November 14, 2015

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M's touted freshman class made quite a first impression as the Aggies defeated USC-Upstate 104-64 on Friday night.

''These guys can score the basketball,'' senior Danuel House said. ''We had six guys in double digits, and four of them were freshmen. That's pretty impressive.''

The Aggies possess a solid mix of experienced seniors and a highly-rated recruiting class. The combination was on prominent display from the start.

D.J. Hogg led the four newcomers with 20 points. Admon Gilder and Tyler Davis added 16 and Elijah Thomas 11. They combined for 63 of the Aggies' 104 points.

''I liked the pace of the game, offensively and defensively,'' A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. ''It's fun to see good players play. And our seniors did a good job of getting the freshmen the ball in places they could score.''

Josh Cuthbertson led the Spartans with 15 points, while House, a preseason All-SEC first-team selection, added 15 for the Aggies. Thomas, a 6-foot-9 forward, only began practicing this season on Monday after missing the preseason with a sprained foot.

''They're good players,'' Kennedy said of his newcomers, ''and they're only going to get better.''

Hogg, a 6-foot-8 sharpshooter, is perhaps the Aggies' most intriguing freshman. He made 7 of 11 from the field, including 5 of 9 3-pointers, and added six rebounds.

''I was a little nervous for my first college game, and the stands were pretty packed,'' Hogg said. ''I just tried to play my game, and if my shots were falling then I was going to keep shooting.''

Anthony Collins tallied a game-high eight assists in his first contest with the Aggies after playing most of his career at South Florida.

''That's the best team we've played since five years ago when we played Ohio State,'' USC-Upstate coach Eddie Payne said. ''They've got a really good blend - pieces that fit together really well. These guys will be right in the mix.''



Texas A&M: The Aggies, picked third in the SEC in the preseason media poll, have won 15 consecutive season openers, and 16 straight home openers. They're aiming to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Kennedy's five seasons. . A&M plays its next three games at home before facing old rival Texas in the Battle4Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas on Nov. 25. The Aggies and Longhorns haven't played since A&M exited the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012.


Texas A&M hosts Southeastern Louisiana on Monday.

USC-Upstate visits Presbyterian College on Monday.


Texas A&M's 6-foot-10 forward Tonny Trocha-Morelos, who put on about 20 pounds in the offseason, had a strong start to his sophomore year. He made 6 of 9 field goals for 12 points and added five rebounds. . The Aggies collected at least 30 assists in a game (32) for the first time since Dec. 28, 2006 against Grambling State. . A&M outscored USC-Upstate 46-28 in points in the paint and 56-32 off the bench.


A&M senior forward Jalen Jones isn't playing in the first four games because of an NCAA suspension handed down in the offseason dating back to taking part in two scrimmages.

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