Aggies Look to Bounce Back; Host Gators Tuesday

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Aggie Basketball Game #14:

Florida (9-4; 1-0 SEC) at #11 Texas A&M (11-2; 0-1 SEC)

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 · 8 p.m. (CT)

Reed Arena (12,989) · College Station, Texas

TELEVISION: ESPN2 (For more info – 12thMan.com/TV)

Tom Hart, Play-by-Play

Jay Bilas, Commentary

Kris Budden, Reporter

RADIO: WTAW 1620 AM (Bryan-College Station)

Dave South, Play-by-Play

Al Pulliam, Commentary

SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius Ch. 84 / XM Ch.84

LIVE AUDIO/STATS: 12thman.com/live

LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com

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No. 11 Texas A&M aims to bounce back Tuesday when the Aggies host their first SEC contest by welcoming Florida to Reed Arena for an 8 p.m. contest. The game is the final contest of A&M Athletics’ Holiday Hoops promotion, which features $5 tickets.

The contest will be televised on ESPN2 with Tom Hart calling the play-by-play action, Jay Bilas providing color commentary and Kris Budden reporting. 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 (11-2; 0-1 SEC) will be looking to rebound after dropping their SEC opener Saturday at Alabama. Against the Crimson Tide, A&M struggled shooting the ball from distance, finishing 2-for-21 from 3-point range (9.5 percent), including misses on their first 10 attempts from long range. In total, A&M shot a season-low 30.0 percent from the field (21-of-70).

A return to Reed Arena will be a welcome sight for the Aggies as they have shot 47.5 percent on their home court while producing a perfect 7-0 home record. Texas A&M has emerged victorious in 10 of its last 13 home conference openers, but dropped a 73-63 contest to Tennessee inside Reed Arena to tip-off SEC play a year ago.

Florida (9-4; 1-0 SEC) opened SEC play on Saturday with an 81-74 win over Vanderbilt in Gainesville. The visit to Aggieland will be the Gators’ first true road game this season but their fourth contest against a ranked opponent. Florida is 2-1 vs. ranked teams, with wins over Gonzaga and Cincinnati and a loss to Duke.

The two most recent meetings between the Aggies and Gators in College Station have been nail-bitters as Texas A&M has won both games by a combined four total points. UF leads the all-time series 6-4, however, A&M holds a 3-1 edge during games at Reed Arena. The Aggies do not make a return trip to Gainesville this season.

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SETTING THE SCENE / NOTABLES

• Texas A&M aims to bounce back after suffering just its second loss of the season Saturday at Alabama during the Aggies' SEC opener ... against the Crimson Tide, A&M struggled shooting the ball from distance, finishing 2-for-21 from 3-point range (9.5 percent), including misses on their first 10 attempts from long range ... in total, A&M shot a season-low 30.0 percent from the field (21-of-70).

• A&M has emerged victorious in 10 of its last 13 home conference openers, but dropped a 73-63 contest to Tennessee inside Reed Arena to tip-off SEC play a year ago.

• The two most recent meetings between the Aggies and Gators in College Station have been nail-bitters ... Texas A&M has won both games by a combined four total points ... UF leads the all-time series 6-4, however, A&M holds a 3-1 edge during games at Reed Arena ... The Aggies do not make a return trip to Gainesville this season.

• Sophomore Robert Williams continued his school-record blocked shot streak at Alabama, extending the run to 40 consecutive games with a block by notching two swats vs. the Crimson Tide … additionally, Williams became just the seventh member of A&M's elite 100-block Club.

• Rookie Savion Flagg was honored as SEC Freshman of the Week last Monday ... it was A&M's second individual accolade from the league office this season after Admon Gilder was named SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 13.

• Despite Saturday's loss, the Aggies rank No. 9 in the NCAA's daily RPI report (through Dec. 31 games) ... Florida checks in at No. 87.

• Junior DJ Hogg will miss the Florida game while he serves the third game of a three-game suspension for a violation of Texas A&M policy ... Hogg is averaging 14.6 points per game while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range this season.

SERIES HISTORY VS. FLORIDA (UF LEADS 6-4)

• Saturday will be the 11th meeting between the Aggies and Gators on the hardwood and just the third in at Reed Arena, where the Aggies have won two straight over Florida.

• Last season, Texas A&M dropped a 71-62 decision to UF in Gainesville.

