When Fox Sports South network reporters asked Texas A&M women's basketball head coach Gary Blair about his team and their readiness for play on March 7, 2014, in true characteristic Blair fashion he grinned broadly, and spoke of his team's being excited to return to Duluth's Arena at Gwinnett Center. He said, "my team has been here all day and I just sent them back to the hotel to rest and get ready to play tomorrow." No doubt about it, Gary Blair is the wizard who's positioned Texas A&M's women's basketball to its 3-seed status on the strength of this year's sophomore stars, Jordan Jones, Courtney J. Walker, and Courtney Williams.
Accolades and awards have been heaped upon the Aggie standouts for the past eight days and when you stop to think about how magnificent the recognition is, it's pretty much "business as usual" for the Aggie women, led by Gary Blair, Kelly Bond-White, Bob Starkey, Amy Wright and graduate assistant Sydney Colson. Teamwork in coaching leads is the Aggies' secret weapon as every individual coach has strengths and roles that are a dynamic combination. So far, the results speak to the value of teamwork.
Jordan Jones leads the accolades flowing the Aggie way. After a quiet start to the season, Jones has willed, fought, and positioned herself to lead her team to defensive prominence. She knows how to talk to her team on the court and knows who to get the ball to, and if she is not on court, Curtyce Knox ably takes the reigns in the role where Jones and Knox are each other's biggest cheerleaders. That's team.
Jones has a few records to bring into their opening SEC tournament play against Auburn tonight. Jordan had her first triple double against Arkansas on Feb. 27, the first sophomore and only the third Aggie to achieve this status, joining Danielle Adams and Toccara Williams in this category. Jones had 19 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. She was also named SEC Player of the Week on March 3, 2014.
Three Aggies were highlighted in SEC play on March Jones was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in SEC play (with Martha Alwal, who plays for Mississippi State's Head Coach, and Aggie fave, Vic Schaeffer).
Then Jones was joined by sophomores Courtney J. Walker and Courtney Williams, the "2 CW's," as Coach Blair calls them in SEC honors on March 4, 2014. Courtney J. Walker was named to First Team SEC honors, as she averaged 15.8 points per game in SEC play, and was named to the All SEC Freshman Team last year. Courtney Williams was named to Second Team SEC honors, for her 14.6 points per game and posting more than 20 points for four consecutive games this season. Williams is the first Aggie since Danielle Adams to own that play streak.
Coach Gary Blair was inducted to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame on March 1, 2014. Blair is the second Aggie, joining Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, to achieve this distinction.
Awards, accolades, and honors are nothing new to the Texas Aggie women's basketball team, but the past eight days has more than overflowed with public distinction for the young women and their coaches.
As they look to repeat their victory as SEC champions, the No. 3 seed Aggies take on No. 6 Auburn tonight at 7:30 p.m. CST in Duluth, Georgia, in the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The game will be shown on the Fox Sports Network, and you can hear Mike Wright and Steve Miller on the Aggie Radio Network across the state or online. All the preparation work is in the Aggies' rearview mirror. Tonight, they come to play to win.