COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After notching a win during its SEC opener earlier in the week, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team hits the road to face defending National Champion Kentucky on Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) inside Rupp Arena.
Saturday’s contest will be televised by the SEC Network, and a complete list of network affiliates for this weekend can be found HERE.
On the television call will be Clay Matvick and Joe Dean, meanwhile, Aggie fans can all hear all the action on the Aggie Radio Network by tuning in locally on WTAW (1620 AM) or streaming on-line at AggieAthletics.com.
The Aggies enter the contest with an 11-3 overall record with a 1-0 mark in conference play after defeating Arkansas 69-51 at Reed Arena Wednesday during their inaugural game in the SEC. Against the Razorbacks, the Aggies showed significant improvement in team rebounding from previous contests and held a 51-27 edge on the boards, including 19 offensive rebounds which led to 21 second-chance points.
Redshirt sophomore Kourtney Roberson played a key role in the rebounding revival, notching his first career double-double with a personal-best 12 rebounds to go along with 13 points.
On the perimeter, Texas A&M got a game-high 17 points from junior guard Fabyon Harris as the Chicago native topped double figures in scoring for the fourth time in his last five games to improve his season scoring average to 10.2 points per game.
Following a 15-point outing against Arkansas, senior guard Elston Turner, who leads the Aggies in scoring at 15.5 points per contest, brings an impressive streak of 14 consecutive games of 10 or more points with him to Kentucky.
The Wildcats (10-4, 1-0 SEC) are also fresh off their first SEC win of the year, holding off Vanderbilt 60-58 in Nashville on Thursday night.
A trio of UK players reached double-figures against the Commodores, led by sophomore guard Ryan Harrow’s 16 points. The Wildcats are a young squad as evident by their top five scorers all being underclassmen, highlighted by freshman Archie Goodwin’s team-leading 15.6 points per game.
UK head coach John Calipari is in his fourth season in Lexington after previous successful collegiate head coaching stops at UMass and Memphis, as well as time in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
TEXAS A&M-KENTUCKY SERIES NOTES
• Kentucky leads the all-time series with Texas A&M 2-1.
• Saturday will be just the fourth meeting between the Aggies and Wildcats on the hardwood and the first since the 1978-79 campaign.
• The two schools first met during the 1941-42 season when the 'Cats earned a 49-29 victory.
• Most recently, the two schools met Dec. 22, 1978, at UK's Rupp Arena, resulting in a 73-69 victory by the Aggies.
• A&M's Billy Kennedy has never faced the Wildcats in 15 seasons as a head coach.
• Kennedy's head coaching counterpart, UK's John Calipari, is 1-0 all-time against the Aggies ... His lone contest against Texas A&M came on March 22, 2007, while coaching at Memphis ... The Tigers defeated the Aggies 65-64 during the NCAA Tournament's South Regional semifinal at San Antonio's Alamodome.
• The Aggies will make their first SEC road trip Saturday when they travel to Lexington, Ky., to battled defending National Champion Kentucky at Rupp Arena.
• The last time the Aggies faced the defending National Champion was during the 2008-09 season when they fell to Kansas 73-53 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
• Single-game tickets for Texas A&M basketball's February and March home games are now on sale in person at the Kyle Field Ticket Center or on-line at www.12thmanfoundation.com/ticket-center/men%27s-basketball.aspx.
• Texas A&M is coming off its most impressive rebounding performance of the season during Wednesday's SEC opening victory over Arkansas ... The Aggies held a 51-27 edge on the glass leading to a 21-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
• Spearheading the rebounding revival was forward Kourtney Roberson, who tied his career high with 12 boards en route to his first career double-double.
• On the defensive end, the Aggies have held five straight opponents to under 60 points, giving them 10 such performances on the year.
UP NEXT AFTER THE KENTUCKY GAME
Following the trip to Kentucky, Texas A&M returns home to the friendly confines of Reed Arena to host No. 11/9 Florida on Thursday ... The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2at 6 p.m.
A&M ENJOYING FIRST-YEAR SEC SUCCESS
• Football - The Aggies' inaugural run through the SEC on the gridiron culminated in an 11-2 record that featured a victory over top-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and 41-13 win over Oklahoma in the 77th Annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic … Aggie RS freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel took home the coveted Heisman Trophy as they Aggies finished ranked No. 5 in both the AP and USA Today polls.
• Volleyball - Under the direction of head coach Laurie Corbelli, Texas A&M volleyball won the SEC Western Division title with a 25-5 overall record and a 16-4 conference mark. The team reached the NCAA second round of the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to eventual National Champion Texas.
• Women's Soccer - The Aggies’ success continued onto the pitch as head coach G Guerrieri guided the women's soccer team to a 19-4-1 record that featured in a 10-2-1 record in league play which netted A&M the SEC Western Division crown.
• Men's Cross Country - Texas A&M senior Henry Lelei became the school's first individual champion in the Southeastern Conference when he claimed the men's cross country title with a time of 23:29.95 at Percy Warner Park. Lelei was named SEC Runner of the Year and USTFCCCA Men's Athlete of the Year en route to finishing fifth at the NCAA Championship.
TEXAS A&M-KENTUCKY CONNECTIONS
• A&M's Glynn Cyprien - The A&M associate head coach worked in Lexington as an assistant coach to Billy Gillispie from 2007-09.
• A&M's Peter Warden - Texas A&M's internal operations assistant spent two seasons on the men's basketball staff at UK under Gillispie, from 2007-09.
TEXAS A&M 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 236-200 ... over the last three seasons, his teams have combined to post a record of 79-35.
• 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).