If two top 25 teams play a basketball game, but only 10 hungover fans in Vegas watch it, does it really happen? That existential question and more will be answered early this afternoon in Las Vegas, when the Bears face probably their toughest opponent of the non-conference season, if not the entire regular season.
And you won't be able to watch it. This game was supposed to have a (paid) video feed, but evidently something happens, because if you head to the website that was supposed to host the video, you get this message:
ALL LIVE STREAMING FOR THE SAN JUAN SHOOTOUT HAS BEEN TERMINATED. SORRY FOR THE INCONVIENCE. REFUNDS WILL BE MADE.
Basically, if you want to follow this game you either need to get to the arena in Vegas or follow on twitter.
As for the Aggies themselves, look out. A&M is 4-0 to start the season with wins over TCU and Duke, the later on the road in overtime. After earning a 6 seed in the NCAA tournament last year but getting bounced in the first round, A&M will be looking for bigger things with a deep, veteran lineup.
Point Guard Jordan Jones, 5'6'' Sr.
Guard Courtney Walker, 5'8'' Sr.
Wing Courtney Williams, 6'1'' Sr.
Forward Anriel Howard, 5'11'' Fr.
Center Khaalia Hillsman, 6'5'' So.
Wing Jasmine Lumpkin, 6'0'' So.
Guard Chelsea Jennings, 5'9'' Sr.
Guard Danni Williams, 5'10'' Fr.
Center Rachel Mitchell, 6'7'' Sr.
The three starting seniors are the go-to players, with each averaging double digit scoring so far this season. Watch out for Jones, who is averaging 7 assists/game to go along with efficient scoring. She's A&M's only real 3 point threat as well.
A&M's bench is deep and plays decent minutes, but they are all significantly less efficient scorers than the starters, so if Cal can get anybody into foul trouble it would be valuable.
Our Computer Overlords Predict
Texas A&M by 7.3 points
Quickie keys to the game
1. Avoiding fouls, handling foul trouble - A&M doesn't shoot 3s, and they draw a ton of fouls. This is a team that will attack attack attack on drives and posts. Cal just doesn't have enough bodies to get into a fouling war. Cal's varying zones will have to be crisp and confounding and turn A&M into a more perimeter oriented team.
2. Strength against Strength: rebounding - Both teams like to board, and both teams have plenty of length with which to do it. If A&M continues to grab 42% of their own misses as they have done so far this year, they will likely win comfortably.
3. Handling pressure - A&M's defense likely won't be as aggressive as Louisville's, but the Aggies rack up plenty of steals and force plenty of turnovers. How much better have the Bears gotten in the last few weeks with ball control? This will be an early test.