KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Quick hitters here at Phog Allen Fieldhouse East as Texas A&M leads Kansas 38-35 in the Big 12 semifinals.
Texas A&M is playing with the right amount of aggression to try and beat the top-ranked Jayhawks. Donald Sloan has come right after Kansas, looking for his shot and making the big ones. He drilled a 3-pointer and then went coast-to-coast for a layup. Sloan never really got his due this season, overshadowed by Oklahoma State’s James Anderson, Kansas’ Sherron Collins and Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen. Sloan is a big-time college player who is a terrific leader. He really emerged as an even better person in the wake of his good friend Derrick Roland’s season-ending leg injury.
Collins is a money player, proving that he knows when to take and make big shots. The Aggies were in position to stretch a lead but Collins responded by getting fouled, making shots and getting to the free-throw line.
The Aggies consistently get solid role play from players like David Loubeau, Nathan Walkup and Khris Middleton. They have to have that kind of production without Dash Harris, who is not playing again due to a bruised hand.
What’s impressive is the way the Aggies are matching the Jayhawks on the boards, grabbing 10 defensive rebounds and limiting them to one shot on a number of occasions. I’m still waiting for Cole Aldrich to assert himself. The Aggies don’t have the size to match him but he hasn’t played large yet. Marcus Morris picked up two fouls and was limited to just six minutes. That could be huge.
Kansas was careless with the ball too, with a dozen turnovers.
If Texas A&M wins this game the committee should give them added weight for essentially a road game. There were multiple times when the crowd was rocking to get the Jayhawks going.