• The two schools first met on Jan. 2, 1992, when the Tony Barone-led Aggies fell to Florida 73-46 in Gainesville ... The next season on Dec. 22, 1992, the Aggies got a measure of revenge by handing the Gators a 84-64 defeat in College Station.

• A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is 3-5 vs the Gators while UF's Mike White is 3-2 vs A&M ... White's final LA Tech squad ended the Aggies' run in the 2015 NIT with an 84-72 win over A&M at Reed Arena.

SAVION STEPPING UP TO MAKE AN IMPACT

With the Aggies short-handed due to injuries and suspensions, rookie Savion Flagg has been thrust into a prominent role on the court and the Alvin, Texas, native has thrived.

A member of ESPN's Top 100, Flagg was regarded as a consensus four-star prospect that was rated as the fourth-best prospect in the state of Texas by ESPN when he joined the Aggie roster. However, his season got off to an unfortunate start as Flagg suffered a fractured orbital bone during the season-opening contest against West Virginia. Returning to the count on Nov. 30 against UTRGV, Flagg took a few games to reacquaint himself to the speed of DI competition while having to wear a mask over his face, but since getting comfortable on the court he has taken off.

Flagg was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Dec. 26 after collecting his first career double-double against northern Kentucky (Dec. 19) and scoring a season-high 21 points vs. Buffalo (Dec 21).

A&M ELITE ON THE DEFENSIVE END

Through games played on Dec. 31, Texas A&M stands out as one of the country's toughest defensive squads, checking in at fourth nationally in both field goal percentage defense (36.7 percent) and third 3-point field goal defense (27.0 percent). Additionally, A&M is 12th in blocked shots per game (6.3).

Kenpom.com ranks the Aggies at No. 3 nationally in its adjusted defensive efficiency (88.6).

AGGIES RANK AMONG NATION'S BEST REBOUNDING TEAMS

Texas A&M enters the Florida game leading the nation in defensive rebounds per game (31.77) while ranking second nationally in total rebounds per game (44.92) and ninth in rebound margin (+9.5). A&M has been out-rebounded in just one game this season (Dec. 30 at Alabama).

TYLER JOINS 500-REBOUND CLUB; CLIMBING A&M'S CAREER REBOUND LIST

From the first day he hit the court as a rookie wearing the Maroon & White, Tyler Davis has always prided himself on hitting the boards hard. That dedication garnered Davis a spot in Texas A&M's exclusive 500-rebound Club as he hit the milestone against Prairie View A&M on Dec. 9 to become just the 26th Aggie to reach 500.

He currently ranks 22nd in school history with 530 career boards. Up next on the list is Ray Turner who pulled down 536 boards from 2009-13.

WILLIAMS OWNS NATION'S LONGEST BLOCK STREAK; JOINS 100-BLOCK CLUB

One of the nation's elite shot blockers, Robert Williams owns the nation's longest blocked shot streak and with two blocks against Alabama on Dec. 30 he became the just the seventh member of Texas A&M's elite 100-block club. He enters the Florida game ranked seventh in school history with 100 career blocks.

Additionally, with a pair of swats on Jan. 31, 2017, vs. Vanderbilt, Williams set a new Texas A&M record for consecutive games with a block, surpassing the record of 20 set by David Harris from during 1989-90 season. His active streak of 40 straight games with a blocked shot ranks first nationally.

REED ARENA SUCCESS

• The Aggies are 7-0 on their home court this year and 243-82 (.747) all-time in 20 seasons at Reed Arena ... the Aggies were 41-41 in the first six years at Reed and are 202-41 (.831) since.

• In the last five seasons, Texas A&M is 66-13 (.835) on its home floor.

• A&M has won 160 of its last 184 home games against unranked opponents (43 of last 58 in league play).

• Texas A&M is 7-0 in non-conference games at Reed Arena this season and 152-14 (.916) all-time in non-conference games inside the facility, which hosted its first basketball game in the fall of 1998 ... Reed Arena has proven to be one of the hardest places for opponents to get a win as Texas A&M has never lost a non-conference game inside Reed Arena while playing as a ranked team (47-0).

UP NEXT AFTER THE FLORIDA GAME

The Aggies return to the hardwood inside Reed Arena to host LSU on Saturday ... Tip-off is slated for 1:15 p.m. with television coverage on ESPN2.