In 2015-16, Billy Kennedy and the Texas A&M Aggies endured their fair share of ups-and-downs, but were still one of the nation’s top teams at year’s end.
The Aggies finished the year at 28-9 overall, and 13-5 in SEC play. They were tied for the top spot in the regular season standings with the Kentucky Wildcats, but were awarded the top-seed in the SEC Tournament on virtue of their win over the Wildcats on February 20th.
For a period of about two weeks, things didn’t look good for the Aggies. They lost five of six games from January 27th to February 13th, and were in danger of falling out of contention for the conference title. However, the Aggies were able to turn it around, and ultimately advanced to the SEC Tournament finals.
While they would lose to the Wildcats in the finals, the Aggies were awarded a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They would advance to the Sweet 16, knocking off the Northern Iowa Panthers in one of the most memorable tournament games in history. Texas A&M’s run would end at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners, 77-63.
The attention has switched to the 2016-17 season, and the Aggies find themselves with their backs against the wall before the season has even tipped off. Their roster will look vastly different than it did a year ago.
Fortunately, Coach Kennedy gained a big commitment from a graduate transfer guard who can step in and contribute right away.
Guard J.C. Hampton announced his intentions to transfer from the Lipscomb Bisons after the 2015-16 season. He has graduated from the school, and has one year of eligibility left at the Division I level.
He was one of the top recruits on the transfer market this off-season, but ultimately chose the Aggies after considering the likes of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the East Carolina Pirates, and others.
Over his time with the Bisons, the native of Gainesville, Georgia averaged double-digit points per game in two seasons. He recorded 14.5 points per game back in the 2013-14 season, and led the team in scoring last year with an average of 15.9 points per contest.
In 2015-16, Hampton also averaged 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 40.1% from the floor.
For the Aggies, the addition of Hampton gives the team a big boost heading into the 2016-17 season. Texas A&M will be without the services of Anthony Collins, Jalen Jones, Alex Caruso, and Danuel House, who have all graduated.
Look for Hampton to step in and take on a leadership role next year for Coach Kennedy and the Aggies. He can shoot the ball well from different areas on the floor, and should give them a nice boost on the defensive end as well.