The Buzz Williams-era has gotten off to a strong start at Texas A&M, as the Aggies have won each of their first two games of the season. Friday’s game will represent the Aggies’ toughest game of the non-conference season and also their first chance at a quality win. For Gonzaga, it is the first of four Tier-A games on the non-conference slate. Can the Aggies pull off the upset at home at Reed Arena against the Bulldogs on Friday?
Petrusev double-doubles in Zags' winGonzaga toppled North Dakota 97-66 on Tuesday night behind another balanced scoring effort. Filip Petrusev scored a team-high 19 points and 15 rebounds while junior Corey Kispert finished with 20 points to lead six Bulldogs players in double-figures on the night. The Bulldogs outrebounded North Dakota 53 to 29 and held them to just 7-for-31 from beyond the arc in the win.
Three games into the season and it seems Mark Few might have one of his most talented Gonzaga teams yet. The Zags enter this matchup slotted at No. 7 in the latest KenPom rankings after three straight blowout victories. They come in scoring 112.5 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the NCAA) while sporting the second-best effective field goal percentage in the nation at 66.1 percent. Gonzaga ranks in the top-5 in nearly every major offensive category. They have turned the ball over only 13.7 percent of the time on the offensive end (27th in the NCAA) while shooting 66.1 percent from inside the arc (4th in the NCAA) and 44.1 percent from 3-point range (30th in the NCAA).
On defense, the Bulldogs have held their opponents to just 89.2 points per 100 possessions (30th in the NCAA). They’ve also done a tremendous job cleaning up the defensive glass, as opposing teams have hauled in just 17 percent of their missed field goal attempts (13th in the NCAA) versus the Bulldogs’ defense.
Buzz Williams gets first chance for marquee win at Texas A&MThe Aggies won their second straight game on Monday night, taking down Louisiana Monroe 63-57 to avoid the upset. Texas A&M struggled in the first half and trailed by as many as 10 points early in the second half before mounting a comeback, led by junior guard Jay Jay Chandler, who finished with 17 points. Andre Gordon had 14 and Quenton Jackson added 12 for the Aggies, who forced 20 turnovers and limited the Warhawks to just 8-for-28 shooting from 3-point range.
Williams’ squad enters the weekend ranked No. 66 in the latest KenPom rankings, scoring 104.0 points per 100 possessions (70th in the NCAA) through the first two games of the season. Unlike Williams’ squads at Virginia Tech, the Aggies don’t generate a lot of offense from beyond the arc. In fact, the Aggies rank near the bottom of the country, shooting just 26 percent of their total field goal attempts from 3-point range. Instead, they do most of their damage from inside the arc or at the free-throw line. They sport a healthy free throw rate of 54.5 percent but have shot a dismal 59.2 percent from the charity stripe as a team (300th in the NCAA).
On defense, Texas A&M has surrendered 92.7 points per 100 possessions (65th in the NCAA) while forcing their opponents to turn the ball over 24.3 percent of the time (44th in the NCAA). They have also limited opposing teams to just 25.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc (60th in the NCAA).
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.
- Bulldogs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.
- Bulldogs are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight-up win of more than 20 points.
- Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. West Coast.
- Aggies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Aggies are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight-up win.