COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- For the first time this season, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team will leave the friendly confines of Reed Arena as the Aggies take part in the 2013 Corpus Christi Challenge inside the American Bank Center over the weekend.
The Aggies put their perfect 6-0 record on the line at 9 p.m. Friday when they face off against a fellow unbeaten squad in Missouri State, which sits at 5-0 on the year. Following their match-up against the Bears, the Aggies will return to the court Saturday at the American Bank Center to take on either SMU or Virginia.
Both games this weekend are slated to be televised by the CBS Sports Network with Rich Walz (play-by-play) and Steve Lappas (commentary) calling the action.
Additionally, Friday’s contest can be heard on the Texas A&M Sports Network with local coverage in Bryan/College Station on WTAW (1620 AM). Saturday’s game, meanwhile, will be live streamed on AggieAthletics.com and also be available on The Zone HD. If you have an HD Radio tune to 95.1-HD3 or listen to The Zone HD with the RadioAggieland app on your iOS or android device.
Texas A&M is coming off its biggest margin of victory of the season as the Aggies defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 88-55 Tuesday at Reed Arena. A&M was led during the win by junior guard Jamal Jones who knocked down five 3-point baskets en route to posting a game-high 18 points.
The Aggies’ depth was also on display as the A&M bench outscored the Golden Lion reserves by a margin of 52-12.
Missouri State brings an unblemished record of 5-0 to the Lone Star State after defeating Liberty 54-52 on Tuesday in Springfield, Mo. The other semifinal contest, which will take place prior to the A&M-MSU contest at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and features SMU (5-1) against Virginia (5-1).
• The Aggies enter the Corpus Christi Challenge with a perfect 6-0 record on the season and will be paired against another unbeaten squad during Friday's semifinal round when they face Missouri State, which is 5-0 on the year.
• Texas A&M is riding its best start to a season since the 2007-08 squad opened the year with seven straight victories ... the school record for consecutive wins to begin a season is 11 by both the 1915-16 and 2004-05 teams.
• Junior Jamal Jones enjoyed a break-out game during Tuesday's win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff as he notched a game-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, including a 5-of-7 mark from behind the 3-point arc ... It stands as the first time an Aggie has hit five or more 3-pointers in a game since Elston Turner sank seven from long distance during a win over Ole Miss on Feb. 13 of last season.
• The Aggies, who had struggled from long distance in recent games, found their rhythm against the Golden Lions by making 9-of-15 shots from 3-point range (60%).
• Overall, A&M shot .596 from the floor marking the second best shooting night for the team this season ... The Aggies rank second in the SEC and top-20 nationally in field goal percentage, shooting .527 as a team this season.
• Additionally, Texas A&M has been aggressive driving to the basket this season and has gotten to the free throw line at least 30 times in each of the last four contests.
• With so many new faces on this season's squad, head coach Billy Kennedy and staff are working toward finding the best on-court rotation but seem to have taken a liking to the starting line-up of Alex Caruso, Shawn Smith, Jordan Green, Antwan Space and Kourtney Roberson, as the starting combination has started each game this season.
CORPUS CHRISTI CHALLENGE
Tournament organizers announced the pairings for the final two rounds of the inaugural Corpus Christi Challenge, which will conclude Thanksgiving weekend at Corpus Christi’s American Bank Center. Joining Texas A&M in the field at the event will be Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Hampton, Liberty, Missouri State, Sam Houston State, SMU and Virginia.
To kick off the event, Texas A&M will host a pair of games inside the friendly confines of Reed Arena. The Aggies welcome Sam Houston State to Aggieland on Nov. 24 before returning to action on their home court against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 26.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend the scene shifts to Corpus Christi’s American Bank Center where Texas A&M will face Missouri State on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Depending on the outcome of their contest with Bears, the Aggies will face either the winner or the loser of the previous day’s Virginia/SMU tilt on Nov. 30. Both of Texas A&M’s games at Corpus Christi will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
SERIES HISTORY MISSOURI STATE (A&M TRAILS 1-0)
• Friday will mark just the second time the Aggies and Bears have squared off on the hardwood after Missouri State claimed the first match-up between the schools.
