SEC Morning Five: 11.14.11 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 14th, 2011

  1. Senior point guard Brad Tinsley’s minutes were limited in Vanderbilt’s shocking demise against Cleveland State on Sunday. The Vandy offense looked out of sync, and as a result, they were pressured into 21 turnovers. Tinsley was bothered by a hand injury that was aggravated during the Oregon game a couple of nights ago. “Brad’s hand has been an issue,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said in his postgame press conference. “I didn’t ask him how the hand was feeling (today).” It seems unclear whether Tinsley sat during crucial minutes of the game because of his defensive liability or because of the injury. This will remain a situation to keep an eye on. One thing remains clear, Tinsley will have to stay in front of quicker guards defensively in order to stay on the floor in the future.
  2. Vanderbilt’s surprising loss has the critics out in full force. Some tabbed the ‘Dores as a team that didn’t belong in the top ten. And well, they won’t be for long. Gary Parrish of CBS Sports isn’t hitting the panic button just yet, because it is November after all. And the Commodores are without Festus Ezeli. Parrish acknowledges, however, that this loss doesn’t help the perception that Vandy is in fact overrated. A 71-58 loss to Cleveland State looks bad, but Vanderbilt has time to correct its mistakes.
  3. Arkansas’ 83-63 win over USC Upstate started the Mike Anderson era for the Razorbacks, but the biggest storyline was the attendance in Bud Walton Arena for that game. Anderson’s first game brought in 10,500 fans, but he believes this is only the beginning. “This is a style of basketball that hasn’t been played here in a while,” Anderson said. “There is potential here, but we have to keep working. We are by no means where we want to be.” As long as Anderson continues winning and playing an exciting brand of basketball, the attendance numbers will continue to grow in Fayetteville.
  4. The SEC had many outstanding freshmen take the court this past weekend, and they generally didn’t disappoint. The CBS Eye on College Basketball blog took a look at the first glimpse of the nation’s best freshmen, and all five SEC freshmen on the top 20 list scored in double figures. Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague impressed in a blowout win against Marist. Davis scored 23 points, grabbed ten rebounds and earned five blocks in a high flying display of athleticism. Florida’s Brad Beal scored 14 points, and Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope pushed the Bulldogs to victory with 15 points. These young stars are already looking good, and it was only their first game in a college uniform. Just wait until they become truly adjusted to the college game and their new teams.
  5. It wasn’t all about the freshmen this weekend though. Some sophomores were turning in impressive performances as well. Tennessee is looking for a scorer in the Cuonzo Martin era, and they may have found him. Sophomore point guard Trae Golden lit up UNC Greensboro for a career high 29 points in a game where he was 10-14 from the field with six rebounds and nine assists. His performance has Martin and the Volunteers excited that they may have found the offensive weapon that they so desperately need. But if we’ve learned anything from this opening weekend, it is still very early and a lot can change over the next few weeks and months.
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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