The Aggies havenot been a pretty team to watch in recent years. That's mainly because of thephysical way in which forwards Joseph Jones and Antanas Kavaliauskas and guardDominique Kirk executed the defensive preachings of former coach BillyGillispie. But even the heroics of the Aggies' leading scorer, departedAll-America point guard Acie Law¬†IV, were not particularly elegant; hemade a lot of clutch shots, but they often resembled knuckleballs. The loneaesthetic anomaly in A&M's starting lineup last season was 6' 7"swingman Josh Carter. "Everything he does," says Jones, "issmooth."
With his highrelease point and feathery jumper, Carter emerged as a three-point-shootingphenomenon in '06-07, connecting at a 50.0% clip to share (with Bradley'sJeremy Crouch) the title of the nation's most accurate long-range marksman.He'll have to expand his contributions as a junior, though, if the Aggies areto hang with Kansas and Texas in the Big¬†12.
This summerCarter traveled the world to work on his game: In June he attended the KobeBryant Skills Academy in Los Angeles; in July he made the first cut--and barelymissed the second--at the Pan American Games trials in Haverford, Pa.; and inAugust he toured Australia with Athletes in Action, leading the team inscoring. The most dramatic day of his off-season, however, came in April, whenhe awoke from a nap at his parents' house in Dallas to learn that Gillispie wasleaving to take the coaching job at Kentucky.
Mark Turgeon washired away from Wichita State to replace Gillispie. Fortunately Turgeon wasalready familiar with Carter. While with the Shockers the coach had annuallymined Texas for prospects, and he had recruited Carter until Gillispie swoopedin and signed him. Two years later Turgeon finally has his man. Carter thinksthe Aggies' new motion offense "is a really good fit" for his skills,and Turgeon has pledged to help Carter develop into more than a perimetershooter. He is already at work on improving Carter's driving skills, hismidrange game and his defense. Says the coach, "He's becoming a morecomplete player now." And that's much more of a pleasure to watch.
6'‚Äà9"Sr.13.4 ppg6.8 rpg C DeAndre Jordan* 7'‚Äà0" Fr. 26.1 ppg 15.2 rpg KEY RESERVE C Bryan Davis 6'‚Äà9" Soph. 1.9 ppg 2.6 rpg
*HIGH SCHOOL STATS
Nov. 9 McNeeseState (W 73-50)
Nov. 13-14 NITSeason Tip-Off (vs. Oral Roberts; plus UTEP, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi;winner plays in New¬†York City Nov. 21-23)
Nov. 17 OuachitaBaptist
Dec. 2 atArizona
Dec. 8 TexasState
Dec. 16Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Dec. 22 UCIrvine
Dec. 29 FloridaA&M
Dec. 31 Rice
Jan. 5 LSU
The trip to Tucson (part of the Big¬†12/Pac-10 challenge) will be a majortest, but the NIT field is weaker than usual; games against two SEC schools(veteran Alabama and rebuilding LSU) are at home; and the rest are cupcakes,including Division¬†II Ouachita Baptist, which won't even count attournament time.
Coach MarkTurgeon (1st year)
Big 12 record13-3 (2nd)
NCAA tournamentSweet 16
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SMOOTH OPERATORLong distance was Carter's specialty, but now he's an all-around threat.