South Carolina vs. Texas A&M
Date: Saturday, January 14th
Time: 6:00 PM
Where: Colonial Life Arena - Columbia, SC
South Carolina is looking to keep their momentum from their victory against Kentucky rolling as they take on the Aggies of Texas A&M back home at Colonial Life Arena. This would be the 7th straight victory against the Aggies for the Gamecocks, last losing to them in the 2017-18 season.
Texas A&M currently sits at 11-5, and ranked 63rd in KenPom’s latest advanced metric rankings. The aggies have a few impressive wins this season, with their most impressive win being against 20th ranked Missouri on the 11th. However, the Aggies do have some questionable losses as well, such as losing to a subpar Colorado team by almost 30 points.
The Aggies are led by sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV, who is putting up a solid 15.3 points per game as well as 3.6 assists a night, both being team highs. Taylor is also incredible defensively, being the Aggies’ best perimeter defender while swiping 2 steals a game. Tyrece Radford has also been playing well for the Aggies this season, putting up 13 points a game as well as grabbing 5 rebounds a game.
Half way through the season, I have come to a realization about this team. Between Chico Carter Jr. and Meechie Johnson Jr, one of them has to play really well in order for the Gamecocks to have a shot in any SEC game. Johnson put up a historic statline against Kentucky, and it led to the win. Carter had a great game against Vanderbilt, and while the Gamecocks could not pull out the win, it was still a very competitive game that went into overtime.
I know you’re used to hearing this, but GG Jackson must continue his high-efficiency play and incredible defense for the Gamecocks to pull this out. Jackson shot a season high of 60% from the field with 16 points against Kentucky, which greatly contributed to the victory. Defensively, Jackson has been almost flawless, being arguably the best freshman defender in the country.
South Carolina had season highs from beyond the arc(55%) and from the free throw line(85%) against Kentucky. I’m not saying I expect them to shoot this good, but they need to if they want to win this game. Especially from the free throw line, where the Gamecocks have been one of the worst in the nation at 63%.
KenPom is giving the Gamecocks a 28% to take down Texas A&M with a score prediction of South Carolina 63, Texas A&M 70
My Prediction: South Carolina 67, Texas A&M 77