Arkansas basketball vs. Texas A&M: Scouting report, score prediction for Round 1
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas basketball is hosting Texas A&M on Tuesday for the first of two matchups against the Aggies.
It's a quick turnaround for the Razorbacks (14-7, 3-5 SEC), who are coming off a close road loss to No. 17 Baylor on Saturday. Texas A&M (15-6, 7-1) is coming off back-to-back wins over No. 15 Auburn and Vanderbilt.
Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Here's what to know about Arkansas vs. Texas A&M.
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Texas A&M's season summation
Texas A&M is having a better season than expected. It got off to a lackluster start, with the Aggies dropping five nonconference games. But since conference play began, Texas A&M has surged.
The Aggies were picked to finish sixth in the SEC before the season began, and they're currently sitting in a tie with Tennessee for No. 2. Their only conference loss came against Kentucky. They've won both games they've played since, including beating Auburn on the road to end the Tigers' 28-game home win streak.
Player to watch: Tyrece Radford
Senior guard Tyrece Radford is a multi-year starter for the Aggies, and Arkansas coach Eric Musselman called him a "matchup problem for everyone in the SEC." He's averaging 15.6 points per game against conference opponents, the sixth-best mark in the SEC. In Texas A&M's biggest win against Auburn, Radford put up 30 points.
Taking nonconference games into account, Radford is the Aggies' second-leading scorer with 13.6 points per game. He's behind sophomore Wade Taylor IV, who averages 14.8. Radford is Texas A&M's third-best rebounder, too, with 5.3 per game.
Aggie defense strong in SEC play
Texas A&M has been solid on both sides of the ball since conference play began, but the Aggie defense has stood out in particular. Texas A&M has the second-best scoring defense in the league against SEC opponents, allowing an average of 61.6 points per game. Arkansas' defense has allowed 69.6 per game.
The defense is combining with the Aggies' No. 5 scoring offense to beat conference opponents by an average of 11.2 points.
The Aggies' conference opponents have shot 37.5% from the field. Arkansas' offense has been inconsistent, but the Razorbacks have still shot 43.3% in league play. They'll need a good shooting night to keep up with Texas A&M.
Arkansas 72, Texas A&M 68 — Arkansas' defense is coming off one of its best performances against Baylor. The Razorbacks will have another good showing on defense to hold the Aggies under their usual 45.2% shooting clip, and the offense will do enough to give Arkansas an important win at home.
Christina Long covers the Arkansas Razorbacks for the Southwest Times Record and USA Today Network. You can follow her on Twitter @christinalong00 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Arkansas basketball vs. Texas A&M: Scouting report, score prediction