Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014-15 Schedule Preview - Texas A&M Aggies

Alabama will open the SEC schedule at home against the Aggies. This will be the first of two games between the two programs, as Alabama will later travel to College Station for the final game of the regular season on March 7th. A&M won the only match-up between the two last season by a score of 63-48. Like Alabama, the Aggies didn't receive much love in the preseason standings as A&M is picked to finish 9th, just in front of our beloved Crimson Tide, who are picked to finish 10th. However, I think this A&M team is intriguing and could finish a bit higher.

For starters, they return 5 of their top 8 scorers from a year ago, including a steady senior in Kourtney Roberson (6'9, 247 lbs, 9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and, in my opinion, one of the more underrated players in the league in Alex Caruso (6'5, 184 lbs, 9.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 2.0 spg). Jalen Jones (6'7, 223 lbs) is a potential impact transfer that was the leading scorer at SMU his sophomore year (14.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg). His arrival should help improve an offense that finished 13th in the conference in scoring. If Houston transfer Danuel House (12.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) is granted a waiver to play this season, that will give A&M even more firepower.

A familiar face to SEC basketball fans will also be joining the A&M coaching staff this season with Rick Stansbury joining Billy Kennedy's staff as an assistant coach. The hire seems to have already helped in recruiting as A&M currently has a monster class (rated top 5 by some) committed for 2015. It's been a slow start for Billy Kennedy in Aggieland, but the future seems very bright if you're an A&M basketball fan.

Conference openers are always important, but this one will be vital for Alabama as their opening conference schedule will feature 3 of their first 5 games on the road, and the other home game in that stretch is against a Kentucky team that could be a colossus in the SEC this season. With that kind of schedule, a slow start in conference play could be inevitable. Which means that this opener against A&M could be considered a must-win when January 6th arrives.


DJC said...

To summarize, attendance is down. I think that falls clearly in the "No shit, sherlock." category.

You all know how I feel about the importance of promoting the program here. This quote is particularly troubling to me:

"As for raising his public profile, Grant doesn’t seem inclined to do so.

“I’m probably a guy that is more focused on controlling the things that I can control, and that’s building this program and taking care of people in this program who I need to take care of,” he said. “I also have a wife and four children that I have a deep commitment to in terms of making sure that they also get some of my attention and time, that’s something I value that’s really important to me.

“I can’t be good at everything, I can’t excel at everything. I think everybody in life has to have priorities in terms of what’s the most important things to them. Would I like to be able to go and speak at a lot more different things to promote our program? Certainly I would, but there’s only so many hours in the day, so much time I have.”

I respect that he's a good father, husband, etc., and I hate making comparisons to the football program, but can anyone imagine Coach Saban ever saying anything like that? He doesn't see promoting the program as a priority worthy of taking time away from his family. In order to win championships, sacrifices have to be made. How can Coach Grant ask the players to put in the extra time at the gym, run and work on their jump shots outside of practice, etc, if he's not willing to skip out on a Chuck E Cheese date to do a radio interview, or glad hand folks at a golf tournament, or speak to booster groups?

Perhaps this quote was taken out of context, or maybe I am misinterpreting the message he was trying to convey. I hope that I am wrong, but this certainly doesn't give me the impression that we are doing everything we can to out work our opponents.

Alias said...

Combining the money available to aTm's boosters and a recruiter like Coach $tan$field could produce a juggernaut in very short order. Look out SEC.

Alias said...

I too was very disappointed to read that article. I forked over the funds for season tickets again this year because I want to have good seats when we field a team that makes the trip worthwhile. I am not confident that will happen this year, but it would be nice if it did.

bobbyjack said...

I get the family commitment thing, but when you are the HC at a major college school the belief is the job IS A MAJOR PART of your life. Grant seems to love that money, but not so much on the commitment. Quotes like this tells me he needs to go back to mid-major coaching or settle back into an assistant role whenever his time is up here.