Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/25/11

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

In their final year in the Big 12 before bolting to the SEC, Texas A&M was picked as the pre-season favorite to win the conference along with Kansas.  They will start that campaign without first year head coach Billy Kennedy who begins his tenure at College Station on a medical leave.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Last Season: T-3rd, 10-6 in Big 12, 24-19 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Kourtney Roberson (So)/Keith Davis (So)
PF: David Loubeau (Sr)/Ray Turner (Jr)/Daniel Alexander (Fr)
SF: Khris Middleton (Jr)/Zach Kinsley (Sr)
SG: Naji Hibbert (Jr)/Elston Turner (Jr)/Jordan Green (Fr)
PG: Dash Harris (Sr)/Jamal Branch (Fr)

Gone: F/C-Nathan Walkup, G-B.J Holmes, G-Andrew Darko, SG-Derrek Lewis

2011-2012 Outlook:
Kennedy comes from Murray State and replaces Mark Turgeon who took over for Gary Williams at Maryland.  Kennedy is not expected to be sidelined for too long, but until he returns, associate head coach Glynn Cyprien will assume his role.

The Aggies will be led by junior small forward Khris Middleton who was a unanimous All-Big 12 preseason selection.  The versatile wing can do it all on the floor and will be relied upon as the team’s go-to scorer.

David Loubeau was A&M’s second leading scorer behind Middleton last season and returns to the starting frontcourt.  Kourtney Roberson made the most of his minutes off the bench and figures to step into a bigger role to help replace the loss of Nathan Walkup.  Ray Turner was also a key reserve a year ago and will be the first big man off the bench while seldom used Keith Davis and redshirt freshman Daniel Alexander also try to work themselves into the rotation.

Dash Harris will assume the responsibility of the team’s main ball-handler, a duty he shared last season with B.J. Holmes.  Harris is more of a distributor than scorer as he really struggled shooting the basketball during the 2010-11 campaign.  Jamal Branch is a talented freshman who could steal minutes from Harris.

On the wing, Naji Hibbert will likely become a starter a year after serving as the team’s sixth man.  Washington transfer Elston Turner will add some scoring punch off the bench with his three-point shooting.  Zach Kinsley is a former LSU walk-on and another shooter off the bench while freshman Jordan Green gives Kennedy another option on the wing.

The Aggies were offensively challenged at times last season.  They lack a real lost post scoring threat and need someone other than Middleton to emerge as a creator.  Their effort on the defensive end will once again play a huge factor in their success.

With a fairly soft non-conference schedule, we won’t know if A&M can live up to their lofty preseason expectations until Big 12 play gets underway.  I think this team is being overrated and might disappoint this season.  With that being said, this is a down year for the Big 12 with Kansas and Texas having a lot of turnover so maybe the Aggies can claim their first conference crown since 1986.

Player to Watch: Khris Middleton
A potential NBA lottery pick, Middleton has a fairly complete offensive game.  He can shoot it from deep, has a nice mid-range jump shot, creates off the bounce, and has the size and athleticism to cause mismatches for defenses.  If he can become a dominant player on both ends of the floor, it will tremendously help the Aggies conference title hopes.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/17 vs. Mississippi State (2K Sports Classic)
11/19 vs. Arizona/St. John’s (2K Sports Classic)
12/17 at Florida
12/22 vs. Rice

OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#20 Michigan Wolverines
#21 New Mexico Lobos
#22 Temple Owls
#23 Cincinnati Bearcats
#24 Kansas Jayhawks
#25 UNLV Rebels
#26 Washington Huskies
#27 UCLA Bruins
#28 Butler Bulldogs
#29 Missouri Tigers
#30 Texas Longhorns
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs
#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs
#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

 

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