A&M Closes Regular Season at OU
The game will be a preview of the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship next Wednesday in Kansas City, as the two teams will match up again that evening at 6 p.m. The winner of Saturday's game will earn the No. 8 seed in the tournament.
Texas A&M AGGIES (13-16, 4-13) at Oklahoma SOONERS (14-15, 4-13)
Saturday, March 3, 2012 • 3:01 PM CT • TV: Big 12 Network
Lloyd Noble Center (12,000) • Norman, Oklahoma
TELEVISION: Big 12 Network
Mitch Holthus, Play-by-Play
Stephen Howard, Commentary
Local: CW Texas (KBTX-DT 3.2)
ESPN Full Court: DirecTV 720/Dish 455
Clearance List: big12sports.com
RADIO: Texas A&M Sports Network
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Al Pulliam, Commentary
Local: WTAW-AM 1620
Satellite Radio: Sirius 92/XM 194 (OU feed)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: aggieathletics.com
Snapshot: Texas A&M
Record: 13-16, 4-13 Big 12
Streak: Lost 4
Last 5 / Last 10: 1-4 / 2-8
on the Road: 2-9
Last Game: lost to Kansas State (H), 76-70 (Tue.)
Head Coach: Billy Kennedy (SE Louisiana '86)
Record: 224-195 (14th year)
at Texas A&M: 13-16 (first year)
vs. Oklahoma: 1-0
A&M Probable Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. PPG RPG APG GP / Min
5 Dash Harris G 6-1 171 Sr. 6.0 3.0 4.3 22 / 30.0
10 David Loubeau F 6-8 234 Sr. 10.8 4.6 0.5 29 / 26.8
22 Khris Middleton F 6-7 217 Jr. 12.4 4.9 2.1 17 / 27.4
31 Elston Turner G 6-5 211 Jr. 14.1 3.7 2.2 29 / 33.5
35 Ray Turner F 6-9 232 Jr. 9.0 5.4 0.5b 29 / 21.8
Record: 14-15, 4-13 Big 12
Streak: Lost 2
Last 5 / Last 10: 1-4 / 2-8
at Home: 10-5
Last Game: lost to Texas (A), 72-64 (Wed.)
Head Coach: Lon Kruger (Kansas State '75)
Record: 493-319 (26th year)
at Oklahoma: 14-15 (first year)
vs. Texas A&M: 1-4
Starters (based on previous game)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. PPG RPG APG GP / Min
1 Sam Grooms G 6-1 203 Jr. 6.4 2.9 6.0 29 / 31.3
2 Steven Pledger G 6-4 222 Jr. 16.9 4.0 1.5 28 / 32.8
4 Andrew Fitzgerald F 6-8 247 Jr. 12.3 5.0 0.5b 29 / 27.9
21 Cameron Clark G 6-6 198 So. 8.6 4.4 1.2 29 / 27.0
24 Romero Osby F 6-8 232 Jr. 12.3 7.6 1.0b 29 / 30.0
Oklahoma leads, 28-9
A&M streak: Won 5
In Norman: Oklahoma leads, 14-3
At Lloyd Noble Center: Oklahoma leads, 14-3
In College Station: Oklahoma leads, 11-6
At Reed Arena: Oklahoma leads, 8-6
At Neutral Sites: Oklahoma leads, 3-0
At Big 12 Tournament: Oklahoma leads, 1-0
Longest A&M Win Streak: 5 games (current)
Longest Oklahoma Win Streak: 14 games
Largest A&M Win: 18 (69-51, 01/08/11)
Largest Oklahoma Win: 48 (128-80, 12/29/88)
Billy Kennedy vs. Oklahoma: 1-0
Lon Kruger vs. A&M: 1-4
- Texas A&M has won five straight against OU and 8 of the last 11 overall ... all but one of the Aggies' wins in the series, which dates back to 1960, have come in the last 4 years.
- Oklahoma's last win in the series came in 2009 (No. 2 OU 77, A&M 71 in Norman).
- Of the last 14 meetings between the schools, 9 have been decided by single digits.
- the Aggies have won in their last 2 visits to the LNC ... prior to 2007, A&M had never won in Norman.
- A&M rallied for an 81-75 OT win earlier this year in College Station ... Elston Turner hit a game-tying three with 40 seconds left then scored 7 points in the extra frame to seal the win.
- A&M opened Big 12 play in Norman last year and came away with a 69-51 win, their largest victory ever against the Sooners.
- The teams will meet again on Wednesday in the first round of the Big 12 Championship ... they have met just once before, in the inaugural tourney back in 1997 at the old Kemper Arena ... OU downed A&M, 67-58.
