and Barnes finds himself on the east coast (kentucky counts as east coast, right?)
What's with the Big XII and logo disputes this year?
The University of Missouri is planning to sue a College Station high school for infringement if it does not cease & desist.
A&M Consolidated HS logo:
while it is clearly an infringement, it's interesting that the school singled out (i've seen plenty of HS logos in Texas alone that infringe on many Big XII logos) is located two miles from the Texas A&M campus.
Revenge for what Jorvorskie Lane did to their defense, and subsequently their season, last fall?