Aggies Set for SEC Tournament in Nashville
2013 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament:
Texas A&M (17-14; 7-11 SEC) vs Auburn (9-22; 3-15 SEC)
March 13, 2013 · 9 p.m. (CT)
Bridgestone Arena (20,000)
TV (Wednesday): SEC Network
Dave Neal, Play-by-Play
Jon Sundvold, Commentary
RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Al Pulliam, Commentary
Local: WTAW-AM 1620 (College Station/Bryan)
Satellite: Sirius (Ch. 199) / XM (Ch. 126)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Aggies' inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference comes to a crescendo this week as Texas A&M travels to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena for the 2013 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament.
Texas A&M enters the tournaments as the field's No. 11 seed and will face 14th-seeded Auburn on Wednesday at 9 p.m. (CT). The winner will advance to Thursday's second round where it will face No. 6 seed Missouri at 9 p.m. (CT).
Also appearing on the Aggies' side of the bracket is Vanderbilt and Arkansas, who will face off Thursday night for the right to play second-seeded Kentucky in the quarterfinals, and No. 3 seed Ole Miss, which will await the team that advances out of A&M, Auburn and Missouri. On the opposite side of the bracket is top-seeded Florida along with Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
The opening round contest will be televised by the SEC Network with Dave Neal (Play-by-Play) and Jon Sundvold (Commentary) calling all the action. For a complete list of SEC Network affiliates for Wednesday's game, please visit the Aggies on TV page. Radio coverage will be provided by the Texas A&M Sports Network and aired locally in Bryan/College Station on WTAW (1620 AM), as well as live audio on AggieAthletics.com.
Texas A&M basketball will be making its first-ever trip to the SEC Tournament, but has accumulated a 22-35 all-time record in conference tournament games during its time in the Southwest Conference (1915-96) and Big 12 Conference (1997-2012). The Aggies have captured two postseason league titles (1980 and 1987) and have reached the conference tournament finals on five occasions (1976, 1980, 1986, 1987 and 1994.).
This season, Texas A&M finished the regular season with a 17-14 record and a 7-11 mark in SEC play, earning a 65-56 victory over Auburn during the schools' only meeting this year.
The Aggies were led during the win at Auburn by senior guard Elston Turner, who scored 21 points on 6-of-21 shooting from the floor. On Tuesday, the Sacramento, Calif., native was honored by the league's coaches as he garnered First Team All-SEC honors, becoming the first Aggie to be named first team all-league since Donald Sloan in 2010.
Also making news this week was senior forward Jarod Jahns, who earned a spot on the SEC Men's Basketball Community Service Team. The walk-on from Spring, Texas, has emerged as a dependable part of the A&M rotation this season, playing in 30 games this year and averaging 14.3 minutes per contest after appearing in only 12 games his previous two seasons on campus.
TEXAS A&M IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS
- The Aggies are 22-35 all-time conference tournaments, spanning previous affiliations with the Southwest Conference (1915-96) and Big 12 Conference (1997-2012) ... A&M held an all-time record of 16-19 in SWC Tournament games and a 6-16 mark in Big 12 Tourney games.
- Texas A&M has claimed two postseason tournament championships - 1980 and 1987, both under the direction of former head coach Shelby Metcalf.
- A&M has advanced to the championship game of a postseason conference tournament five times - 1976, 1980, 1986, 1987 and 1994.
- The Aggies have never played in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, but are 0-2 all-time in games at Nashville (both at Vanderbilt).
- Despite not ever having played in the SEC Tournament, the Aggies have played two members of the field in postseason conference tournament play ... A&M faced Missouri three times in the Big 12 Tournament (1-2) and Arkansas six times in the Southwest Conference Tournament (2-4).
- A&M head coach Billy Kennedy holds an 11-8 record in conference tournament play, including championships in 2005 (Southland Conference - SE Louisiana) and 2010 (Ohio Valley Conference - Murray State).
- Entering the event as the field's No. 11 seed, the Aggies will face 14th-seeded Auburn on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. (CT) ... Texas A&M and Auburn have previously squared off once this season with A&M claiming a 65-56 road victory on Feb. 20.
- The winner of the A&M-Auburn contest will advance to Thursday's second round where it will face No. 6 seed Missouri at 9 p.m. (CT) ... The Aggies defeated Mizzou 70-68 at Reed Arena on Feb. 7.
- Also appearing on the Aggies' side of the bracket is No. 10 Vanderbilt and No. 7 Arkansas, who will face off Thursday night for the right to play second-seeded Kentucky in the quarterfinals, and No. 3 Ole Miss, which will await the team that advances out of A&M, Auburn and Missouri ... On the opposite side of the bracket is top-seeded Florida along with Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
- Aggie senior Elston Turner was named First Team All-SEC this week, becoming the first Aggie to garner first team all-conference honors since Donald Sloan in 2010 ... The A&M sharpshooter has been hot in recent weeks and is averaging 24.9 points per game during the last seven games while shooting 50 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
- Turner also is closing in on a milestone as he stands just 26 points away from becoming the 33rd Aggie to reach the 1,000-point plateau while donning the Maroon & White.
