KENNEDY

Members of the Texas A&M bench react after a teammate made a three point basket against Florida during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Texas A&M men’s basketball coach Billy Kennedy went Jackie Sherrill on us after Tuesday night’s 83-66 loss to Florida.

“People better beat us now while we have guys injured and when we made the mistakes we did because I really believe that we are going to get this team right,” Kennedy said.

A&M (11-3) is far from right, right now, having lost two straight games to start Southeastern Conference play. Junior guard Admon Gilder and senior guard Duane Wilson missed Tuesday’s game with injuries while junior forward D.J. Hogg was serving the third game of a three-game suspension.

Suspensions have been as commonplace with this team as double-doubles.

It started with redshirt freshman guard JJ Caldwell being suspended for the first five games of the season. Then Hogg and Gilder were suspended for the exhibition game, while sophomore forward Robert Williams also was suspended for that game along with the season’s first two games. Then, Caldwell and freshman guard T.J. Starks also were suspended along with Hogg for Buffalo, the nonconference finale.

“The injuries you can’t control,” Kennedy said. “Obviously, losing Duane Wilson and Admon Gilder hurts us against a team that is so good on the perimeter in their guard play. All of those things add up, and you have to put our best foot forward.”

This team obviously has often not put its best foot forward off the court, which makes many wonder if it can get its act together on the court and be a Sweet 16 team with aspirations of making the Final Four.

Kennedy believes it can.

“We have a good and talented group,” Kennedy said. “We are going to learn from it and that is the approach we are taking. Obviously, attitude matters, so I am going to be as positive as possible. We have good players.”

And if they reach the Final Four, then Kennedy’s words after the Florida game will be right there with Sherrill’s when the former Aggie football coach said after getting kicked by SMU that “people better get their licks in now while you can.”

The Aggies under Sherrill did kick back, winning three straight Southwest Conference titles.

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