Texas A&M Aggies forget basketball jerseys before matchup with Gators

Texas A&M Aggies forget basketball jerseys before matchup with Gators

Texas A&M found itself in an embarrassing dilemma Wednesday night about 10 minutes into the SEC men’s basketball opener at Florida.

After a team prayer before returning to the field for a final round of pregame warmups, the Aggies realized their game jerseys had been left at the team hotel.

“I forgot my jerseys in my hotel,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “That’s probably the right way to say it because I was a coach and if that had happened, my coach would have supported me.

“You don’t want the jerseys to wrinkle and so I hang them in my room and then I just forget to put them on the bus. Our players were the ones who recognized it because they warm up without their jerseys so they don’t sweat, so it’s my fault, it won’t happen again, and I apologized to the coach.”

Game time was delayed 15 minutes after Texas A&M team managers raced back to the team hotel to find equipment. The Aggies were assessed an administrative technical foul, which Florida guard Will Richard sank before the opening tip to give Florida a 1-0 lead.

“This is probably the 500th match I coached. Those officials were explaining to me that the league office called and said it was a technical administrative error, which I had never heard those words,” Williams said. “You get a hit and then from the break point. And well, I was like there’s no cutoff point, so what are we going to do, and then they said jump the ball.”

The bullet was short-lived. Texas A&M jumped out to a 34-23 lead at halftime and held on for a 66-63 win to earn its first ever win at the O’Connell Center after entering the night 0-5 all-time in Florida’s home arena.

Texas A&M forward Julius Marble said the team was prepared to play in his warm brown jerseys if needed.

“We got off to a hot start,” Marble said. “I think the jersey thing turned us on to be honest with you.”

Florida coach Todd Golden said there was confusion on the Gators’ sideline as the jersey gate was being sorted.

“I’m 37 years old. I’ve been playing basketball my whole life … this has never happened to me in any aspect or at any point in my career. It wasn’t ideal,” Golden said. “I thought we were ready to go and we’re sitting there, 15, 20 minutes for those guys to show up. That’s how it is and we didn’t handle the situation well enough …

“It’s something that happened in my son’s CYO game, but not usually at the SEC level.”

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