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10 Thoughts On A&M

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You had to expect at least a little bit of a letdown after OSU shot 60% in Wednesday night’s stunner over Mizzou. But with three A&M starters on the fritz and the way the Cowboys started the first half (7 for 11) it felt like they were at least going to make it respectable.

They didn’t though.

Daniel Alexander, who probably started the year as Khris Middleton’s personal rebounder, doubled his career high with 11 points. Zach Kinsley (who has scored 21 points on the season) had eight against the Pokes. And Alex Baird, who has played seven minutes in the last two seasons combined, contributed four boards and three assists for the Ags.

What really hurt OSU was the foul trouble they got into early, or more accurately, the depth trouble they got into yesterday when Phil Jurick sprained his ankle and was ruled out for today’s game.

Because of that, and the fact that Cobbins and Soucek picked up five combined fouls before halftime, OSU played tentatively on defense in the second period, a facet of their game that has been the stalwart (if I can use such an ambitious term) of the team this year.

A&M paced the second 20 minutes with a 16-1 run early (OSU scored seven points in the first nine minutes of the second half) and never looked back.

Ten more thoughts from the game…

1. So what does the Mizzou game mean now? If OSU loses at Tech on Tuesday then I’m convinced it meant nothing. If they can win that one then come home and get one of Iowa State or Baylor then I can still be talked into it being a turning point of sorts.

2. OSU’s inability to be physical and play tight on defense really inhibited its ability to take control of this game in the second half. You can’t tell guys “hey, don’t do anything on defense but come down and go hard on offense” even though that’s pretty much what you have to tell them. There was never a rhythm after Le’Bryan picked up his third foul early after the break.

3. Is A&M’s basketball logo bigger than its football collapses?

4. How was A&M picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 preseason poll by the coaches? I know they had guys missing but this was not the second string of a squad poised to compete for the Big 12 title.

5. Markel Brown is 25-52 from the field in his last five games. Where did that come from? All of a sudden he looks like the best player on this team again.

6. A lot of A&M people are kind of “meh” on him, but I really liked David Loubeau. OSU could use his scoring.

7. OSU’s first substitution in the second half came with like three minutes left. This team is the opposite of “scary deep.”

8. Le’Bryan completely disappeared in the second half after a nasty first 10 minutes. In fact, after starting 3-6 he went just 2-9 the rest of the way. I’m incredulous at times that, with his body and the competition at hand today, he won’t go inside. It makes no sense.

Can we end this with two gems from the announcing crew of Brad Sham and Reid Gettys? Okay, perfect…

9. First from Sham as the clock wound down: “Triumph of the common man for A&M. Unity and purpose!” Why not just say “a bunch of scrawny white kids with very scraggly beards just beat a bunch of athletic black kids who were very highly recruited”? I mean you’re kind of removing pretenses at that point, no?

10. Then from Gettys: “Page isn’t like A gnat, he’s like a SWARM of gnats!” There’s probably a pretty good reason you’re doing ESPN+ games, guys.

Next game: Tuesday at Tech

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