Aggies Set to Face Sooners in OKC Saturday
Aggie Basketball Game #9:
Texas A&M (7-1; 0-0 SEC) vs. Oklahoma (6-2; 0-0 Big 12)
Saturday · Dec. 15, 2012 · 1:00 p.m. (CT)
Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Dave Armstrong, Play-by-Play
Reid Gettys, Commentary
RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Local: WTAW-AM 1620 (College Station/Bryan)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
TICKETS: Available at the Chesapeake Energy Box Office or Online at Ticketmaster.com
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M men's basketball team puts its four-game winning streak on the line Saturday when it travels to Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena to face Oklahoma at 1 p.m. during the All-College Classic.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Dave Armstrong and Reid Gettys calling the action. Fans can also listen to the game on 1620 AM locally in Bryan/College Station or on-line at www.aggieathletics.com.
Texas A&M (7-1) extended its most recent winning streak to four games on Dec. 5 when it defeated previously unbeaten Stephen F. Austin 62-54 at Reed Arena. The Aggies are beginning to garner some national recognition for their strong start to the season, as this week RealTimeRPI.com ranked A&M sixth nationally in its team RPI report with A&M owning the 11th highest strength of schedule in the country.
Senior guard Elston Turner enters Saturday's contest 11th in the SEC in scoring with a 16.3 point per game average and has reached double-figures in points each game this season. Additionally, Turner sits second in the league and 47th nationally with a .431 shooting percentage from 3-point range.
Fellow senior Ray Turner has also been a steady force for the Aggies, tying for the team lead with 15 points in the win over SFA and pulling down 19 rebounds during his last two contests.
In addition to the solid leadership from its seniors, the Aggies' early season success has been due in no small part to the team's newcomers.
Junior college transfers Fabyon Harris and Andrew Young have both made their impact during their first season at the Division I level. Harris, a junior guard from Chicago, has started seven of eight games this season and is the Aggies' third leading scoring by averaging 9.3 points per contest. Young, meanwhile, has been a physical presence for the Aggies and is coming off a season-high nine-point performance against SFA during which he went 3-for-3 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Texas A&M's dynamic duo of local freshman guards has also turned heads this season and drawn praise from Aggie coaches and opponents alike.
Bryan High School product J'Mychal Reese is coming off one of his best offensive performances during his most recent outing against SFA. Reese tied his career-best with 15 points against the Lumberjacks, going 5-of-8 from the field with four rebounds and four assists. Crosstown teammate Alex Caruso, who hails from College Station's A&M Consolidated High School, has also made his presence felt by leading the Aggies in assists (26), steals (18) and blocks (6) this season.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, enters Saturday's contest with a 6-2 record and has won three of its last four games. The Sooners will be facing their second consecutive SEC opponent after falling to Arkansas 81-78 in Fayetteville on Dec. 4.
Senior Romero Osby leads OU in scoring with an average of 12.5 points per game and has enjoyed success in his career vs. the Aggies, averaging 19.7 points in three games against Texas A&M.
Saturday's game will be a strange reunion for the two programs, who will meet as non-conference foes after playing annually as members of the Big 12 Conferences from 1997 to last season. The contest will also mark the first scheduled regular season meeting between a Texas A&M team and a Big 12 school in a head-to-head contest since the Aggies left the league for the SEC this summer.
HALF-PRICE HOLIDAY HOOPS
Don't miss your chance to catch a great deal to see all the Aggie basketball action this holiday season with our Half-Price Holiday Hoops promotion.
Including in the promotion are upcoming men's games against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 18), Southern (Dec. 22), Army (Dec. 29), Houston Baptist (Jan. 4) and Arkansas (Jan. 9). Additionally, women's games against Prairie View A&M (Dec. 28), Rice (Jan. 1), Alabama (Jan. 3) and Auburn (Jan. 13) are also part of the promotion.
Visit the Reed Arena box office, the 12th Man Foundation's Ticket Center or call 1-(888)-992-4443 to purchase tickets or get more information.
- Saturday's game will be televised by ESPNU, continuing a trend of each game of the Aggie basketball season being broadcast for the first time in program history.
- Seniors Elston Turner and Ray Turner (no relation) have been steady performers for the Aggies all season long and each turned in his best statistical game during the win over Houston on Dec. 1 ... Elston tied a career high with 26 points vs the Cougars by converting 10-of-21 field goal attempts, including four from beyond the 3-point arc, while Ray notched his fifth career double-double with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
- Texas A&M and Oklahoma are no strangers to one another on the hardwood as the two schools have faced one other annually since 1997 ... Six players on the Aggie roster have faced off against the Sooners during a combined 20 games played ... Senior forward Ray Turner leads the way with six career games against OU.
- The fan bases of the two schools will once again become familiar with each other in the coming weeks as the Texas A&M and Oklahoma football teams face off in the 77th Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 4.
- As of Wednesday, Texas A&M ranked sixth nationally in the Team RPI rankings of www.RealTimeRPI.com ... additionally, the site ranked the Aggies' strength of schedule as 11th in the country.
- Oklahoma enters Saturday's contest with a 6-2 record and has won three of its last four games ... the Sooners are facing their second consecutive SEC opponent after falling to Arkansas 81-78 in Fayetteville on Dec. 4.
- Senior Romero Osby leads OU in scoring with an average of 12.5 points per game this season ... the 6-foot-8 is shooting .478 from the floor this season and paced the Sooners with 22 points and a game-high six rebounds against the Razorbacks ... in three games against the Aggies last season, Osby averaged 19.7 points per game.
- The Sooners feature two other players who average double-digit points for the season in junior forward Amath M'Baye, who averages 10.6 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per contest, and senior guard Steven Pledger, who scores 10.1 points per game.
- Head coach Lon Kruger is in his 2nd season at the helm of the OU men's basketball program, holding a 12-26 record at the school and a 500-322 overall mark in 27 years as a head coach ... Kruger is 2-5 all-time against Texas A&M.
FACING A BIG 12 FOE
The Aggies and Sooners have met on the hardwood annually since 1997 but Saturday's contest will mark the first time since 1990 the two schools will face one another as non-conference foes.
Saturday's contest is also significant since it will be the first scheduled regular season contest between and Texas A&M team and a school from the Big 12 Conference since the Aggies left the league for the SEC over the summer. The only other A&M team to face a Big 12 school this fall was the volleyball team, which was paired against Texas during the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 30.
Fans of Texas A&M and Oklahoma will also get the chance to get reacquainted when the two school's football teams face off in the 77th Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 4.
HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
- Billy Kennedy was named the 21st coach in Texas A&M men's basketball history on May 16, 2011 ... he is a native of New Orleans and has spent 14 seasons as a head coach, with a record of 232-198 ... over the last three seasons, his teams have combined to post a record of 75-33.
- Over his last eight years as a head coach, Kennedy's teams have averaged 20 wins a season, earned four conference titles and made three trips to the postseason-two to the NCAA Tournament and one in the NIT ... in addition, the Murray State squad which he built before heading to College Station finished the 2012 season 31-2, won the Ohio Valley title at 15-1 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Kennedy's veteran staff in Aggieland has a combined 94 years of collegiate coaching experience and over the last 11 years has been a part of 18 conference titles and 22 postseasons (15 NCAA, 7 NIT).