COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Aggie Basketball Game #17:
Texas A&M (11-5; 0-4 SEC) at #24 Tennessee (11-4; 2-2 SEC)
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 · 5 p.m. (CT)
Thompson–Boling Arena (21,678) · Knoxville, Tenn.
TELEVISION: ESPN (For more info – 12thMan.com/TV)
Kevin Fitzgerald, Play-by-Play
Sean Harrington, Commentary
RADIO: WTAW 1620 AM (Bryan-College Station)
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Mike Caruso, Commentary
SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius Ch. 138 / XM Ch. 191
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: 12thman.com/live
LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com
The Texas A&M men’s basketball concludes a two-game road swing Saturday when the Aggies travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face No. 24 Tennessee inside Thompson–Boling Arena at 5 p.m. (CT).
The contest will be televised on SEC Network with Kevin Fitzgerald calling the play-by-play action and Sean Harrington providing commentary. Additionally, radio coverage will be available on the Aggie Sports Network, which can be heard locally in the Bryan/College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).
The Aggies (11-5, 0-4 SEC) will be facing their second straight nationally-ranked opponent on the road after dropping a 74-73 decision to No. 21 Kentucky in Lexington on Tuesday. Texas A&M was led in the contest by 21 points from steady junior Tyler Davis as the SEC’s field goal percentage leader made 8-of-10 shots from the field. It stood out as the ninth career 20-point game for Davis, who leads the Aggies in scoring this season at 14.6 points per game. Also against the Wildcats, junior Admon Gilder made his much-anticipated return to the court after missing the previous five games with a knee injury suffered in late December. The Dallas native contributed 14 points in 35 minutes in the contest.
After playing short-handed for much of the last month, the Aggies are also expected to regain the services of graduate transfer Duane Wilson in the coming days. The Marquette transfer has missed the Aggies’ most recent three games following a knee injury suffered Dec. 30 at Alabama.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Rick Barnes, Tennessee (11-4, 2-2 SEC) is ranked No. 15 in the NCAA RPI and owns the nation’s third-rated strength of schedule according to ESPN. Barnes is well familiar with the Aggies, as the former University of Texas coach has faced Texas A&M 34 times during his career as a head coach, compiling a 26-8 (.765) record.
The Vols are led by sophomore forward Grant Williams, who paces the SEC in scoring during league games at 22.3 points per game. Williams’ 37 points during Tuesday win at Vanderbilt were the most by a Vol since Ron Slay scored 38 vs. New Mexico on Jan. 4, 2003.
SETTING THE SCENE / NOTABLES
• Texas A&M looks to shake off the struggles of an 0-4 start to SEC play and return to its winning ways Saturday when the Aggies travel to Knoxville to face No. 24 Tennessee.
• The Aggies have enjoyed recent success in their visits to Knoxville as A&M has come out with a win in each of their last three games vs. the Vols at Thompson–Boling Arena.
• Texas A&M is 2-1 vs. ranked teams this season, having carded wins over No. 11 West Virginia (Nov. 10 at Ramstein Air Base Germany) and No. 10 USC (Nov. 26 in Los Angeles) while dropping a decision to No. 21 Kentucky (Jan. 9 in Lexington).
• The current A&M squad will seek to channel the 2015-16 Aggies, who recovered from a mid-season stretch of five consecutive SEC losses to win a share of the 2016 SEC title before making a run to the Sweet 16 ... notably, unlike the current team, the '15-16 Aggies were not plagued by a series of injuries during their five-game skid.
• After playing much of the last few weeks short-handed - the Aggies have been reinforced by the return of several key players to the lineup ... Junior forward DJ Hogg returned to the A&M lineup against LSU after serving a three-game suspension for violating Texas A&M policy and junior guard Admon Gilder made his return on Tuesday at Kentucky after missing five games due to injury ... Sophomore forward Robert Williams was also back against UK after missing the LSU game due to illness.
• The Aggies are also eagerly anticipating the return of graduate transfer guard Duane Wilson who has missed the last three games due to an injury suffered Dec. 30 at Alabama ... he hopes to make his return to the court at Tennessee.
SERIES HISTORY VS. TENNESSEE (UT LEADS 6-5)
• Thursday will be the 12th meeting between the Aggies and Volunteers on the hardwood ... Tennessee holds a slim 6-5 edge in the all-time series.
• Last season, the Vol defeated the Aggies 73-63 on Dec. 29 in College Station.
• During their last trip to in Knoxville, the Aggies rallied from a 13-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Vols 92-88 in Knoxville ... A&M seniors Jalen Jones and Danuel House combined for 40 points, with Jones leading the way with 27 points.
• On Feb. 23, 2013, the two squads engaged in a four-overtime thriller at Reed Arena which saw the Vols emerge with a 93-85 victory ... A&M's Elston Turner set a Reed Arena scoring record during the contest by finishing with 38 points.
• Prior to becoming conference partners in the SEC, most recent meetings between the schools came during a home-and-home series in back-to-back seasons with A&M winning 83-66 in College Station on Dec. 4, 2002, before dropping a 108-84 decision at Tennessee on Dec. 2, 2003.
UP NEXT AFTER THE TENNESSEE GAME
The Aggies return to the friendly confines of Reed Arena where they will host Ole Miss on Tuesday ... The game will tip off at 8 p.m. (CT) be televised on SEC Network.
It started as the theme of a motivational talk by strength & condition coach Darby Rich during summer workouts but "Do More" has become the de facto motto for the Aggie basketball team this season.
Coming off a 16-15 campaign last season that fell short of repeating the success of an SEC Championship and a Sweet 16 showing the year prior, Texas A&M coaches & players have bought into the idea that all of them need to "Do More" this season. It's all encompassing philosophy that includes work in the weight room, practice habits, mental preparation, scouting and vocal leadership as the Aggies put in extra work & focus to achieve their lofty expectations this season.