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.
Offensive production was an issue for Texas A&M throughout the 2013-14 season, and despite the return of junior guard Alex Caruso it was clear that Billy Kennedy’s team lacked difference-makers on the perimeter. The dynamic changed Friday afternoon, when it was announced that the NCAA had cleared Houston transfer Danuel House to play immediately.
With House still in College Station (possible redshirts aren’t allowed to travel with the team), the decision was made to fly him down to Puerto Rico in advance of their game against New Mexico Sunday afternoon.
House had an immediate impact on the Aggies in his first game, accounting for 18 points, six rebounds and two assists in Texas A&M’s 64-51 victory over the Lobos. House made seven of his eleven field goal attempts, and his ability to score both off the dribble and via the jump shot opened things up for Texas A&M on the offensive end of the floor.
Overall Texas A&M shot 45.3% from the field, but in the second half the Aggies made 62.5% of their shots. Jalen Jones added 13 points and Alex Robinson 12, and while Caruso scored just five points he was responsible for ten of Texas A&M’s 16 assists. Having an offensive threat of House’s caliber opens things up for Texas A&M’s other options, something they desperately needed after struggling to reach the level of consistency needed to compete in the SEC.
House wasn’t the only player seeing his first action of the season for Texas A&M, with big men Tonny Trocha-Morelos and Dylan Johns also getting minutes. Trocha-Morelos, who was with the team when he was cleared by the NCAA, didn’t score in ten minutes of action, and Johns made his lone field goal attempt. Johns was suspended for Texas A&M’s first three games.
Texas A&M junior forward Danuel House is making his season debut today as the Houston transfer was ruled immediately eligible by the NCAA late this week.
The 6-foot-7 wing made his presence felt immediately with this thunderous dunk off of a steal against New Mexico in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
(H/T: Ball is Life)