Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy has a brutal task ahead of him before Thursday night’s Sweet 16 game against Oklahoma: Stopping prolific guard Buddy Hield.
Kennedy admitted that containing Hield is much easier said than done and even compared him to one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
“It’s really hard (to limit Hield) because they can beat you with the other four guys,” Kennedy said, according to TexAgs.com. “But Buddy can go for 40. LeBron James type.”
Hield is the second best scorer in the country, averaging 25.4 points this season and shooting 50 percent from the field. Hield is averaging 31.5 points per game during the NCAA tournament and most recently dropped 36 points on Virginia Commonwealth in the Round of 32.
“You can’t let (Hield) get transition baskets,” Kennedy said, according to TexAgs.com. “You can’t leave him on an offensive rebound because he gets loose and they find him.”
Texas A&M enters the Sweet 16 matchup coming off one of the greatest comebacks in college basketball history last weekend. The Aggies overcame a 12-point deficit with 44 seconds left to extend the game into overtime, and then double overtime, where they eventually defeated scrappy Northern Iowa. Kennedy is aware that his team is fortunate to be playing on Thursday and added that this incredible rally gave his team a substantial confidence boost.
“We were confident before and (the comeback win) can only help,” Kennedy said, according to TexAgs.com. “Our guys know that it was incredible. We know how fortunate we were.”
Even Hield couldn’t help but comment on A&M’s comeback. He noted that his team cannot afford to let up if they accumulate a sizable lead on the Aggies.
“I got to watch (the comeback),” Hield said, according to TexAgs.com. “It was incredible and I respect their fight. If we get a big lead, we can’t let up.”