December 23, 2008

A&M needs to carry over play from Houston

Texas A&M is 10-1. That's the good part. But the Aggies haven't beaten a ranked opponent, not have they played one. They've beaten Alabama on the road, LSU on a neutral court and Arizona at home in a come-from-behind thriller. Although good wins, they're not as good as one would suspect considering the names since each team is in a transition phase of its own.

That might be why A&M head coach Mark Turgeon hasn't seemed happy following any of A&M's first nine wins this season. Talk of starting slow, an uninspired and erratic offense and vastly inconsistent post play all dominated postgame interview sessions even with the Aggies winning games. Saturday in Houston, however, that all changed following A&M's 72-61 win over previously undefeated LSU.

Now, just because LSU entered the game 8-0 don't think the Tigers are all that great yet. They definitely have the potential to be with top talents like Tasmin Mitchell, Marcus Thornton and Garrett Temple, but in head coach Trent Johnson's first season the Tigers first game away from Baton Rouge was against A&M. And the Aggies also represented the first team with any sort of a pulse to face LSU as the Tigers entered the game with the absolute worst strength of schedule in the nation according to Jeff Sagarin's national computer rankings.

But Turgeon, for the first time all season, still seemed ecstatic in the postgame press conference at the Toyota Center, and he had good reason to be thrilled. For the first time this season, A&M played a complete game from start to finish.

As has happened in just about every one of A&M's current six-game winning streak, the Aggies found themselves behind from the get-go as LSU scored first to take a 2-0 lead. Unlike any of those previous games, the Aggies quickly tied the score and then pulled out a 9-2 lead without ever relinquishing the lead over the final 39 minutes.

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