Last 10 Meetings:
Date AM/Op Rk Site Score
- complete series history can be found in media fact book -
2007 F17 6 /- Norman W 56-49
2008 F2 23/- College Station W 60-52
2008 M1 Norman L 37-64
2009 J17 -/ 5 College Station L 63-69
2009 F4 -/ 2 Norman L 71-77
2010 J19 College Station W 65-62
2010 M6 23/- Norman W 69-54
2011 J8 16/- Norman W 69-51
2011 F23 17/- College Station W 61-47
2012 J21 College Station (OT) W 81-75
Tale of the Tape
60.9 points/game 69.8
60.9 opp. points/game 68.9
-0.0 scoring margin +0.9
.435 field goal % .434
.402 opp. field goal % .431
.331 3-point % .357
34.1 rebounds 37.4
+1.5 rebound margin +3.8
11.9 assists 14.0
13.6 turnovers 12.9
5.7 steals 6.3
2.3 blocks 3.2
- Aggie opponents are averaging just 60.9 points per game ... only two A&M teams have allowed fewer points in the shot clock era, 2006-07 (59.4 ppg) and 2005-06 (60.3 ppg).
- A&M's 3-point FG% defense percentage of 30.7 is the second-lowest in school history, trailing only the '06-07 team (29.4).
- The Aggies lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (60.9/gm) ... they rank second in 3-point FG% defense (30.7), and third in defensive rebound percentage (71.4) and field-goal percentage defense (40.2).
- Through games of Feb. 26, Texas A&M ranked 18th nationally in 3-point FG% defense.
- Only four of 17 Aggie opponents have scored more than 70 points in Big 12 play: Kansas State (76), Oklahoma (75 in OT), Iowa State (74) and Missouri (71) ... A&M has held 9 league foes under 65 points this season.
- The Aggie defense has competed hard against the best offenses the league have to offer in Missouri, Kansas and Baylor ... A&M held all three teams below their season field-goal percentages and well below their season point averages:
Aggie defense vs Big 12's top offenses (as of 2/26)
Opponent FG% (NCAA Rk) FG% vs A&M PPG (NCAA Rk) PPG vs A&M
Missouri 49.7 ( 2) 47.7 79.7 ( 9) 70.5
Kansas 48.3 (20) 40.6 75.1 (40) 65.0
Baylor 47.2 (29) 39.4 74.4 (40) 62.0
COMBINED 48.3 42.3 76.4 65.8
- Texas A&M held No. 4 Kansas to 38.9 percent shooting (2/22), the Jayhawks' lowest output in Big 12 play this year and second lowest overall (No. 2 Kentucky held KU to 33.9%) ... KU also was held to 22.2 percent from behind the arc (4-of-18) ... Kansas has shot worse than that from long range just twice this year (20.0% vs A&M, 1/23; 21.1% at OU, 1/7).
- The Aggies' last 5 home losses came by an average of 5.6 points (No. 6 Baylor, Texas, No. 3 Missouri, No. 4 KU, and K-State).
- A&M has played five top-5 opponents this year, a new school record ... all have come in Big 12 play, also a school record ... back-to-back games against Missouri (No. 3) and Kansas (No. 4) in late February marked the first time in school history the Aggies had played two straight against top-5 foes.
- Seven of A&M's losses this year have come to teams currently ranked in the top 13 nationally, four of which have come away from home (#4 Kansas [twice], #8 Missouri [twice], #10 Baylor [twice], #13 Florida).
- A&M's senior class of 2012 will go down as one of the winningest in program history ... the Class of '12 has 85 wins, fifth most all-time at A&M behind 2010 (100), 2009 (98), 2011 (97) and 2008 (95).
- The Aggies have won 53 Big 12 games since the start of the 2007 league season ... prior to that, A&M had totaled only 43 victories in the first 10 years of Big 12 play (53-42 since 2006, 43-116 from 1997-2006).
- A&M has finished .500 or better in Big 12 play in each of the previous 7 years, one of just 3 teams to do so (Kansas, Texas).
- A&M is one of just 12 schools that have made the NCAA Tournament in each of the previous 6 seasons (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Villanova, Wisconsin, Xavier).
- Texas A&M is one of only 8 schools in the entire country that have won 24 or more games in each of the previous 5 seasons (Butler, BYU, Kansas, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, VCU, Xavier).
A Look Ahead to
- Texas A&M will be the No. 8 or 9 seed in next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Kansas City's Sprint Center ... the Aggies will face Oklahoma in the first round on Wednesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. CT (Big 12 Network) ... a victory would pit A&M against league champion Kansas on Thursday, March 8 at 2 p.m. CT (ESPN2).
