Following are the most interesting quotes by A&M coach Billy Kennedy and the players from the A&M basketball press conference following the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas and before the Aggie’s game at home on Wednesday vs. Florida Gulf Coast University:
A&M coach Billy Kennedy
“Our goal was to go there and compete to win a championship and to win a championship so we were disappointed we didn’t finish that game [in the final vs Syracusee] but we got a lot of things accomplished and you saw some guys step up and play well. All our freshmen played significant minutes and we got the experience and hopefully we got some confidence but also learned there are some things we have to do better to win at an elite level.
We won’t compete against a better front line back-to-back when you look at Texas’ front line and Gonzaga’s front line. Baylor obviously has a really good front line but to play back-to-back over two days Tyler [Davis] performed well and Tonny [Trocha-Morelos] performed well. I thought our big guys played even or outplayed both of those teams.
Our defense was really good against Gonzaga because I was really impressed with how good they are. They were ranked 10 but they could easily be a top 5 team. I was really impressed with how good they were
[Morelos] is a hard guard and you saw Gonzaga had the same weapon [Kyle Wiltjer] and we were able to match it which most teams can’t do that against Gonzaga. Tonny made shots and Jalen is a threat out [behind the arc] there it and it definitely opens things up for us.”
Tonny Trocha-Morelos, sophomore forward
“Playing a zone was different and not having as much time to prepare ourselves but I think we did a pretty good job and we feel we played good. We didn’t get a win but we were happy about the result we got in the Bahamas.”
Jalen Jones, senior forward
“It shows we are one off the better teams in the country and we can compete with the nation’s elite. That we are a dangerous team and people need to take notice of that.
(Have you ever played against zone, Syracuse, with length and athleticism) Baylor last year, and that went bad but we get another crack at Baylor this year.
(Thoughts about favorite player Kobe Bryant retiring) Actually kind of depressed right now that is my dude and I hated to see him go but everybody can’t play basketball forever.