Surging Texas A&M returns to the national rankings at No. 21

Texas A&M capped a successful week on the court with some bad news off the court on Sunday, followed on Monday with a return to the national rankings.


Let’s start with the on-court success, two impressive wins in the Southeastern Conference.

First, A&M won on the road at top 10 Auburn and then returned home Saturday to club Kentucky.

On Sunday, the team acknowledged that guard J.J. Caldwell had been dismissed from the team and Jay Jay Chandler had been suspended indefinitely.

Newspapers in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio were reporting that the two had been arrested for marijuana possession.

Finally, on Monday, the AP poll was released.

Texas A&M had returned to the rankings (at No. 21) for the first time since last month during an 0-5 start to the SEC schedule.

Altogether, it looked as if A&M’s season was spinning out of control on Jan. 28, when the Aggies lost by 11 at Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 challenge.

At the time, A&M was 2-6 in the SEC and 2-7 in January.

Since then, the Aggies have whipped Arkansas, South Carolina, Auburn and Kentucky in succession.

A&M’s 85-74 home victory Saturday over Kentucky served as an exclamation point to the team’s return to form.

Freshman T.J. Starks scored 17 points and forward Rob Williams sparked a 59-44 second half with several dunks.

As far as the Aggies are concerned, they’re not satisfied with a .500 record in conference.

“Now we’re sitting at 6-6, but we still have a hole to dig out of,” A&M junior guard D.J. Hogg told reporters after the Kentucky game, according to the AP.

Starks, a freshman from Lancaster, averaged 20 points in the two victories.

AP Top 25
For Feb. 12

1. Virginia 23-2 ACC
2. Michigan State 24-3 Big Ten
3. Villanova 23-2 Big East
4. Xavier 23-3 Big East
5. Cincinnati 23-2 American
6. Purdue 23-4 Big Ten
7. Texas Tech 21-4 Big 12
8. Ohio State 22-5 Big Ten
9. Gonzaga 23-4 West Coast
10. Auburn 22-3 SEC
11. Clemson 20-4 ACC
12. Duke 20-5 ACC
13. Kansas 19-6 Big 12
14. North Carolina 19-7 ACC
15. Saint Mary’s 24-3 West Coast
16. Rhode Island 20-3 Atlantic 10
17. Arizona 20-6 Pac-12
18. Tennessee 18-6 SEC
19. Wichita State 19-5 American
20. West Virginia 18-7 Big 12
21. Texas A&M 17-8 SEC
22. Michigan 20-7 Big Ten
23. Oklahoma 16-8 Big 12
24. Nevada 21-5 Mountain West
25. Arizona State 19-6 Pac 12