Texas A&M is already thriving with key contributions from a heralded freshman class. Now it has added another highly touted prospect during its semester break.
In the final tune-up before SEC play, Kobie Eubanks could debut as the 20th-ranked Aggies try to continue their best start in five years Tuesday night against visiting Cal Poly.
Eubanks arrives with a stellar resume after he was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals.com and Scout.com and ranked fifth in New York out of high school.
The 6-foot-5 swingman was originally on his way to Baylor prior to last season before failing to reach academic eligibility. He ended up honing his skills with Elev8 Sports Institute in Delray Beach, Florida.
Eubanks then committed to Alabama this year, but again did not post a qualifying test score before the fall semester. He did so in September and chose to sign with Texas A&M.
“He brings a physical presence and maturity as a freshman because he basically had to sit out a year,” coach Billy Kennedy told the team’s official website after Eubanks’ arrival. “Kobie is a guy who can really impact our team and as we like to say, ‘get buckets’.”
Eubanks joined the active roster during a nine-day layoff at the semester break and is eligible to play as the Aggies (9-2) seek their best 12-game start since the 2010-11 season. They’ve also won by an average of 24.8 points during their third straight 7-0 home start.
Eubanks gives Texas A&M another prized addition to a class that is already making an impact. Starting center Tyler Davis is averaging 11.7 points and 6.0 rebounds, while guard Admon Gilder and forward DJ Hogg are contributing off the bench.
Davis was named SEC freshman of the week after finishing with 15 and five in an 80-61 home win over then-No. 16 Baylor on Dec. 19. The 6-10 center has made his last 12 field-goal attempts dating back to a 67-54 loss at Arizona State on Dec. 5.
“His size and his toughness gives him a presence that we haven’t had since I’ve been here,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy still has a some seniors to lean on. Danuel House is scoring a team-best 15.5 per game and Jalen Jones is averaging 15.4 and a team-high 6.4 rebounds. Alex Caruso needs three steals to break the school record of 228 set by David Edwards (1991-94).
House bounced back from a season-low seven-point effort against Kansas State on Dec. 12 to finish with 17 while hitting 4 of 9 from 3-point range against the Bears. Jones has averaged 18.6 points on 50.7 percent shooting over his last five games.
They’ll try to keep it going as Texas A&M seeks its 115th victory in its past 120 nonconference home games before hosting Arkansas in Saturday’s SEC opener.
The Aggies will get their first look at the Mustangs, who dropped their first three on this six-game road stretch before an 88-73 win at Texas-San Antonio last Tuesday. Joel Awich (11.7 points per game) leads a balanced attack for Cal Poly, which averages 76.6 points.
The Mustangs (6-6) have dropped their last four games versus ranked opponents by an average of 18.0 points since pulling out a 70-68 win at No. 11 UCLA on Nov. 25, 2012.