- The winner of Saturday's OU/A&M game in Norman will earn the No. 8 seed in the tournament.
- It will mark just the second time in the Big 12 era that the Aggies have faced the same opponent in the last regular-season game and first Big 12 Championship game (1998, Baylor) ... it happened only twice in the 20-year history of the Southwest Conference Tournament (1986, Arkansas; 1992, Texas).
- Oklahoma is 14-15 on the year and tied with the Aggies for eighth in the Big 12 standings at 4-13 ... the Sooners have lost 2 straight and 8 of their last 9, most recently a tough 72-64 setback against Texas in Austin on Wednesday ... OU averages 69.8 points per game (7th in league), but is one of the conference's top rebounding squads (37.4/game, 2nd in Big 12).
- Junior G Steven Pledger leads the team with 16.9 points per game ... junior F Romero Osby averages 12.3 points and leads teh team in both rebounds (7.6/game) and blocks (30) ... junior F Andrew Fitzgerald also averages 12.3 points, while junior G Sam Grooms tops the team and ranks second in the Big 12 in assists (6.0/game), and leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.95).
- Lon Kruger is in his first season as the head coach at OU ... he has 493 career wins in 26 seasons overall.
- OU assistant Lew Hill was on Melvin Watkins' staff at Texas A&M for his six seasons (1998-04).
- Aggie G Naji Hibbert and Sooner F Andrew Fitzgerald both hail from Baltimore and teammates in AAU ball (Team Melo).
- A&M's first-year strength coach Darby Rich spent five seasons in the same position at Oklahoma.
- The Aggies have allowed just two Big 12 opponents to score more points than its season average (Oklahoma, who needed OT to do so, and Kansas State).
- Over the last 5 games, A&M has shot 46 percent from the floor in the second half compared to just 35 percent in the first.
- Texas A&M's starting rotation has seen lots of action in conference play ... in Big 12 games, A&M starters are averaging 29 minutes a game (after averaging 25 a game in non-conference play) ... all five starters played at least 30 minutes against Texas (Jan. 11), the first time that's happened on an Aggie team since March 2007 (Big 12 quarterfinal vs Oklahoma State).
- A&M has seen its free-throw percentage take a slight up-turn in Big 12 play ... the Aggies shot 61.6 percent from the line in non-conference play, but has shot 66.7 percent in Big 12 action.
- A&M is shooting 69.2 percent from the line in the second half of Big 12 games ... the Aggies have shot just 61.3 percent in the first half.
- The Aggies are 12-0 this year when leading with 5 minutes to play and 11-3 this year when leading at halftime (losses at Kansas, at K-State, home Texas).
- A&M is 11-3 when holding opponents under 40 percent from the field (losses to Baylor, Baylor and Kansas).
- The Aggies have held 11 of their opponents under 60 points and are unbeaten in those games.
- A&M has held 8 opponents under 35 percent shooting (8-0).
- The Aggies are 9-2 this year when shooting more free throws than their opponent (loss to Texas, at Iowa State) and 10-2 when out-rebounding them (losses to Texas, K-State).
- The Aggies have won 4 of their last 5 overtime games dating back to last season.
- A&M has won nearly 70 percent of its games since the start of the 2006-07 season (137-61, .692) ... the Aggies are 179-79 (.694) since the start of the '04-05 campaign.
- averaging 36.1 minutes in Big 12 play, third-highest in the league.
- in the top 10 of the Big 12 rankings in four categories (points, minutes, 3-point field goals, 3-pt %) this season.
- has hit 65 3-pointers this season, ranking seventh on the school's all-time single-season charts ... 42 have come in conference play, ranking second all-time (including Big 12 and SWC) ... charts on page 8.
- became the first Aggie since Acie Law in 2007 to score 20-plus in three straight Big 12 games (23 vs OU - 1/21, 24 at KU - 1/23, 23 vs OSU - 1/28).
- averaging 15 points per game in Big 12 play, eighth-best in the league ... scored 10+ points in 13 of 17 league games ... has six 20-point games in Big 12 play.
- In 7 games against ranked opponents (all ranked 13th or higher), is averaging 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
- has scored 10-plus points in 21 games this year ... he did so just 9 times in 66 games in two seasons at Washington.
- closing in on 1,000 points (930) ... needs 70 to reach the milestone ... would become 33rd player in school history to do so (1,000-point club listed on page 8).
- got the starting nod in the last four games, averaging a team-high 15 points over that span ... scored 23 (8-14 FG) with 5 boards against No. 4 Kansas (2/22).
