ALLEN, Texas It's hard not to look at the Lone Star Conference men's basketball standings and wonder if the Cameron men actually did get a break by being the No. 2 seed in the eight-team field for the annual Conference Tournament that begins today at the Allen Events Center.
Cameron as the No. 2 seed is scheduled to face the No. 7 seed West Texas A&M today at 2:30. But West Texas is also the No. 4 seed because there was a huge four-team logjam at 9-9 and the criteria to break down the logjam wound up placing West Texas as the No. 7 seed.
In actuality, the Buffs are playing as well as anyone in that group, having won three straight to close out the season. That serves up a tough assignment for the Aggie players and interim head coach Nate Gamet.
"They sure don't look like the No. 7 seed," Gamet said in his first official interview as the interim leader of the program. "They are one of those teams that plays an extremely tough and physical style of basketball. It takes a good effort to stay focused and to succeed against them. They have one of the top teams every year; there's just never much of a drop-off.
"They will run strictly man-to-man defense, but they seldom trap or go full court. They have big, strong guards who try and force turnovers and dictate what you do on offense. They try to force you out of your normal style."
Cameron and the Buffs split their regular-season games with WT winning in Canyon, 57-38, way back on Dec. 8, and then the Aggies taking a 73-62 victory Feb. 9 at the Aggie Gym.
So, how did the Aggies turn the tables on the Buffs in the rematch?
"In the last game they were struggling to score and there for about 10 minutes we were able to hold them scoreless," Gamet said. "We kept them guessing on defense and it had them off-balance and they just didn't do a good job of adjusting. On the offensive end our flow was very patient and we hit some shots."
When you compare the two teams it's easy to see how they both win games. For the Aggies, it's about a fast pace with several different players being able to score from anywhere. Currently the Aggies have three players among the league's top 30 scorers: Craig Foster is No. 4 at 16.3; Tim Johnson is No. 26 averaging 10.0 per game; and Andrew "Country" Thomas is No. 30 with 9.1 points per game.