Men's fall countdown: No. 8 Texas A&M
Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 8 Texas A&M:
Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.
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Preseason rank: 8
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 18
2013-14 in review: The Aggies started the season well, but faltered down the stretch, ending with a 29th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Ben Crancer picked up his first collegiate victory at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup and added four other top-10 finishes. He also led the team to a victory at its own Aggie Invitational.
Notable departures: Tyler Dunlap
Key returnees: Juniors Ben Crancer and Andrew Lister
Newcomers of note: Cameron Champ, Connor Black, Andrew Paysse, Peter Thorseth and Jacob Veerman
Circled on the fall calendar: Olympic Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, Sept 12-14; U.S. Collegiate Championship, Oct. 17-19
Fall outlook: Though the departure of Dunlap to the professional ranks occurred sooner than expected, the Aggies are returning four of five players from its NCAA starting lineup. Crancer and Lister will be the team’s leadership on and off the course as both players played all 40 rounds last year. Champ and Black will bring passion and consistent play to the Aggies lineup along with returners Adria Arnaus, Mickey Werenski and Greg Yates.
Coach’s perspective: “This is an exciting time for us. We are adding some fresh faces with a lot of talent to compete with our four returning starters. I think it is a great mix of experience and enthusiasm. If the young guys work hard, learn and improve, I think we have a chance to be relevant at the end of the season.” – head coach J.T. Higgins