Texas A&M (15-8, 6-4 SEC) is now one of the hottest teams in the SEC after blowing out the visiting No. 6-ranked Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night to the tune of 85-69, led guards Tyrece Radford (27 points) and Wade Taylor IV (25 points), who have played by far their best basketball at the most important time of the season.
While the Aggie’s defense was stifling, head coach Buzz Williams’ offensive adjustments led to shooting an impressive 46.7% from the field, including 39.3% from beyond the arc, hitting 11 3-pointers compared to their average six per game in SEC play entering the matchup.
While Radford and Taylor were borderline elite, forwards Solomon Washington (11 points, 7 rebounds) and Andersson Garcia (6 points, 17 rebounds) did all the dirty work inside, as Garcia’s incredible two-game stretch includes a gaudy 33 rebounds in the span of three days.
With the win, Texas A&M now holds a 5-4 Quad 1 record, and if Florida continues its winning ways, the Aggie’s recent victory over the Gators would turn into yet another Quad 1 win.
After the game, Buzz Williams, alongside Tyrece Radford and Wade Taylor IV, spoke to the media. At the same time, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes also provided his opinion on the Aggies making the NCAA Tournament.
Here is what they had to say.
Tennessee HC Rick Barnes on A&M's willingness to continue driving to the basket
“We knew Wade Taylor could make some shots. He did in the first. We had some looks… They are willful drivers and did a good job at finishing at the rim.”
Barnes on Andersson Garcia's incredible rebounding performance
“Andersson Garcia is a great offensive rebounder. He kept so many things going for them.”
Rick Barnes on if the Aggies deserve a spot in the NCAA Tournament
“I think no doubt. I think the SEC should have 10-11 teams in the tournament.”
“Right now, the SEC is the best basketball league in the country.”
Barnes' subtle jab at Reed Arena's in-game impact
“It was fine. I have been here a lot. I don’t think it’s overwhelming. I don’t think there are many overwhelming stadiums in the country.”
“I have a lot of respect for A&M.”
Wade Taylor IV on what led to the Aggies offensive efficiency against the Volunteers
“We have been in the gym, putting up shots… We had a lot of assists. We were sharing the ball, and that helped the ball go in.”
Andersson Garcia on why is Dennis Rodman-like rebounding performances are aided by a consistent team effort
“I am not trying to play to rebound… I just do my job. I cannot do all the rebounding without them two (Wade Taylor and Tyrece Radford).”
Taylor on on the 12,995 Aggies who show up to Reed Arena
“Can’t thank them enough. They really helped us. It was loud in there… We are out there playing for them.”
Tyrece Radford on his consistency driving to the basket
“I just continue to try to be aggressive. We were not trying to force unpredictable shots… That’s how we go the dub today. Taking our kind of shots.”
Buzz Williams on the team's offensive adjustments against the Volunteers
“Offensively, we made some unique adjustments that we have never done. Same, defensively.”
Williams on Andersson Garcia's big night
“He is the Dominican Republican Dennis Rodman. I will never take for granted the opportunity of a lifetime to coach him.”
Williams on Wade Taylor's jersey being retired after the season
“Solomon Washington is growing up at a rate faster than most. (Wade Taylor) should have his jersey retired on Senior Day. We should not wait… Henry (Coleman) is back healthy.”
Williams on Reed Arena's consistent impact in the A&M's favor against highly ranked opponents
“We really appreciate the environment… The last six to eight minutes, you could feel it reverberate in Reed.”