• The first meeting in the series came on Dec. 17, 2001, as the Aggies traveled to Springfield, Mo., and suffered a 76-65 loss.
• A&M head coach Billy Kennedy has faced the Bears just once during his head coaching career ... It came on March 15, 2011, during Kennedy's final game as the head coach at Murray State when the Racers fell to MSU 89-76 during the opening round of the NIT.
Following the conclusion of the Corpus Christi Challenge, the Aggies will return home to host old Southwest Conference rival Houston inside Reed Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4 ... The game will be televised by FSN.
AGGIES PUERTO RICO-BOUND IN 2014
The teams for the 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off were announced Nov. 20 and the Texas A&M men’s basketball team will highlight an impressive field at the event which will take place Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 20, 21 and 23, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Joining the Aggies at the tournament will be Boston College, College of Charleston, Connecticut, Dayton, George Mason, New Mexico and West Virginia.
The 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off will showcase 12 games over the three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracketed-tournament format. The undefeated teams after the first two days of competition will face off in the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 23.
AGGIE BASKETBALL ADDS ATHLETIC GUARD
Texas A&M men’s basketball head coach Billy Kennedy announced Nov. 14 the addition of Sidy Ndir, a 6-foot-3 guard and native of Senegal, to the Aggies’ signing class.
Ndir is described as an athletic lefty guard with solid ball handling skills who has the ability to create offensive chances for both himself and his teammates.
Ndir drew national attention following his showing at the 2012 and 2013 ADIDAS Nations events in Orange County, Calif., where he ran point guard for Team Africa. Following the conclusion of the 2013 event he was named Most Outstanding International Player.
A&M SIGNS METROPLEX STANDOUT ALEX ROBINSON
Head coach Billy Kennedy announced on Nov. 13 the signing of point guard Alex Robinson who will join the Aggie basketball program next fall in advance of the 2014-15 season.
Robinson is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN, rivals.com and scout.com which also lists him as the 10th best point guard and the 47th overall prospect nationally. Additionally, ESPN regards him as the eighth-best prospect in the state of Texas and the 13th highest-ranked point guard recruit in the country. Robinson, who is listed as 6-foot-1 and over 170 pounds, is currently in his senior season at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, where he is a four-year starter for the Wolves.
A season ago, Robinson earned all-region honors from the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as well as all-district accolades after averaging 17 points, six assists and three steals per contest as a junior.
The lefty point guard is described by many as being a tough and confident player with impressive passing skills and the ability to beat opponents off the drive.
Robinson was also recruited by Baylor, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Marquette, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, SMU, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt and Virginia, among others.
AGGIE BASKETBALL SEASON TICKETS
An affordable option for the whole family, season tickets begin as low as $100 and feature new pricing options for men’s games. To order season tickets or to get more information, contact the 12th Man Foundation by phone at 888-992-4443 or online at www.12thManFoundation.com.
MOBILE LIVE STATS
Fans can access official live statistics on their mobile devices of all Texas A&M basketball home games and select road games by visiting tamustats.com
2013-14 TEXAS A&M MEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA GUIDE
Fans can get a deeper look at the 2013-14 Aggie basketball team with this season’s media guide. The guide features in-depth player and coach profiles, a 2012-13 season in review, a look at this year’s opponents, program records and an overview of the history of Aggie basketball.
Aggie Basketball Game #7:
Missouri State (5-0) vs Texas A&M (6-0)
Nov. 29, 2013 · 9:00 p.m. (CT)
American Bank Center (8,000)
Corpus Christi, Texas
TV: CBS Sports Network (Dish 158, DirecTV 221, ATT 1643 / For more info - AggieAthletics.com/TV)
Rich Walz, Play-by-Play
Steve Lappas, Commentary
RADIO: Texas A&M Sports Network
Colin Killian, Play-by-Play
Al Pulliam, Commentary
Local (Friday only): WTAW-AM 1620 (College Station/Bryan)
Saturday: The Zone HD 95.1-HD3 (HD radio required)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com
TICKETS: Ticketmaster – Corpus Christi Challenge