November 1, 2007

Mark Turgeon era starts Thursday in exhibition

Technically, Texas A&M doesn't start its season until Friday, Nov. 9 when the Aggies host McNeese State at Reed Arena. What Thursday night's exhibition with Emporia State at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena signifies is the ushering in of change in Aggieland.

Gone is Billy Gillispie who rebuilt the Aggies into a national power. In is Mark Turgeon who built a Wichita State program from the ground into Sweet 16 team two seasons ago and is annually one of the mid-majors that probably shouldn't have "mid" in front of "major."

Gone is All-American point guard Acie Law who has been manning the point in College Station for the past four seasons and became an icon of a program in dire need of a hero. In his place senior Dominique Kirk, sophomore Donald Sloan and freshman B.J. Holmes are trying to perform by committee at the point and fill at least some of the void left by Law.

Amongst the changes that the Aggies have seen in the off-season is a new offense. Turgeon's style is to run in a motion offense that gets players open through lots of screens and movement. It's much faster than Gillispie's style of slowing things down and playing an inside-outside game. Thursday's exhibition represents the first time the Aggies get to put their new style to the test against defenders that aren't Aggies themselves.

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