SEC Morning Five: Opening Night Edition
Posted by Gerald Smith on November 7th, 2011
- Feeling a bit more chipper and joyful than usual? It wasn’t that extra hour of sleep Sunday morning; it’s because today is the start of the 2011-12 basketball season! Tonight Mississippi State will face Eastern Kentucky in a game that actually counts! Tonight’s untelevised matchup is part of a regional round of play for the 2011 2K Sports Classic. Even though you can’t see the Bulldogs play until their ESPNU appearance against Akron on Wednesday, your basketball-loving soul should be soaring.
- At long last, the adoption is official: The SEC has new brothers in the Missouri Tigers. The latest school to be nabbed in SEC Expansion 2011: ALL YOUR TEAMS ARE BELONG TO US, Missouri made the official announcement with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive yesterday. Slive said that effective July 1, 2012, the Tigers would compete in the SEC East division. Parting is not such sweet sorrow for the Big 12: Interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said in a statement that Missouri’s decision was, “disappointing… I personally believe this decision is a mistake.” By leaving the Big 12, the long-standing rivalry game between Mizzou and Kansas may be dropped.We hope that Jayhawks and Tigers can overcome their differences and continue the
Border War Border Showdown.
- But why stop at just 14 teams? That’s what Kentucky coach John Calipari has been asking this whole time of SEC Expansion. Coach Cal told ESPN’s Andy Katz that the SEC should just go ahead and grab two more teams for a total of 16 since he expects other major conferences to do the same. We’re not for sure which schools would be the next two schools to join the SEC since the Big 12 & Big East have raised their conference exit fees. The Big East is also attempting to force West Virginia to fulfill its 27-month exit period. Perhaps the SEC should just wait until things settle down before grabbing another group of teams.
- There is one place that is not expanding currently in the SEC: basketball rosters in the state of Mississippi. Ole Miss will be without the services of freshman guard LaDarius White until at least the end of the fall semester. White has not met NCAA academic standards and will be ineligible for competition until he’s brought his grades back up. Mississippi State’s Kristers Zeidaks was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the entire 2011-12 season and the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season. The suspension is two games longer than the one imposed on current MSU forward Renardo Sidney for when he had to sit out the entire 2009-10 season.
- One roster change may be imminent in the former SEC East. As we mentioned Wednesday morning, Kentucky sophomore Stacey Poole is considering a transfer to another school. Poole sat out of the Wildcats’ exhibition game last week but remains on campus. Theoretically if Poole can complete his coursework for the fall semester he will become eligible for basketball in the spring semester of 2012-13 and have two more seasons of eligibility. The 6’4″ guard is behind Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Darius Miller on the Wildcats’ depth chart. For his part Kentucky coach John Calipari said he would support Poole even if he decides to transfer: “I don’t blame him,” Calipari said. We hope for either a happy ending of Poole’s career at Kentucky or a happy new beginning.
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