Acie Law didn't have to wait long to hear his name called on draft night. Law was picked 11th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2007 NBA Draft. Law averaged 18.1 points and 5.0 assists for the Aggies last season.
THE GOOD NEWS
Following a run to the NCAA Tournament last season, Texas A&M followed by fulfilling preseason predictions. It finished second in the Big 12, as projected, then reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since back-to-back appearances in 1979 and '80. This is a program that continues to surge and probably will not go away as long as the new coach can control in-state recruiting. The average margin of defeat for A&M was just 3.3 points.
THE BAD NEWS
Coach Billy Gillispie is a goner, and the air was taken out of Texas A&M's balloon. Plus, the loss of guard Acie Law is a big blow considering Law was one of the best clutch shooters in the nation, a driver who could shoot with either hand. The continued development of perimeter threat Josh Carter will be key, as will the versatility of forward Joseph Jones, who didn't take over games as often this past season as he did as a sophomore.
Although Gillispie carried a 20-man roster, in large part to orchestrate physical practices, the Aggies were too thin in game situations and need to develop more depth. That will be difficult with the loss of Law and a pair of bruising forwards, Anatanas Kavaliauskas and Marlon Pompey. Again, Jones must assume more leadership responsibilities and also assert himself underneath without getting into foul trouble. Jones could be helped inside by 7-0 recruit DeAndre Jordon of Houston, who is ranked among the nation's top high school centers.
--After scoring just seven points in Texas A&M's first two NCAA Tournament games, F Anatanas Kavaliauskas led the Aggies with 17 in the regional semifinal against Memphis. Of those, 13 came in the first half on 5 for 7 shooting.
--In the six games prior to the regional semifinals, all five Texas A&M starters averaged double-figure scoring led by G Acie Law (22.7). Against Memphis, however, only Kavaliauskas, Law and F Joseph Jones scored in double figures, combining for 44 of the Aggies' 64 points.
--After missing the first seven games with a stress fracture in his foot, F Marlon Pompey lost the starting job he held last season. His production dipped slightly as a senior, to 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds, while averaging seven fewer minutes.