Tag: Billy Kennedy

Danuel House
Associated Press

Texas A&M looks for first NCAA trip since 2011

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) The Texas A&M Aggies improved in each of the last three seasons and believe they will take another big step forward this year and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

In fact, coach Billy Kennedy all but guaranteed it in March when the Aggies were eliminated in the second round of the NIT tournament.

“I’ll go on the record and say now we’ll be a tournament team next year … I’m talking about NCAA,” Kennedy said.

He has plenty of reason to be confident in his team with a trio of senior starters led by guard Danuel House, who is in his second season with the team after a transfer from the University of Houston.

House earned first-team All-SEC honors last season after finishing fourth in scoring in league play with 16.2 points a game. House is one of just three returning players in the SEC who earned first team honors last season.

House had a foot injury late last season and missed time in the offseason with a knee injury, but Kennedy said he’s “really healthy now.”

He’s joined by fellow senior guard Alex Caruso, who led the SEC with 182 assists last season to become the first player in the league to lead in that category in consecutive seasons since 2009. The third senior is forward Jalen Jones. He earned second-team All-SEC honors a year ago after averaging 13.7 points a game and leading the Aggies with 6.6 rebounds a game.

The Aggies ramped up preparation for the season on Wednesday night when they had their annual Maroon and White scrimmage. House was encouraged by what he saw.

“We just tried to focus mainly on defense, staying positive and sharing the ball with each other,” he said. “Not trying to be selfish or not trying to be outside ourselves because we have talent at every spot.”

Though those three are the leaders of the team, Kennedy, who is entering his fifth year at Texas A&M, is excited about the players behind them, too.

“We have more depth than we’ve had in the past and we have guys who can score,” Kennedy said.

The Aggies open the season on Nov. 13 against University of Southern California-Upstate.

Some things to know about the 2015-16 Aggies:


The Aggies welcome a recruiting class that is arguably the best in school history. The group is highlighted by Tyler Davis, ranked by ESPN as the top player in Texas and the seventh-ranked center in the nation. He was named Mr. Basketball by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches after averaging 18.7 points, 12.2 and 3.4 blocks a game in leading Plano West to the 6A state title last season. He’s joined at A&M by high school teammate DJ Hogg, rated by some as the second-best player in the state. The forward averaged 17.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in Plano West’s championship season last year.


A new addition on the team will also be one of the oldest ones. Anthony Collins is a 23-year-old who played 101 games with 98 starts at South Florida before joining the Aggies this year as a graduate student. Collins averaged 8.1 points and 5.6 assists in his career at South Florida. He gained an extra year of eligibility after missing most of the 2013-14 season with an injury. His 569 career assists at South Florida are second in school history.


Texas A&M’s seniors are joined by Tavario Miller, Alex Robinson and Tonny Trocha-Morelos who all played at least 25 games a year ago. Robinson is a guard who appeared in 32 games last season and averaged 5.2 points a game. The Aggies are looking for more from Trocha-Morelos after the 6-foot-10 center from Colombia averaged just 1.5 points and two rebounds last year.

“He continues to get better and I think he is going to help our team a bunch,” Kennedy said.”


The Aggies got some early bonding time this summer when they went on a 10-day tour of Italy and Greece. The tour included four exhibition games and plenty of sightseeing. House, who made the trip but didn’t play because of an injury, said the experience was a great chance for the group to work on their chemistry in a low-key atmosphere before the hard work of the season began.

Four-star 2017 center commits to Texas A&M

Billy Kennedy
Associated Press
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While Texas A&M is still in the process of completing a 2016 recruiting class that currently consists of point guard J.J. Caldwell and power forward Robert Williams, that isn’t the only class they’re working on. Saturday afternoon head coach Billy Kennedy landed his first verbal commitment in the Class of 2017, as 6-foot-10 center Mitchell Robinson made his pledge to the SEC program.

News of Robinson’s commitment was first reported by CBSSports.com.

Robinson attends Landry-Walker HS in Algiers, Louisiana just outside of New Orleans, and he’s ranked 18th in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com. Robinson played for the Alabama Challenge grassroots program this summer, and his performance at the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam in July led to more attention on the recruiting trail from high-major programs.

Playing in the 16U division, Robinson averaged 12.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest during the event.

Texas A&M has enjoyed a good run on the recruiting trail in recent years, with their 2015 class filled with talented freshmen capable of having an impact for a team that has yet to reach the NCAA tournament under Kennedy. Add in their 2016 commits and now Robinson, and Kennedy and his staff are well on their way to getting the Aggies back to the point where they’re playing in the NCAA tournament on a consistent basis.

Texas A&M’s leading scorer unlikely to play on foreign tour

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On Saturday afternoon, Texas A&M will play in its first of four games on the team’s 11-day European tour.

The Aggies will likely be without leadings scorer Danuel House for the duration of the trip because of a minor knee injury, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy told Rothstein that House will dress, but likely won’t appear in any games.

House, the 6-foot-7 rising senior forward, averaged 14.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in his first season with the Aggies after transferring from Houston.

Even without House, this foreign trip is one to track. Texas A&M’s incoming class of Elijah Thomas, D.J. Hogg, Tyler Davis and Admon Gilder, all four-star recruits, and graduate transfer Anthony Collins Jr. make their debuts for the Aggies. The newcomers join a returning core that won 21 games in 2014-15, finishing fourth in the SEC standings.

Texas A&M faces the Nigeria National Team in Rome on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, the Aggies face the Latina All-Stars before traveling to Greece, where they have two games scheduled against the Athens All-Stars. The team returns home on Aug. 23.