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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Where and when: Reed Center, College Station, Texas, Saturday, 1 pm EST
The South Carolina Gamecocks travel to the Reed Center in College Station, Texas, for a Southeastern Conference showdown with the Aggies of Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm EST. The Gamecocks enter their matchup fresh off a last-second win over the 10th ranked Kentucky Wildcats for their 1st conference win over the year while the Aggies halted a 2-game winning streak with a 4-point home overtime loss to conference foe LSU Tigers in their last time out. The win moved South Carolina to just 1-2 in the SEC on the year while the Aggies returned to .500 at 2-2.
In head-to-head action, the Gamecocks have dominated this series in winning 3 of their last 4 meetings with Texas A&M while going 4-1 against the number during this time. The Aggies, despite having won 3 of the last 5 in College Station while going 3-2 against the spread during this time, South Carolina has won 2 of the last 3 at Reed Center in addition to covering in 2 of those contests.
Gamecocks finally found leadership?The Gamecocks have suffered from identity issues in 2019 as they have dropped games to lesser-known teams such as Boston University earlier in the season while beating former national champs Virginia Cavaliers in addition to claiming a win over the Kentucky Wildcats in their last outing. Thanks to Jermaine Cuisinard, who is averaging 10 points per game yet scoring in single digits in 4 of his last 6 games, hitting a late 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, the Gamecocks avoided their 3rd straight loss with the victory.
According to coach Frank Martin, “Jermaine is learning how to play college basketball,” Martin said. “His feelings were hurt in November because it’s harder than he thought it was going to be. And then the ball wasn’t going in for him. So he got a little timid and passive. “Jermaine’s becoming the heartbeat of our team,” Martin said.
And while the Gamecocks have a tendency to struggle offensively, their defensive intensity remains intact as they are allowing just 39% shooting to opponents for an average of just 66 points per game (31% from long-range). In fact, they allowed under 45% shooting to Kentucky while the Wildcats went a dismal 5-15 shooting from the arc. They will face another struggling offense for the Aggies who are also shooting less than 40% from the field in 2019 for an average of only 60 points per game.
Aggies take Tigers to the wireTexas A&M has dropped 3 of their last 4 games with their home loss versus the Tigers in their last time out and is desperately in need of a victory. Home may definitely be the place to be as they are winners of 7 of 10 this season as their loss to LSU halted a 4-game home win streak. Their problems continued on the offensive end during this matchup the team not only shot 39% from the floor but converted on only 65% of their free throw attempts as well.
Thanks to junior guard Savion Flagg (11 ppg, 5 rebs), freshman guard Andre Gordon (9 ppg), along with junior guard Wendell Mitchell (8 ppg), who accounted for a total of 10 3-pointers, the Aggies were able to ride their ability to shoot the three-ball on this night to keep the game close throughout. Important to note that the Aggies are shooting a dismal 26% from 3-point range on the year with Flagg leading the team at 38%. Furthermore, their 85 points versus the Tigers marked the first time in their last 10 games to where Texas A&M scored 70+ points.
Their defense has been the tip of the spear in their success this year as the Aggies are allowing an average of 51 points in their last 5 home games. Like the Gamecocks, they have allowed the bare minimum on offense to opponents in giving up only 62 points per game on 38% shooting, including 29% from long-range. Look for their effort to remain the same versus a Gamecocks squad that continues to search for leadership on both ends of the floor. Also, the home team has allowed only 66 points on average to South Carolina in their last 2 meetings at Reed
- Aggies are 1-4 ATS in last 5 meetings versus Gamecocks
- Gamecocks are 4-0 ATS in last 4 road games
- Gamecocks are 4-2 ATS in last 6 games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Expect this contest to be a tough, defensive-minded matchup throughout as both the Gamecocks and the Aggies have gained a reputation for playing with intensity on the defensive end of the court. In the end, however, look for South Carolina to grind out a win as I happen to feel as if their victory over Kentucky will provide the team a sense of motivation and purpose moving forward. Texas A&M, of course, has a solid defensive unit and will match up versus a Gamecocks team that has struggled on the offensive end; However, the Gamecocks have pulled out some huge road wins in recent contests and will grind out a win in this matchup.
Prediction: South Carolina Gamecocks
Full-Game Total Pick
While I can predict that the total will be set quite low for this contest, I will continue to side with the under in this matchup amongst two teams with solid defenses along with shaky offenses. Again, the under has been the play in March of 2019 (last matchup) as the Gamecocks held the Aggies to only 54 points while getting the 17-point win. The under has been the result in 4 of the last 7 games for the Gamecocks in addition to being the play in 4 of the last 6 for the Aggies.