NCAA BK

Aggies want to move past tough season

Share This Story

   
 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)

Texas A&M enters its first season in the Southeastern Conference after a year in which coach Billy Kennedy's illness and numerous injuries doomed the season and broke a streak of six straight appearances in the NCAA tournament.

The Aggies entered last season expected to contend with Kansas for the Big 12 title in their last season in the conference. Instead, Texas A&M went 14-18 and just 4-14 in conference play.

Kennedy took a medical leave early in the season after being diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's disease last season. He's learned how to manage the disease now, and is looking forward to his second season in College Station.

''I was trying to survive the first two weeks last year, and I'm much further along obviously, but you get your priorities checked real quickly when your health is a concern,'' he said. ''I've learned a lot about myself and (I'm) really excited about the opportunity to be at Texas A&M and represent a great school and a great league. It's going to be a lot more fun, I promise you.''

The Aggies have some holes. Gone is top player Khris Middleton, who declared for the draft, and point guard Dash Harris, who was the team's emotional leader and led the team in assists and steals.

They'll now rely on seniors Elston Turner and Ray Turner this season as they try to bounce back from last season's disappointment. Elston Turner led the team with 13.8 points and Ray Turner added 9.1 points and a team-leading 5.5 rebounds a game last season.

Kennedy is looking to the pair to become leaders for his team.

''Those two guys are the only two guys that have legitimate Division I experience,'' Kennedy said. ''We need those guys to have great years on and off the court from a leadership standpoint. I would say they've been solid but I would like for them to give a little bit more from a leadership standpoint.''

Texas A&M should get a boost from the return of forward Kourtney Roberson. He was granted a medical redshirt after playing just nine games before breaking his left ankle last season. He averaged 5.6 points and 3.8 rebounds two years ago as a freshman.

Kennedy has been impressed with the 6-foot-9 Roberson so far, but knows he's not where he needs to be yet after missing so much time.

''He was as mobile and more athletic than he was last year,'' Kennedy said of his first practice this year. ''He was quicker and had more confidence ... He was cleared about a week before practice started. I think it's going to be a process. We just have to be patient with him at this point.''

The Aggies have a duo of highly-touted newcomers vying to take over at point guard. Junior college standout Fabyon Harris comes to Texas A&M after two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho. He averaged 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds last season.

They also have J'Mychal Reese from nearby Bryan, Texas, who was rated the No. 1 point guard in Texas and among the best in the nation. He's a prolific scorer and once poured in 52 points in a high school game.

Kennedy believes that Reese and Texas A&M's other young players will add something to his team.

''It is a challenge, but the thing that I like is they bring a lot of personality,'' Kennedy said of his young players. ''I think that's something we lacked last year was some definition and enthusiasm at times. It'll be good to have some personality on the court.''

Kennedy is excited about the challenges of a new conference, but knows it will take a while for fans to adjust to the change.

''In the state of Texas, people are familiar with Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor, but they're not familiar with the Georgia's and South Carolina's,'' he said. ''It's going to take some time for our fans to understand that this is a good basketball league. It's so good in football, baseball and all the other sports that people sometimes don't understand how good it is in basketball. Once people come out and see us play, they'll recognize how good it is in basketball.''

Tagged: Texas A&M, Texas, Elston Turner, Ray Turner

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..