Aggie Basketball Game #16:
Texas A&M (12-3; 2-0 SEC) vs. Florida (12-2; 2-0 SEC)
January 17, 2013 · 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,989)
College Station, Texas
Rece Davis, Play-by-Play
Bob Knight, Commentary
RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Al Pulliam, Commentary
Local: WTAW-AM 1620 (College Station/Bryan)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
TICKETS: Available at the door or online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Riding the confidence of back-to-back victories to open Southeastern Conference play, the Texas A&M men's basketball team is back in action Thursday when it hosts No. 10/9 Florida at 6 p.m. inside Reed Arena.
The match-up will be televised nationally by ESPN2 with Rece Davis and Bob Knight calling all the action from Aggieland.
Tickets for the event are still available but fans are encouraged to buy early to avoid lines on Thursday at Reed Arena. Additionally, 9,000 white T-shirts will be provided by CC Creations in an attempt to "White Out" Reed Arena and select $5 tickets are available by visiting www.AggielandOutfitters.com.
Texas A&M students with an all-sports option are admitted at the North or South Student Entrances by presenting their Texas A&M ID. Texas A&M students without an all-sports option can purchase student walkup tickets for $10 by presenting their ID at the Ticket Center's Kyle Field location from 8-5 on game day or at Reed Arena 1 hour prior to tip.
Prior to the game from 5-6 p.m. fans will have their opportunity to take a picture with the Heisman Trophy on the concourse and during halftime the 2012 Texas A&M football team will be honored.
The Aggies (12-3, 2-0 SEC) are coming off an 83-71 victory over defending national champion Kentucky at Rupp Arena last Saturday. The UK win was highlighted by a career-best 40-point outburst from senior guard Elston Turner, which netted him National and SEC Player of the Week honors.
The Sacramento, Calif., native made 14-of-19 shot attempts against the Wildcats to become just the third-ever opponent to score 40 points against UK at Rupp, joining LSU's Chris Jackson and Navy's David Robinson. It also marked the first 40-point game by an Aggie since Don Marbury put up 41 against Baylor on Jan. 5, 1985.
Additional standouts on the court against the Wildcats were sophomore forward Kourtney Roberson, who narrowly missed his second straight double-double by finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds, and junior guard Fabyon Harris, who scored 14 second-half points to record his fourth-consecutive double-digit scoring contest.
Florida (12-2, 2-0 SEC) also enters Thursday's contest with a perfect slate in league play after defeating Georgia at home and LSU on the road last week.
The Gators are led by head coach Billy Donovan, who is in his 17th season in Gainesville and has guided UF to the Elite Eight each of the last two seasons in addition to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.
On the court, a quartet of Gators (Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario, Erik Murphy and Patric Young) average double figures in scoring, with Boynton pacing the group at 13.8 points per game.
Texas A&M trails the all-time series between the schools by a 2-1 margin, including last season's 84-64 UF win in Sunrise, Fla., during the Orange Bowl Classic tournament.
- The Aggies bring a four-game winning streak into Thursday's match-up with No. 10/9 Florida at Reed Arena ... It will mark the fourth-ever meeting between the Aggies and Gators on the hardwood and the first as members of the SEC.
- Senior guard Elston Turner is the reigning SEC and National Player of the Week after exploding for a career-best 40-point performance during last Saturday's win at Kentucky ... The Sacramento, Calif., native enters the UF game ranking third in the SEC in scoring at 17.1 points per game and leading the league in 3-point shooting percentage at .442.
- Elston has reached double figures in scoring in each game this season and 38 of 47 career games.
- As a team, the Aggies lead the SEC on 3-point field goal percentage at .389 as a team.
- In addition to Elston, junior guard Fabyon Harris has been a potent scoring threat for A&M over the last month ... The Chicago native has posted double-figure points in five of his last six games to boost his scoring average to 10.5 on the year.
- The Aggies, who struggled rebounding during non-conference play, have held the edge on the boards in each of their first two conference games by a combined margin of 86-57.
- Redshirt sophomore Kourtney Roberson has been a big part of the rebounding revival, notching his first career double-double against Arkansas with 13 points and a career-high-tying 12 boards ... The Arcadia, La., native narrowly missed a second straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds at Kentucky .
- On the defensive end, the Aggies have held five of their last six opponents to under 60 points, giving them 10 such performances on the year ... A&M ranks third in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing just 59.4 points per contest.
UP NEXT AFTER THE FLORIDA GAME
Following the Florida game, Texas A&M will hit the road to battle Alabama on Saturday at Coleman Coliseum ... The game will be televised by FSN with a 5 p.m. tip-off.
ELSTON'S 40-POINT PERFORMANCE GARNERS NATIONAL PRAISE
Prior to Texas A&M's trip to Kentucky on Jan. 12, only two visiting players had ever cracked the 40-point plateau in Rupp Arena. Aggie senior Elston Turner put on a show in front of the UK faithful to join that elite fraternity.
