Sidelines with John Clay

College basketball on television: Texas A&M visits Vanderbilt

Texas A&M’s Danuel House (23) dunks against Iowa State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in College Station, Texas.
Texas A&M’s Danuel House (23) dunks against Iowa State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in College Station, Texas. The Associated Press

Interesting SEC matchup on Thrusday night as conference-leader Texas A&M unpacks its bags in Music City to play Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym, 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

The eighth-ranked Aggies are fresh off an impressive 72-62 victory over Iowa State last Saturday in College Station as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The win earned Billy Kennedy’s team some national attention heading into the final month of the regular season.

Texas A&M’s only league loss, a 74-71 setback at Arkansas, preceded the win over Iowa State. A&M had won its first seven league games before falling in Fayetteville. Danuel House has scored 44 points and Jalen Jones has pulled down 24 rebounds in Texas A&M’s last two games.

Expected to be a contender for the conference title, it’s been a disappointing year at Vanderbilt. The Commodores are just 12-9 overall and 4-4 in the league. While A&M notched an impressive SEC/Big 12 Challenge win, Vandy got toasted at Texas, losing 72-58 in Austin.

Vandy center Damien Jones, a first-team pre-season All-SEC selection, is finally starting to play better. He grabbed 12 rebounds in the Commodores’ 60-59 win over Florida last week and scored 26 points in the loss to Texas.

Ken Pomeroy’s numbers have Texas A&M in the No. 8 slot nationally for overall efficiency. The Aggies are the second-best defensive team in the nation from an efficiency standpoint, allowing 89.2 points per 100 possessions according to Pomeroy’s adjusted stats. Kennedy’s club ranks 54th on offense.

Vanderbilt ranks 37th overall. The Commodores rank 18th defensively, but are just 104th offensively. Vandy is 275th in the nation in offensive rebound percentage at 26.6 percent.

Pomeroy gives Vanderbilt a 44 percent chance of beating the Aggies Thursday night.

Here’s the full list of college basketball games on television for Thursday night:

Thursday, Feb. 4

▪ 7:00 - Texas A&M at Vanderbilt (ESPN2)

▪ 7:00 - Tulsa at Temple (ESPNU)

▪ 7:00 - Ohio State at Wisconsin (ESPN)

▪ 8:00 - UCF at Tulane (ESPN News)

▪ 8:00 - South Florida at Cincinnati (CBS Sports)

▪ 9:00 - Connecticut at Memphis (ESPN2)

▪ 9:00 - Minnesota at Northwestern (Big 10)

▪ 9:00 - Colorado at Oregon (Fox Sports 1)

▪ 9:00 - Murray State at SE Missouri State (ESPNU)

▪ 11:00 - Portland at Pepperdine (ESPNU)

▪ 11:00 - Utah at Oregon State (ESPN2)

How Top 25 fared Wednesday

  • No. 3 Villanova beat Creighton 83-58
  • No. 4 Maryland beat Nebraska 70-65
  • No. 5 Iowa beat Penn State 73-49
  • No. 6 Xavier beat St. John’s 90-83
  • No. 7 Kansas beat Kansas State 77-59
  • No. 9 Virginia beat Boston College 61-47
  • No. 17 Miami beat Notre Dame 79-70
  • No. 21 Wichita State beat Southern Illinois 76-55
  • No. 23 Arizona beat Washington State 79-64
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