COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The Texas A&M men's basketball team will look to put Saturday's disappointing loss to defending national champion Kentucky behind them Thursday when they host Missouri at 8pm at Reed Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Head Coach Billy Kennedy's
Opening Statement from Monday's press available.
“After reviewing the tape of the Kentucky game, I’m really disappointed that we didn’t take the opportunity to win. I’m very proud of our guys for their fight and their defensive effort, but I thought we missed some shots offensively. There were good looks that you’ve got to make to beat a quality team. We weren’t just playing the game to play it close and make everybody happy by being close; we wanted to win the game. I’m disappointed we weren’t able to win it.”
On similarity to LSU game…
“Yeah, we got good looks and we got good shots, the difference in LSU is we gave them the game because we gave the ball away. (Against Kentucky) We moved the ball and we took care of the ball, we did a good job of sharing the ball, we got Noel away from the basket a number of times, so our guys did a good job of executing our game plan. Against teams that can score like Kentucky or Missouri this week, you’ve got to make shots. You’ve got to put the ball in the hole when you’ve got the opportunity to.”
On points in the paint against Kentucky…
“Ray Turner was a factor. We were able to throw it inside and that helped us. We had Alex Caruso in the second half after being in foul trouble in the first half and him not being on the floor hurt us.”
On upcoming Missouri game…
“We’ve got to score. This is probably the second best offensive team in the league behind Florida. They have six guys scoring double figures. They’ve got seven juniors and seniors, a lot of fifth-year guys and are one of the more talented teams in our league offensively. We’ve got to get back on defense and contain them. We need to guard the 3-point line because they have some guys who can shoot some three’s. They put five really good scorers on the floor.”
On atmosphere of Kentucky game…
“I thought it was an interesting home game. Kentucky does that to everybody in the league. I was really surprised their fans came this far, but that’s what makes them Kentucky; how special of a program they have and the kind of following they have.”
On upcoming rematch against Georgia…
“We’ve got to make our free throws, we’ve got to do a better job of controlling the paint. [Kentavious] Caldwell-Pope had a really good game, but we had opportunities to score in the paint and we didn’t. We had opportunities to score at the free throw line and when you have trouble scoring you have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
On the Aggies’ ability to end the season strong…
“I think so. We haven’t had nine guys play their best game. Kourtney (Roberson) didn’t play as well as he has been playing in this last game, but Ray (Turner) stepped up. I thought Fabyon (Harris) missed some shots that he is capable of making in the last game. But we have got to have everybody play well to be able to win games in this league, and we are capable of that. Our attitude is good; when you play hard and you fight in a game like we did against Kentucky, you’re disappointed that you lost, but you know you gave a great effort and you know you can keep going.”
On Alex Caruso becoming an emotional leader for the team…
“For being a freshman, he sets the tone for us defensively in a lot of ways and makes plays on both ends. As he learns not to try to make the home run play on the offensive end, he will continue to get better, but he has been a spark for us in every game. He sees the floor so well that sometimes our guys don’t expect the ball to come. He will only get better with experience.”
On Ray Turner’s energy and building confidence…
“I hope so. We all made a big deal about how well he played because it was a big factor in us having an opportunity to win. We are hoping he can take from that and take off now because he is very capable of being a double-double guy on a regular basis, and we need him to be. Hopefully he can build from that confidence.
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