SEC Full Court Press: Week of 12.18.11 – 12.25.11Posted by Brian Joyce on December 27th, 2011
The SEC Full Court Press is a quick hitting review of my thoughts and observations from the last week, as well as a look ahead.
The Week That Was:
- LSU is quietly on a six-game winning streak after beating #10 ranked Marquette and North Texas this past week. Could the Tigers (9-3, RPI of 53) give the SEC an unexpected sixth team in the NCAA Tournament? A January 2 match-up with Virginia is shaping up to be a much bigger game than anticipated as this could be a huge resume building win for the Tigers.
- Speaking of LSU, center Justin Hamilton has stepped up his play as of late. Hamilton is averaging 13.8 points and eight rebounds per game over his last four contests.
- Freshman Johnny O’Bryant recorded his first double-double of his career in the Tigers’ win over North Texas on Thursday. O’Bryant scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
- The 48.3% field goal percentage Florida shot in its win over Florida State was the highest shooting percentage the Seminoles have given up all year, showcasing why this Florida team is one of the best in the country. In this classic battle of offense versus defense, offense won.
- Kentucky‘s win over Loyola on Thursday has given the Wildcats the longest home win streak in the country at 42 games dating back to March of 2009. The Cats have not lost a game at Rupp Arena in the John Calipari era.
- It isn’t all about the freshmen in Lexington. With Terrence Jones out of the lineup with a dislocated finger, senior Darius Miller has risen to the occasion. This week, Miller averaged 15 points, 3.5 rebounds, and four assists per game.
- We noted Tennessee‘s putrid three-point defense in the latest edition of Freeze Frame. The Volunteers are allowing opponents to shoot 40.3% from beyond the arc, which is 327th in the nation. Tennessee did slightly better this week, holding both opponents under 40%.
Beat the Press:
- The team that beat the press this week was LSU after beating Marquette and following that up with another victory over North Texas. The Tigers held Marquette to 36.2% shooting, and only 59 points. LSU’s defense is holding opponents to 39.7% shooting from the field.
- One player stood out this week, and that was Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins. Even though the Commodores played weaker competition, Jenkins shot 10 for 18 from three point range on his way to averaging 23 points and three assists per game. He scored 27 in Vanderbilt’s win over Lafayette.
A Quick Look at the Week Ahead:
- Kentucky puts its home win streak on the line on New Year’s Eve in a top five battle with in-state rival, Louisville. Even though Kentucky is ranked #3 and the Cardinals come in at #4, it is the tension that builds off the court that makes it must watch television. We are a society that loves drama, and the feud between Calipari and Louisville coach Rick Pitino makes this rivalry even hotter. No matter how much tension builds, please fellas, keep it clean. College basketball doesn’t need any more cheap shots.
- This will be the first time that both the Kentucky and Louisville programs are ranked in the top five when they meet each other on Saturday.
- Offensive rebounding will be a key stat for Mississippi State as they meet Baylor on Wednesday. The Bears rank 222nd in the country in defensive rebounding percentage. Anyone who watched Baylor’s game against the West Virginia Mountaineers saw the importance of this area in full display.