- Additionally, this week A&M senior Jarod Jahns was recognized for his contributions off the court as he was named to the SEC Men's Basketball Community Service Team.
- Sophomore Jordan Green is coming off the best statistical game of his career, which came during the regular season finale at Arkansas on Saturday ... the Flower Mound, Texas, native set career-highs in points (16) and rebounds (6) against the Razorbacks, while playing a season-high in minutes played (25).
ELSTON CLOSING IN ON 1,000 CAREER POINTS AT TEXAS A&M
Senior guard Elston Turner has stood out as one of the nation's most explosive scorers during each of his two seasons at Texas A&M and his proficiency on the offensive end has him closing in on another milestone - A&M's 1,000 point club.
The Sacramento, Calif., native transferred to A&M after spending his first two seasons at the University of Washington and although he has compiled well over a 1,000 points between the two schools, Turner is about to join the exclusive club for his exploits wearing the Maroon & White.
Turner enters the SEC Tournament with 974 points during his two seasons at Texas A&M, needing just 26 points to become the 33rd Aggie to achieve the 1,000-point milestone.
HARRIS CONTINUIES OFFENSIVE GROWTH
After reaching junior college All-America status at the College of Southern Idaho, junior guard Fabyon Harris joined the A&M roster this season and has become a big part of the Aggie offensive attack.
The Chicago native began his A&M career on a hot streak by scoring 14 points in each of the Aggies' first two games before notching 18 points in a win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15. Despite his strong start, Harris went through a stretch of growing pains as he adjusted to the game at the Division I level, reaching double figures in only one of his next six games.
However, Harris began to shake off his offensive woes against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 18 when he notched a game-high 17 points. The performance kick started a string of double-digit points during 16 of his last 20 games.
Harris enjoyed his best scoring performance in an A&M uniform during Jan. 23rd's contest at LSU when he tallied a personal-best 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor.
During SEC play, Harris ranked second on the Aggies with a 13.6 point per game average.
JAHN'S JOURNEY FROM SPECTATOR TO CONTRIBUTOR
After watching games in the student section and finding competition at the rec during his first two years at Texas A&M, Jarod Jahns was just looking for a shot in the fall of 2010 when he heard about walk-on try-outs for the Aggie Basketball team. Two years later, the Spring, Texas, native's hard work has paid off as he's playing major minutes on the court for the Aggies during their first season in the SEC.
After playing a total of only 13 minutes in 12 games his first two seasons with the team, Jahns began to earn the trust of head coach Billy Kennedy and his staff and got his chance to show what he could do on the court during the Aggies' appearance in the CBE Fall of Fame Classic at Kansas City's Sprint Center.
During the opener of the event on Nov. 19, Jahns scored a career-best six points against Saint Louis before setting a new personal best with 21 minutes of action and four rebounds the next day in A&M's come-from-behind win over Washington State.
Jahns played a big part in the Aggies' win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Jan. 12 by grabbing four offensive rebounds in a then career-high 30 minutes and most recently he made his first career start at Alabama on Jan. 19.
"I never would have thought that would happen," Jahns said following the UK victory. "Ray (Turner) got in foul trouble and you have to answer the call at that point. We don't have a deep forward lineup so Coach told me to go in and I knew that it was going to have to be for the rest of the game. I was just going to have to answer the call. It was fun, for sure. I went up against the biggest and the best and I didn't even have offers to play in college so it was a dream that has come true."
Most recently Jahns set a personal best by playing 42 minutes during the four-overtime thriller against Tennessee on Feb. 23.
RAY JOINDS 500-REBOUND CLUB
With a seven-rebound performance on Feb. 27 at Ole Miss, senior forward Ray Turner joined a prestigious group in Aggie basketball history - the 500 Rebound Club.
The four-year letterwinner, who has seen his rebounding totals improve each season in Aggieland, became just the 23rd player to accumulate more than 500 rebounds during his playing days at A&M.
Turner enters the SEC Tournament with 530 career rebounds and trails Andy Slocum (553 rebounds from 2000-04) by just 23 boards for 19th place all-time.
CARUSO NABS A&M FRESHMAN STEALS RECORD
Rookie guard Alex Caruso has been impressive during his first season in Aggieland and while piling up solid numbers on both ends of the court, the College Station native snagged the Texas A&M school record for steals by a freshman.
Former A&M guard Todd Holloway (1984-87) set the previous high-water mark for steals by an Aggie frosh when he notched 56 for head coach Shelby Metcalf during the 1983-84 campaign. Caruso, who has recorded five games of at least four steals this season, overtook Holloway's mark with two steals against South Carolina on March 2.
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 242-211 ... over the last four seasons, his teams have combined to post a record of 85-46.
- 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).