February 20, 2018 5:26:32 PM
MISSISSIPPI STATE (19-8, 7-7) AT TEXAS A&M (17-10, 6-8)
BROADCAST INFO: 6 p.m. on SEC Network with Roy Philpott and Brooke Weisbrod, plus Neil Price and Richard Williams on the MSU Radio Network.
TEXAS A&M's LAST 5: W 83-60 vs. South Carolina, W 81-80 at Auburn, W 85-74 vs. Kentucky, L 62-58 at Missouri, L 94-75 at Arkansas.
MSU's LAST 5: W 72-57 vs. Georgia, W 67-63 vs. Alabama, L 89-85 (OT) at Missouri, L 81-80 at Vanderbilt, W 79-62 vs. Ole Miss.
TEXAS A&M's RESUMÉ: The Aggies have been Jekyll and Hyde all season long. At the beginning, it was longer stints of each: such as the entire non-conference schedule with neutral court wins over West Virginia and Penn State plus at USC, but then completely cratered to start SEC play with five straight losses. Since then A&M has oscillated between the two often: it lost to LSU on the road, something a team of its caliber probably shouldn't do at that point in the season, but then ripped off a four-game winning streak that included Kentucky and, insanely, at Auburn. Currently, the Aggies are trending the other direction after taking it on the chin by 19 points at Arkansas, but A&M hasn't lost at home since Jan. 6.
TEXAS A&M PROJECTED STARTERS
G 2 T.J. Starks, Fr., 6'2", 202 -- 8.3 ppg, 17 shots in each of his last two games and 10+ shots in each of his last four, four steals in his last three games.
G 3 Admon Gilder, Jr., 6'4", 199 -- 12.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 80.4 percent free throw shooter, at least three personal fouls in each of the last three games.
F 1 D.J. Hogg, Jr., 6'9", 220 -- 11.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 11-20 from the field in his last two games.
F 44 Robert Williams, Soph., 6'10", 241 -- 11.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.5 bpg, at least seven rebounds in every conference game he's played in.
C 34 Tyler Davis, Jr., 6'10", 264 -- 14.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg, just broke an eight-game streak of scoring in double digits.
MISSISSIPPI STATE PROJECTED STARTERS
G 1 Lamar Peters, Soph., 6'0", 185 -- 8.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 2.5 turnovers per game, 59.5 percent from the free throw line.
G 0 Nick Weatherspoon, Fr., 6'2", 195 -- 11.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 26 steals in 27 games, 69.6 percent free throw shooter, 7-7 from the field against Ole Miss.
G 11 Quinndary Weatherspoon, Jr., 6'4", 205 -- 14.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg, multiple offensive rebounds in three of the last five games.
*F 35 Aric Holman, Jr., 6'10", 225 -- 11.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 58.8 percent from the field, before his injury played at least 25 minutes in four of the last six games.
F 24 Abdul Ado, R-Fr., 6'11", 250 -- 8.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 65.1 percent from the field, 51.2 percent from the free throw line, 24 steals in 26 games.
*If Holman doesn't start (knee), it's unclear if MSU will start Xavian Stapleton or KeyShawn Feazell in his place.
NOTES: KenPom gives Texas A&M a 72 percent chance of winning this game with a projected final score of 71-65... A win would give MSU its 18th 20-win season in school history...KenPom thinks MSU and Texas A&M are very similar teams: excellent defensively with room to grow offensively. MSU ranks 88th in KenPom on offense and 24th on defense; Texas A&M ranks 77th and 8th.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson
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