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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

November 1st, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


Texas A&M Aggies


Overall Rank: #12

Conference Rank: #2 Big 12


2005-06: 22-9, 10-6, 4th

2005-06 postseason: NCAA


Just three years ago Coach Billy Gillispie inhereted a Texas A&M squad that went 0-17 in the Big XII.  Suddenly the Aggies are garnering top 15 expectations and a legitimate chance to win the conference and make a deep, deep run in the tournament.  The quick and amazing turnaround is all credited to Coach Gillispie and this should be the season where it all pays off.


Who’s Out: The numbers don’t tell the story with Chris Walker.  He averaged just 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds while starting 24 contests during his senior campaign.  However, he was the emotional leader of the team and a great defender.  Eddie Smith, Kenneth White and Edjuan Green didn’t make a huge impact for the Aggies last year and will not be returning to College Station this season.


Who’s In: This might be the best class in the history of TAMU, and adding a few redshirts makes this list even better.  Power forwards Slade Weishuhn and Bryan Davis and center Chinemelu Elonu will add depth up front.  Weishuhn, who missed last season with a variety of injuries, is a solid shooter for a 6-9, 225 pounder and could develop into a decent contributor this year.  Davis is the most highly touted incoming freshmen of the bunch.  The 6-9, 245 pound Dallas product averaged 18.1 points, 15.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game as a senior in high school.  Elonu, a redshirt freshman, can provide a shot blocking presence in the paint if he can manage to work his way into the rotation.  Logan Lee had to sit out due to transfer rules in 2004-2005 and missed last year with a knee injury.  The 6-2 point guard averaged 4.2 points and 3.6 assists at Hawaii and will provide some experience off the bench.  Bryan Beasley may be the point guard of the future.  At 5-10 and with a shooter’s mentality, Beasley is really a two guard, but his size might force him into running the point.  Bryson Graham, Derrick Roland, Donald Sloan and Jerrod Johnson will battle for playing time on the wings.  Graham averaged 15.5 points last year at Lon Morris Junior College.  At this point in his career, Roland will be most effective as a long range shooter off the bench.  Sloan is a great athlete who loves getting to the rim and can beat you with his outside shot as well.  Johnson, a quarterback on the football team, isn’t expected to see much action on the court.


Who to Watch: The depth in the backcourt will have to come from the long list above of guys who didn’t play last year.  Acie Law, Dominique Kirk and Josh Carter are the only perimeter players returning and should be the starters.  Law averaged 16.1 points and 4.0 assists and is a great floor leader.  Kirk tacked on 6.9 points and 2.7 assists.  Together, the duo forms a defensive nightmare on the perimeter for the opposition.  Carter only started five games as a freshman last year, but came on strong late in the campaign.  If the sharpshooter continues to improve, Carter will be a big time scoring threat.


Final Projection: Joseph Jones will anchor the frontcourt once again after averaging 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds last year.  Jones is a great post defender and, if he can stay out of foul trouble, has first-team all-conference honors waiting for him.  Marlon Pompey started 30 games at the four spot last year, but Antanas Kavaliauskas and all the newcomers won’t make it easy for Pompey to keep the job.  What will make this a great team instead of a good team is the depth.  Much of the depth does not have experience, but the sheer number of quality players all over the floor has never been higher at A&M.  Of course the defense will be great again, but the offensive output needs to improve and remain consistent in order for the Aggies to go beyond the Sweet Sixteen.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA


Projected Starting Five:

Acie Law, Senior, Guard, 16.1 points per game

Dominique Kirk, Junior, Guard, 6.9 points per game

Josh Carter, Sophomore, Guard, 8.3 points per game

Marlon Pompey, Senior, Forward, 5.3 points per game

Joseph Jones, Junior, Center, 15.3 points per game


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