Aggies find trouble off the court


It's been a roller-coaster week for the Texas A&M basketball team.

Despite winning back-to-back games against ranked opponents Auburn and Kentucky, the Aggies were forced to either drop or suspend two role players from their bench.

The play on the court has been superb of late. The Aggies have won four straight overall after back-to-back losses to LSU and Kansas to find themselves tied in the SEC with Kentucky, Mississippi State and Arkansas.

This was perhaps the worst possible time for the team to have off-court issues, but two of their players were charged with marijuana possession on Sunday. Redshirt freshman J.J. Caldwell, who was already suspended twice this season, was dismissed from the team. Freshman Jay Jay Chandler, who was also involved in the incident, was suspended indefinitely.

The news came less than 24 hours after the team's 85-74 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in College Station and before three critical Conference matchups with Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi State.

This is not the first time the Aggies have had trouble off of the court this season. Before the year, Caldwell was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated. Chandler and T.J. Starks were both suspended on Dec. 21 against Buffalo for violating team rules. Junior forward D.J. Hogg was also suspended earlier in the season for three games for his part ion violating team rules.

The Aggies got off to a hot 11-1 start in 2017 and got as high as No. 5 in the nation before the start of SEC play. However, they opened conference play with five straight losses to Alabama, Florida, LSU, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Two impressive wins over Nos. 8 and 24 have put the Aggies right back into the top-25, but it's always a distraction to have off the court issues like they've seen all season long.

Caldwell and Chandler weren't starters for the Aggies, but they were two young players who brought a lot of energy off of the bench. A&M needs to find a way to bounce back from this incident and just focus on playing basketball. If the unnecessary struggles continue, they will likely miss out on what could've been a memorable season.

The Aggies battled Missouri on the road in a critical conference matchup last night. They will travel to Arkansas to face the Razorbacks on Saturday before they return to College Station to host the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Feb. 20.