- missed 5 games in middle of league play after re-injuring knee early in OT win over Oklahoma (1/21) ... underwent surgery (11/11) to repair partially torn meniscus in right knee ... suffered injury in season opener vs Liberty (11/9) ... missed 7 games, returned vs ULM (12/10).
- picked up first double-double of career at Texas (1/11), 19 pts, 10 rebs ... 10 boards were a career high.
- has hit double figures in 10 of last 13 games.
- became only the 16th player in school history this year to score 1,000 career points and grab 500 career rebounds ... ranks 20th all-time in scoring (1,177 points) and 18th all-time in rebounds (567).
- has played in 130 career games, sixth all-time in program history ... is one of only six players in Big 12 history to play in more than 64 career games (65 entering OU game), joining Missouri's Marcus Denmon and Kim English, Baylor's Quincy Acy, K-State's Jamar Samuels and Oklahoma State's Keiton Page.
- 11 points, 5 assists, season-high 5 steals against K-State on Tuesday.
- returned to floor vs No. 4 Kansas (2/22) after missing previous 7 games with right foot injury ... played 24 minutes off bench, scoring 8 points, grabbing 3 boards and dishing out 4 assists ... then made first start since Jan. 23 last Saturday at OSU.
- averaging 7.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists in Big 12 play ... matched a career high with 14 in win over OU (1/21).
- leads the team in assists (4.3/game), steals (1.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3) ... a/to ratio ranks third in the Big 12 ... ranks fifth in the league in steals.
- moved into the top 10 in school history in career assists and steals in win over Texas Tech (Jan. 14) ... ranks seventh in assists (371) and eighth in steals (138) ... he is one of only 8 players in A&M history to record 300 assists and 100 steals (list on page 9).
- has started last 3 games, averaging 7.7 points and 6 rebounds against No. 4 Kansas, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
- named to the Academic All-Big 12 second team.
- has scored 10-plus points in 15 games this year ... the Aggies are 9-6 in those contests.
- has posted four double-doubles-the first of his career-including a 13-point, 12-rebound effort against Iowa State (1/7) and a 13-point, 11-board game against Baylor (2/1)... his 15 boards vs Arkansas Tech (12/29) were a career high and the most by an Aggie in a game since March 2010.
- has hit 53 percent of 3-point shots (8-of-15) over his last 6 games.
- poured in a season-high 14 at Kansas State (2/4).
- shooting 40% from floor and 45% from 3-point range overall in Big 12 play ... shot 31% from field and 14% from beyond the arc in non-conference action.
- averaged 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 30.5 minutes in back-to-back games vs Tech and No. 3 Missouri ... scored season (and career) high 14 (6-8 FG) against Mizzou (2/18).
- played a career-high 32 minutes in win at Texas Tech (2/14) ... scored 9 points and matched a season high with 5 rebounds while dishing out a team-best 3 assists.
- strong 31 minutes of play against OSU (1/28) after getting the starting nod ... scored 8 points on 4-of-6 shooting, a personal best in Big 12 play ... primary focus was limiting Cowboys' guard Keiton Page (entered 14.7 ppg), and held him to 2-of-13 from the floor and 9 total points.
- has started 11 of A&M's Big 12 games at the "5" position ... averaging 18.9 minutes in league play.
- nice job on the court in Khris Middleton's absence (Jan. 21-Feb. 11) ... over a 6-game span, averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds and shot 50 percent from the floor ... while in the starting rotation for 4 games, averaged 30.8 minutes.
- set career highs in consecutive games last month, scoring 12 against Baylor (2/1) after posting 11 against Oklahoma State (1/28) on 5-of-6 shooting.
Aggie Hoops Turns
- The Aggies are wrapping up the 100th season of basketball at Texas A&M University ... the first team was fielded for the 1912-13 campaign.
- The inaugural team was coached by F.D. Steger and won its first ever game (date unknown) over Marlin (Texas) High School, 78-8 ... the first "collegiate" opponent for the program was later that season with a pair of games against Sam Houston Normal Institute (now Sam Houston State University).
This Week in
- FEB. 28, 1998: A&M plays its final game in G. Rollie White Coliseum, an 80-75 victory over Baylor.
- MARCH 1, 2006: Known in Aggie hoops lore as "The Shot", Acie Law knocks down a 3 at the buzzer to upset 6th-ranked Texas, 46-43, at Reed Arena ... the win propelled A&M to its first NCAA Tourney in 19 years.
- MARCH 5, 2008: Donald Sloan's steal, lob off the backboard and emphatic dunk at Baylor sealed a 71-57 win and put A&M back in the Big Dance.