Conference action resumes tonight for both the Aggie men's and women's basketball teams. It's a chance for the Aggie men's team to notch their first road win of the conference season as they take on Seattle and for the women it's a chance to slide into a first place tie with Seattle if they can defeat the Redhawks tonight in the Pan Am.
Tonight's men's game at Seattle sees the Aggies take on a Redhawks team that despite being 0-3 in league play, hasn't exactly had the easiest road to start. The WAC schedule makers did Seattle no favors in basically starting them off with the better half (on paper heading into the season) of the conference when you consider their first seven conference games are against Idaho, Utah State, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Denver, UT Arlington and Louisiana Tech (welcome to the conference Seattle).
So what does Seattle do well that should concern the Aggies tonight? First of all they're the best rebounding team in the league at 37.9 per game and a rebounding percentage of 56.6 percent which is slightly better than the Aggies' rebounding percentage of 56.4 percent. The Redhawks also crash the offensive glass averaging 15 offensive boards per game, tops in the conference. That's something that has given the Aggies some trouble at times this season. In the loss to UT Arlington the Aggies have up 17 offensive boards but have done a much better job the last three games of limiting their opponents' offensive rebounds.
Seattle plays fast. They average 75.7 possessions per game, however, they only average 0.913 points per possession which is second worst in the league. The Redhawks also turn the ball over one out of every four possessions so their could be some opportunity for some easy buckets tonight for the Aggies.
The leading scorers for Seattle average 11 and 10.5 points per game respectively and they're a relatively small team, though they do have a 6'11" freshman center who will likely see a bunch of time tonight against Sim, although he comes into the game only averaging 10 minutes per game. This should be another big game for Sim. There's really no reason to shy away from what the Aggies have been doing with him over the course of the past few games. Sim finishes last week 16-for-17 from the floor, 3-for-4 from the free throw line and had eight boards and four blocks in the two Aggie wins.
This is a game the Aggies should win, although we certainly felt that way when the Aggies went up against UT Arlington as well. The Aggies need to establish themselves on the road in conference play and because of the loss at UTA the Aggies are going to have to steal some road wins somewhere and this trip is one where, if they are going to win the regular season, they're going to have to sweep this road trip.
Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on Root Sports.
The Aggie women host Seattle tonight and they have a chance to run their win streak to four games and with that they could forge their way into a tie for first place. The Redhawks have three players who average double-digits in scoring led by Kacie Sowell's 17.2 points per game. Ashley Ward and Sylvia Shepard average 14.4 and 14.2 points per game respectively.
The Redhawks play fast averaging 78.2 possessions per game but much like their male counterparts, they're not particularly efficient on offense averaging 0.841 points per possession which is middle of the WAC. The Redhawks do lead the league in field goal percentage at 41.3 percent per game and 47 percent from inside the arc. The Redhawks aren't a great three point shooting team hitting just 23.1 percent per game which is dead last in the league.
The Redhawks aren't a great defensive team ranking ninth in overall field goal percentage defense, tenth in two-point field goal percentage defense but they are fourth in three point field goal percentage defense (although that could mean that teams are more willing to abandon the three point shot because they know they can score inside the arc). One area the Redhawks are strong defensively is in turnovers. They force just over 24 per game and their opponents are turning the ball over nearly once every three possessions. This hasn't really been an issue for the Aggies this season but depending on which team is able to impose their style of play, it could become an issue.
Seattle turns the ball over a lot, nearly 23 turnovers per game so there could be some easy points for the Aggie women tonight as well. Seattle is the league's best rebounding team in terms of rebounding percentage at 53.4 percent.
The Aggies continue to play pretty solid defense and once again if they can lock down defensively they'll have a chance. And as always they need to avoid those three-plus minute scoring droughts if they are to have a chance to win tonight.
The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com