Texas A&M hosted a football game of historic significance on Sunday at Kyle Field against Southern Methodist University. A nice payday along with ESPN’s prime time broadcast of an NCAA game on Sunday (a day typically reserved for the NFL) was too good to pass up for my friends in Aggieland.
This game/event could go a long way in the growth of the Texas A&M basketball program as well as new Head Coach Billy Kennedy has targeted the D1 Ambassadors program as they seek the next level of being recognized as a consistent Top 20 contender in college hoops. Under my friend Billy Clyde Gillespie’s watch (and his assistant Buzz Williams now the Head Coach at Marquette) the Aggies became relevant again. Relevant in College Station means being able to beat the Texas Longhorns. Gillespie’s hard nosed style got him a few wins agains the burnt orange but more importantly, he demanded and received admin support in facilities upgrades and commitment to roundball and not only pigskin. The Aggies practice facilities and locker rooms are now up to snuff with the top programs in the country. With the need to sell sizzle among with steak to today’s recruits you must have the nice digs to flash to the kids from the Facebook and Twitter generation.
Kennedy hired ace recruiter’s Glen Cyprien from Memphis and good old boy, low key Kyle Keller from the Kansas Jayhawks. Out of the gate they made it clear with their relationship building with me that it was a new era in Aggie recruiting where they’d go after marquee guys and not just “hard nosed players” and that they were going to recruit talent rich Texas HARD.
Their first order of business was to secure local player, J. Mychal Reese of nearby Bryan, TX. They received a verbal from the scoring PG who has been ranked as the #1 recruit in the country four years straight in his young career with the Texas D1 Ambassadors. They hired his father, highly respected Bryan Coach John Reese and added him to the aTm staff.
As the football team crushed Southern Methodist University, two other Texas D1 Ambassadors from the Class of 2012 were also being hosted by the Aggies. Four star G 6’6″ Alex Caruso of College Station A&M Consolidated and highly touted stretch four man, 6’9″ Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill were on campus and in the stands for their official visit.
Connor Lammert (left), Alex Caruso (center) and Aggies redshirt freshman Daniel Alexander. Alexander, another Texas D1 Ambassador and Vince Carter/LeBron Nike Skills Academy alum hosted his former club mates from the D1 Nation on this recruiting trip.
Lammert has narrowed his field down to four official visits. He visited Vanderbilt last week, aTm this week, Texas and then he’ll finish up at Texas Tech. Having just turned 17 in August his upside is unlimited as he can put it on the deck, shoot the three, is tough inside and is a solid defender. Papa Dean Lammert (who played for Texas A&M-Kingsville back in the day) is a shade under 7 foot so there’s no reason to think youn g Lammert won’t srpout another inch or two.
Alex Caruso has narrowed down his list to three official visits. The Aggies were a no brainer as Papa Mike Caruso is Associate AD at the school. The elder Caruso also played for Eddie Sutton at Creighton and coached their as well.
His other two visits, Colorado and Texas Tech are based on pas relationships as Caruso was once the Aggies ball boy for Tech honcho Billy lyde Gillispie and was a neighbor of Colorado Assistant Mike Rhoan when he was an Aggies Assistant.Caruso is a big guard, with mad hops who can play from the one to the three. His court vision is superior and his basketball savvy is high end.