SEC Morning Five: 11.10.11 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 10th, 2011

  1.  Yesterday was 2012 National Signing Day, and unfortunately the SEC didn’t fare well as it did last year. The league only landed one five-star recruit, Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin, according to Scout’s Evan Daniels. In Daniels’ conference breakdown, the SEC finished last out of the six power conferences one year after bringing in the most talent. Kentucky landed an additional top 30 prospect in Willie Cauley, while Florida was the other big winner grabbing two top 100 guards — #39 Braxton Ogbueze and #87 Michael Frazier. Auburn hauled in a surprising four-man class, good enough for third place so far in the conference rankings. There are still plenty of unsigned prospects available, so most teams will continue rounding out their classes during this signing period.
  2. Mississippi State played another hard-fought game against a mid-major team, but went down 68-58 to Akron. The Dogs shot 34.5% from the field, and failed to get much production from Renardo Sidney. Sidney seemed winded throughout the game, and most troubling for Bulldog fans, he again sat on the bench during crunch time. Head coach Rick Stansbury did not play Sidney in the final four and a half minutes of last night’s game. “We were trying to fight from behind defensively,” Stansbury said. “They went small. You knew the answer to that.” Sidney’s production is a big key to the Bulldogs’ success, but it looks like he is coming undone at the seams well before even his biggest critics would have predicted.
  3. Tennessee Volunteers head coach Cuonzo Martin has not only been impressed with his team’s hard work on the court, but praised their behavior off the court in his latest press conference. “They’ve done a good job, especially from the first day until now of just taking care of business on and off the court,” said Martin. “Doing the right things in the classroom, being consistent in going to class — which shouldn’t be an option, but just making sure guys go to class every day, with their tutor assignments — making sure they’ve been better.” Win/loss records are ultimately what head coaches are measured on, but it is refreshing to see a head coach who seems to genuinely care about his players’ well-being and success off the court.
  4. We all love statistics. Admit it. There’s nothing better for basketball-crazed fans like ourselves than to sit down and analyze graphs and charts of tempo-free statistics. Luke Winn at Sports Illustrated (with the help of David Hess from Audacity of Hoops) noticed a gap in the statistics for defensive rankings for players and teams, and they have taken on the monumental task of measuring five championship contender’s possession by possession defensive prowess. Great stuff here, and one of the five teams analyzed happen to be the SEC’s Vanderbilt. The gist of the article is that Vandy needs to step up its’ defense with a need for “turnover creators and defensive rebounders. Vanderbilt ranked 308th nationally in turnover percentage last season (17.5), and 168th at protecting the defensive glass (67.9 defensive rebound percentage).” If the Commodores are to make a run at the SEC title or anything past the round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament, improvement will have to take place on the defensive end of the court for Kevin Stallings‘ club.
  5. The SEC announced its 2012 SEC Men’s Basketball Preseason Awards on Wednesday. Thirty-two different players received votes, while seventeen players were honored. Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt each had three players named to the First or Second Team. Vanderbilt led the way with three All-SEC first team selections with reigning SEC Player of the Year John Jenkins along with teammates Jeffery Taylor and Festus Ezeli.
Brian Joyce (333 Posts)

Brian Joyce is an advanced metrics enthusiast, college hoops junkie, and writer for the SEC basketball microsite for Rush the Court.

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