Buzz Williams enters his third season with Texas A&M basketball. This might be one of those years that he views as a rebuilding one.
A&M is picked to finish 12th in the 14-team SEC, according to the poll released Tuesday. Kentucky, one of the country's top programs under John Calipari, is picked to win the conference. Alabama and Arkansas, two breakout teams in 2020, are projected to finish second and third.
The Razorbacks, led by third-year coach Eric Musselman, made the Elite Eight last season for the first time since 1995. The Crimson Tide, who are coached by Nate Oats, made the Sweet 16.
Last season, the Aggies struggled in conference play, going 2-8 and missing over a month due to weather inclements and COVID-19 resections. Top scorer Emmanuel Miller transferred to TCU this offseason. Guards Jay Jay Chandler and Savion Flagg also left the program, electing to play their final seasons at South Alabama and Sam Houston State, respectively.
Williams, a native of Greensville, Texas, understood that job at hand would take time to rebuild the program in Aggieland. One of the premier names on the rise following the 2018 season, it was his influence that brought Virginia Tech back to glory on the court.
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The Hokies went 100-69 under Williams during his five seasons in Blacksburg, making the NCAA Tournament three times. In 2018, Virginia Tech finished 26-9, its highest win total in program history, and made it all the way to the Sweet 16.
The Aggies were voted to post a better record than both Vanderbilt and Georgia among all 14 schools. A&M is hopeful that new additions added via the transfer portal can keep them in games close once conference play begins on January 4.
Several names added this offseason include Connecticut's' Javonte Brown, Duke's Henry Coleman III and Wyoming's Marcus Williams. The Aggies open the 2021-22 season on Monday, Nov. 1 against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Reed Arena.
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