Dallas Colleges: B.J. Holmes

NCAA preview: Texas A&M-Florida State

March, 18, 2011
CHICAGO -- A look at the Texas A&M-Florida State matchup at the United Center:

No. 7 seed Texas A&M (21-10) vs. No. 10 seed Florida State (24-8), 3:10 p.m. (TBS)

How they got here: Somehow, it seems Mark Turgeon always finds a way. The Texas A&M coach faced a serious challenge in the offseason: Replacing three seniors, including stars Donald Sloan and Bryan Davis, with a group of unproven unknowns. The Aggies didn’t miss a beat. Instead, A&M quickly established itself as another smart, solid Turgeon team, one that looked like it might compete for a spot among the Big 12’s elite before a late-January hiccup. Meanwhile, despite losing its leading scorer and best defender in forward Chris Singleton to a broken hand on Feb. 19, Florida State admirably maintained its spot above the bubble fray.

Players to watch: Singleton hasn’t seen action since his injury, but he practiced Thursday and appears likely to play Friday. Saying this is “huge” for the Seminoles is like saying water is “huge” for human survival. With Singleton on the prowl, an already-stout Florida State defense is one of the toughest, most disruptive units in the country. Texas A&M forward Khris Middleton will have to find a way to remain productive despite Singleton’s singular defensive prowess, and A&M will need to balance its interior scoring with some timely perimeter shooting from guard B.J. Holmes.

What to look for: A slow, defensive slugfest that will be decided on the offensive boards. FSU's defense is the second-stingiest in the nation; only Texas has allowed opponents fewer points per possession in 2011. That stinginess stems from Florida State’s excellent first-shot defense. The Seminoles simply don’t allow good looks. That said, Leonard Hamilton’s offense-averse team does allow opponents its share of offensive rebounds, and A&M ranks among the top 15 teams in the nation in retrieving their own misses. The Aggies aren’t going to get many good looks. But if they can take advantage of the offensive glass and get a few easy putbacks, they’ll be at a major advantage against a Florida State team that frequently struggles to score.

Quotable: “How big of a factor he's going to be will be in direct proportion to how he's going to adjust to not being available for a month, not being in practice, not having any contact, not being in rhythm. [...] He's only been in any type of contact with us now for four or five days. So to be honest with you, I think that's yet to be determined.” -- Florida State coach Hamilton on what he expects -- or doesn’t expect from Singleton.

Texas A&M men playing in Old Spice Classic

November, 24, 2010
Fran Fraschilla has a preview of the Old Spice Classic over on the College Basketball Experts Blog (Insider link).

Texas A&M joins Boston College, Wisconsin, Manhattan, Georgia, Georgia, Notre Dame, Temple and California at the three-day tournament, which tips off Thanksgiving Day in Orlando, Fla.

Fraschilla says the tournament is rich in point guard play and has this to say about A&M's tandem of Dash Harris and B.J. Holmes:
With the rock-steady duo of Donald Sloan and Derrick Roland departed after four of the best years in Aggies basketball history, it's up to Harris and Holmes to keep the show going for coach Mark Turgeon. While neither is a household name nationally, each knows how to win -- and that's really all that matters.

College basketball preview: Texas A&M

October, 27, 2010
ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 335 Division I teams. Here is the next of our Insider series on the Big 12 and schools in the Metroplex:
Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M is left with a roster that doesn't return any of its stars from last season. Gone are guard Donald Sloan, who was sixth in the Big 12 in scoring last season (17.8 ppg) and Davis, who was sixth in the league in rebounding (8.1 rpg) while also scoring 9.6 points per game. The Aggies' No. 2 scorer, Derrick Roland, who averaged 10.5 points per game, is gone, too, which leaves 6-0 senior guard B.J. Holmes (9.3 ppg, 1.8 apg) and 6-8 junior forward David Loubeau (9.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) to carry the load.

But credit coach Mark Turgeon for this: His teams tend to control what they can control, which means they play pretty good defense and take care of the ball. That plus an all-league type of player similar to Sloan has been enough over the last couple of years to get Texas A&M into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

To read the rest of this Insider content on the 2010-11 Texas A&M basketball team, click here.