Know Your Opponent: Texas A&M-CC

That's Corpus Christi not Community College and this A&M goes by the name the Islanders,  Why?  Because Texas A&M-CC is located in an area surrounded by natural wetlands, so they're Islanders. 

A&M-CC comes to Lawrence as a representative of the Southland Conference.  For some perspective, last year's Southland Conference Champion was Sam Houston State, A&M-CC finished 3rd in the regular season with a10-6 record.

This year the Islanders sit at 1-3 early following an early season win over Northeastern Oklahoma and three consecutive losses against three opponents that Kansas will also face this year. The Islanders dropped one to the real Texas A&M 86-65, they lost to Oklahoma State 68-58 and they dropped one to Kansas' next opponent the Ohio Bobcats by a score of 83-70 as part of the Las Vegas Invitational.

The Islanders are coached by Perry Clark who enters his 4th year with A&M-CC.  Clark has been in coaching for over 30 years and brings 15 years of head coaching experience to the table including time at Tulane University and Miami, yes the U.  In his time as a head coach he has been a part of seven 20-win seasons.

The Players

Texas A&M is led by a senior down low in Demon Watt.  Watt is a 6'7" forward out of the Chicago area and currently averages better than 17 points and 10 rebounds per contest. What's more impressive is that he's done all that while shooting better than 60% from the field. His best two games of the year have come against Texas A&M (21 pts.. 16 reb.) and Ohio (26 pts, 12 reb).  He's a double double waiting to happen on any night.

Supporting Watt is a redshirt sophomore guard out of Baltimore Maryland, Terence Jones.  Jones has provided 12.5 points per game through the first four while averaging better than 30 minutes a contest.  Like anyone who tends to shoot regularly he suffers from a bit of the "gunners tax" shooting just 41% from the field and 35% from three, but in general he can be a scorer.  Of their regular contributors, Jones is the most likely to hurt you from outside.

Rounding out the starters are two seniors and a junior, Garland Jenkins, Horace Boyd and Justin Reynolds.  These three fill the role of experience, role player and leaders on the team.  From their the bench has actually gone upwards of 10 deep at times this season and it's fairly balanced outside of Watt and Jones in terms of who might contribute.

 


Team Stats

Offensive Averages:

Points
68.5
Assists
11.0
Rebounds
33.0
FG Pct
45.4

Defensive Averages:

Points
77.8
Assists
16.8
Rebounds
35.8
FG Pct
47.7

 

Prediction Time

Texas A&M-CC starts three players with some fairly decent size up front.  They also have a guard that isn't afraid to shoot the ball.  What they don't have is much else in the way of scoring. 

Early this year and based on preseason predictions, the Islanders look like a team very similar to what they were last year.  What that means is they'll beat the teams they're supposed to in the non-conference, but they aren't likely to sneak up on anyone and play the role of giant killer. They'll play competitive in the conference and lose where you'd expect.

They do compete relatively well on the interior in terms of rebounding, but they don't defend particularly well across the board.  My guess is that Kansas opens this up fairly easily considering the 63 game record that is on the table and ready to be broken. 

Obviously any team can win on any night, but this has the makings of a game where Kansas can win it with defense even if there offense struggles.

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