Despite being on its third coach in six years, the Texas A&M men's basketball team is in the midst of an unprecedented run of success. The Aggies have made six straight NCAA Tournament appearances, as many as they had in the previous 55 years, and they open this year's AP preseason poll at No. 19.
Texas A&M is one of four ranked Big 12 teams, with Baylor at No. 12, Kansas at No. 13 and Missouri at No. 25. Only the Big East, with six, has more.
There's no way to know how first-year coach Billy Kennedy's heart-breaking Parkinson's diagnosis will affect the team, but the Aggies have a lot of talent coming back.
Khris Middleton, their star 6'7 210 junior small forward, would have been a first-round pick last year, and he's joined by a solid core of role players -- seniors David Loubeau, Dash Harris, junior Naji Hibbert and sophomore Kourtney Robinson -- with NCAA Tournament experience.
In contrast, the two Big 12 schools ranked ahead of Texas A&M, Baylor and Kansas, will be relying a lot more heavily on freshmen and untested players.