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Grinding It Out w/ The Aggies

BBR has it's preview of the Texas A&M game up. According to BBR it will be AA who will draw the assignment of guarding Law. Makes sense considering AA is the defensive stopper of our team. DC will still get his share of time to guard the Aggie guard. From BBR's game preview:

Acie Law (Sr, 6'3, 195) started the year as one of the best returning point-guards in the nation.  Last season he averaged 16.1 points a game and hit a number of clutch winners down the stretch for the team, however, Law has been inconsistent offensively and has struggled the last two games scoring just nine points over the stretch.

But when Law is at his best, he can hit from the perimeter and dribble penetrate to create shots for teammates.  He is also a solid defender and the vocal leader on the team.  If Law regains his offensive touch and confidence, the Aggies can be tough to handle.

UCLA's Arron Afflalo will get the start against Law and try to extend Law's offensive slump, although Darren Collison will likely have his opportunity against Law as well especially when Afflalo is out of the game.
For more on Law, and the other two key offensive stars (big men) - Jospeh Jones and Antanas Kavaliauskas - make sure you scan some of the notes from our first look. BBR also has more scouting notes on other Aggie players:
At the off-guard the Aggies start Dominique Kirk (Jr, 6'3, 180) who is a solid defender and a good three-point shooter (37%). He has blue-collar work ethic and makes his teammates better on both ends of the court with his hustle.

At the small forward the Aggies will likely start Josh Carter (Fr, 6'7, 195) against UCLA's Josh Shipp.  Carter is averaging 11.0 a game and shooting 42% from beyond the arc.

At the start of the season, the Aggies had planned to start Marlon Pompey (Sr, 6'8, 225) at the SF spot but he has been hurt although he did come off the bench to play 14 minutes against LSU.

Carter is the better offensive player of the two while Pompey is more defense-oriented who energizes the team with his hustle and defense.  Pompey is also the team's best shot-blocker but his foot injury has slowed him this year.

The Aggies also bring two freshmen off the bench in Bryan Davis (6'9, 245) and Donald Sloan (6'2, 210).  Davis is averaging 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11 minutes a game; while Sloan backs up both guard spots and is averaging 5.0 points and 2.3 assists in 18.5 minutes a game.

Freshman center 6'10 Chinemelu Elonu also gets time on the court especially if Joseph Jones gets into foul trouble.  Chinemelu has raw talent but is already a good shot-blocker.
Looks like Bill Gillispie, the Aggie head coach have assembled a set of talented athletes who loves to play Howland style rugged defensive oriented game. Mentioned yesterday how these guys are giving up only 50 points a game. Apparently they are leading the nation in scoring defense and FG % defense. BTW Diane Pucin today has one of those John Tesh narrated human interest story on Bill Gillispie, which of course (unlike BBR) doesn't tell us anything about the matchups and the kind of game Aggies play.

This will be a great test for our guys since the tourney in Maui. I'd think this may turn out to be one of those intense grinding out games where our guys will have to come out with a ferocious defensive attitude right out of the gate.

One of the things I like to see though is AA and Ship take it to the hoop a little. There has been some games this year it seems like when both of them were settling a little too much for jump shots (at least in the first half before Howland made necessary adjustments in the second half). This is a game a Bruins cannot afford to relax like they have against inferior opponents during last three games. I'd like to see AA, DC and co. playing that patented inside-the-jersey defense right from the tip off and wear down a good Aggie team with their relentless intense team-defense and an efficient offensive game. Can't wait.