Alcorn St.-Texas A&M Preview
With their junior forward expected to sit out at least two more weeks, the 25th-ranked Aggies continue their quest for a more precise effort Wednesday night against winless Alcorn State.
Texas A&M (4-1) got a week off after a one-point win over St. John's in its 2K Sports Classic finale in New York on Nov. 18.
The Aggies seemed to have a good opportunity to ease back in against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, but they needed a late run to pull away for a 56-43 victory.
Texas A&M limited the Islanders to 27.8 percent shooting, its best performance since holding Iowa State to 27.4 percent in the 2008 Big 12 tournament. The Aggies, though, also committed a season-high 18 turnovers and led by just six points with 7:45 remaining before ending on an 11-4 run.
Only six players scored, with Elston Turner's 14 leading the way. Freshman guard Jordan Green reached double figures for the first time (10 points) despite going 0 for 3 from 3-point range.
"For whatever reason we're having a hard time being consistent with our effort and with our efficiency and decision making," Kennedy said.
The loss of Middleton to knee surgery hasn't helped, but a stretch against opponents that are currently .500 or worse might.
Those four games, which lead into a trip to face No. 10 Florida on Dec. 17, should help them get through the absence of last season's leading scorer (14.4 ppg) and second-best rebounder (5.2 per contest).
Junior forward Ray Turner has tried to pick up the slack by averaging a team-best 14.2 points - 10.2 more than during his sophomore season - and 6.6 rebounds.
He was one of 15 players to see action during last season's 88-56 win over Alcorn State, the second meeting between the schools.
The Braves finished 2010-11 at 4-24 and have a combined 19 victories over the last four seasons. This Alcorn State team is 0-5 but has dropped each of its past two games by single digits.
The Braves lost 63-56 to co-host New Orleans in their final game of the Hoops for Hope Classic on Sunday despite trailing by as many as 21 points in the first half.
Junior guard Twann Oakley, the team's second-leading scorer (10.0 ppg), had 16 points to lead three players in double figures. Top scorer Marquis Baker, averaging 14.7 points, has missed the past two games for undisclosed reasons.
Texas A&M is seeking its 64th consecutive non-conference win at Reed Arena.