February 9, 2007

A&M hits the road again, this time to Lincoln

It's hard to imagine a better 48 hours in the history of Texas A&M men's basketball than the one last weekend that began with an upset win at Kansas and ended with a home win over arch-rival Kansas. Now the No. 6 Aggies must get back on the road to face a Nebraska team that is coming off its own upset win at Texas Tech.

Nebraska (14-8, 3-5 Big 12) will be trying for its second consecutive upset when it hosts A&M (20-3, 8-1), and they'll be doing so with a very small lineup compared to A&M's balanced attack.

The Huskers start four guard and center Aleks Maric, which will give A&M match up problems by bringing Antanas Kavaliauskas outside, but it also gives A&M free reign in the paint and a chance to get Maric into foul trouble. Nebraska, however, is a very good outside shooting team as it is hitting 39.2-percent of its 3-point shots as a team.

That means that the Aggies will have to play a smothering half-court defense on the perimeter, which has been done time and time again by the Aggies. But their one loss in conference play was due to Tech getting hot from outside. If Nebraska can do the same thing in front of a pumped up home crowd, then an upset isn't unthinkable.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb.


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Aleks Maric

Joseph Jones

PPG: 16.7 RPG: 7.9 FG%: 60.6

Junior Aleks Maric is clearly the class of this Husker team, and the Australian national is going to have problems all day with the duo of Jones and Kavaliauskas. Maric is a physical player much like Jones and Kavaliauskas, but will he be able to take the constant pounding dished out by the two of them along with bench mate Bryan Davis? But Maric is also the best post player A&M has faced this season, and he'll be able to do some damage inside. The question is will it be enough for Nebraska to pull the upset?

PPG: 13.1 RPG: 6.5 FT%: 81.6%

Junior forward Joseph Jones had a less than stellar night against Texas, but most of that was because of foul trouble. Jones is used to that, however, as he has fouled out of 18 games in his career. Put simply, that is way too many. Jones, however, has been a beast on the boards this season and offensively he has taken his game away from the basket with a nice mid-range shot. That makes him much more deadly when you factor in the his physical nature under the basket.