Turner was on fire right out of the gates as he scored 25 first-half points en route to a career-best 40 during an incredible 14-of-19 shooting performance that included a 6-of-10 mark from beyond the 3-point arc. He joined LSU's Chris Jackson and Navy's David Robinson as the only players to reach the 40-point mark at Rupp.
Additionally, Turner became the first Aggie to score 40 or more since Don Marbury put up 41 against Baylor on Jan. 5, 1985.
JAHN'S JOURNEY FROM SPECTATOR TO CONTRIBUTOR
After watching games in the student section and finding competition at the rec during his first two years at Texas A&M, Jarod Jahns was just looking for a shot in the fall of 2010 when he heard about walk-on try-outs for the Aggie Basketball team. Two years later, the Spring, Texas, native's hard work has paid off as he's playing major minutes on the court for the Aggies during their first season in the SEC.
After playing a total of only 13 minutes in 12 games his first two seasons with the team, Jahns began to earn the trust of head coach Billy Kennedy and his staff and got his chance to show what he could do on the court during the Aggies' appearance in the CBE Fall of Fame Classic at Kansas City's Sprint Center.
During the opener of the event on Nov. 19, Jahns scored a career-best six points against Saint Louis before setting a new personal best with 21 minutes of action and four rebounds the next day in A&M's come-from-behind win over Washington State.
Most recently, Jahns played a big part in the Aggies' win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena by grabbing four offensive rebounds in a career-high 30 minutes.
"I never would have thought that would happen," Jahns said following the UK victory. "Ray (Turner) got in foul trouble and you have to answer the call at that point. We don't have a deep forward lineup so Coach told me to go in and I knew that it was going to have to be for the rest of the game. I was just going to have to answer the call. It was fun, for sure. I went up against the biggest and the best and I didn't even have offers to play in college so it was a dream that has come true."
A&M ENJOYING FIRST-YEAR SEC SUCCESS
• Football - The Aggies' inaugural run through the SEC on the gridiron culminated in an 11-2 record that featured a victory over top-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and 41-13 win over Oklahoma in the 77th Annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic ... Aggie RS freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel took home the coveted Heisman Trophy as the Aggies finished ranked No. 5 in both the AP and USA Today polls.
• Volleyball - Under the direction of head coach Laurie Corbelli, Texas A&M volleyball won the SEC Western Division title with a 25-5 overall record and a 16-4 conference mark. The team reached the NCAA second round of the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to eventual National Champion Texas.
• Women's Soccer - The Aggies' success continued onto the pitch as head coach G Guerrieri guided the women's soccer team to a 19-4-1 record that featured in a 10-2-1 record in league play which netted A&M the SEC Western Division crown.
• Men's Cross Country - Texas A&M senior Henry Lelei became the school's first individual champion in the Southeastern Conference when he claimed the men's cross country title with a time of 23:29.95 at Percy Warner Park. Lelei was named SEC Runner of the Year and USTFCCCA Men's Athlete of the Year en route to finishing fifth at the NCAA Championship.
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
- Billy Kennedy was named the 21st coach in Texas A&M men's basketball history on May 16, 2011 ... he is a native of New Orleans and has spent 14 seasons as a head coach, with a record of 237-200 ... over the last four seasons, his teams have combined to post a record of 80-35.
- Over his last eight years as a head coach, Kennedy's teams have averaged 20 wins a season, earned four conference titles and made three trips to the postseason-two to the NCAA Tournament and one in the NIT ... in addition, the Murray State squad which he built before heading to College Station finished the 2012 season 31-2, won the Ohio Valley title at 15-1 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Kennedy's veteran staff in Aggieland has a combined 94 years of collegiate coaching experience and over the last 11 years has been a part of 18 conference titles and 22 postseasons (15 NCAA, 7 NIT).
REED ARENA SUCCESS
- A&M is 66-13 at Reed Arena since the start of the 2008-09 season with a 23-11 mark in conference games.
- The Aggies are 100-18 (.847) at home since the start of the 2006-07 season and are 133-23 (.853) since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.
- A&M has won 48 of its last 54 home games against unranked opponents (16 of last 20 in conference play).
- A&M is 174-64 (.731) in 14 seasons at Reed Arena ... the Aggies were 41-41 the first six years at Reed and are 133-23 since.
- Texas A&M finished 8-1 in non-conference games at Reed Arena this season ... a loss to Southern on Dec. 22 snapped a seven-game winning streak against non-conference foes at Reed.
- The Aggies are 108-11 (.908) all-time in non-conference games inside the facility, which hosted its first basketball game in the fall of 1998 ... a loss to Rice on Dec. 22, 2011, snapped A&M's 67-game non-conference home win streak at Reed Arena (which dated back to the start of the 2005-06 season) and 80-game regular-season, non-conference home win streak (which dated back to 2003), both school records.