First the good:
Tavario Miller, 6-foot-7 225 pounds, had five rebounds in 14 minutes; better than a rebound per three minutes, which was a better ratio than the Vols’ 6-8, 260-pound Jeronne Maymon and just off the pace of the SEC’s leading rebounder 6-8, 260-pound Jarnell Stokes. Not saying he is as good a rebounder as them but he did what was asked of him that day.
Because of what occurred the last seconds of both regulation and overtime, Jordan Green’s shot with 45 seconds remaining in overtime got lost in the shuffle. Green essentially made the catch and took the jumper at the same time to beat the shot clock and give the Aggies a 65-63 lead.
How much fun was it to see Fabyon Harris make a difference. He was 3 of 3 from 3 after shooting just 30 percent the rest of the season. He was near perfect in going 4 of 5 overall 2 of 2 from the line, with three rebounds, two assists and no turovers. He was big reason A&M outscored Tennessee 21-2 on the bench and A&M was in the game. It was not unlike Davonte Fitzgerald’s effort in A&M’s win over LSU.
Not unlike the Vanderbilt game, the Aggies were unable to hold what appeared to be a safe lead in the final two minutes. The Aggies had the ball and an eight-point lead at the 2-minute mark and were lucky Jarnell Stokes missed the free throw at the end of regulation. Missed free throws, silly turnovers and defense that not only allows the opposition to score but to do it in a minimal amount of time.
The officiating: Neither team benefitted but there were two calls, actually non-calls, that it’s hard to imagine how three professionals could miss. On a Tennesse fastbreak Jordan McRae took so many steps that on the replay you could see A&M coach Billy Kennedy in the background calling for a travel before McRae took his final step. The officials had to be looking because at the end of the move they called a foul. The second one was when A&M’s Dylan Johns was hacked across the forearm on an inside move. The play happened at or above the rim so it should have been in plain sight.
Shawn Smith is my favorite player on the team. Probably not supposed to pick players out like that as a member of the media, but I just like what he can bring to the team and I enjoy watching him play. Having said that he can pout and he did, or at least the body language was showing that, at the end. Kennedy has addressed it and I hope Smith learns he’s not always going to have a good game and when he doesn’t Kennedy has to turn to others.