After and underwhelming season-opening victory against Savannah State 98-83, it became clear that coach Billy Kennedy’s new guard-heavy, jump shooting, up and down the floor philosophy is not going to work, and it’s not going to be sustainable for an entire season.
One reason that it’s not going work is that the Texas A&M Aggies do not have the perimeter shooters needed for this type of offense. The Aggies were not a great 3-point shooting team hitting 32.9-percent from deep last year, and according to their opening performance, it doesn’t look like much as changed.
Against Savannah State, the Aggies shot 21-percent as a team going 8-for-38. This will not work against a really good team, like No. 3 Gonzaga in their third game of the season on November 15.
Fortunately, Savannah St. shot poorly as well. Coach Kennedy’s strategy made the Aggies look sloppy earlier on in the game. Ironically, it was actually the Aggies ability to rebound the basketball and score inside that helped propel them to this victory. This is also the same style that got them into the sweet 16 last season.
The other reason that this won’t work is because the team won’t have the stamina to run and shoot game-in and game-out. If the players are running and gunning, they will likely continue to shoot a poor percentage in the perimeter, and it will also put them in bad positions in their transition defense. Sophomore combo guard/forward Savion Flagg, had a career high 24 points and 16 rebounds. However, Texas A&M can’t rely on him to perform that way every game, especially if he’s tired.
Teams like the Golden State Warriors make it look easy, and ideal for a coach that wants to play a fast-pace style, but you have to have the right pieces in place to pull it off. Some college programs like Villanova and Michigan have been successful, but maybe Coach Kennedy, needs to stick to what they do well and accept their true identity. Run when you can, but the Aggies need to play inside and continue to control the glass.