SEC Full Court Press: The Dawn of A New Year

Posted by Brian Joyce on January 3rd, 2012

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:

  • Anthony Davis scored all 18 of his points and grabbed six of his rebounds in the second half of Kentucky’s win over Louisville.
  • Kentucky shot 29.8% and turned the ball over 21 times in that game. And the Wildcats still won.
  • 52 fouls were called in the annual rivalry game making the game choppy from start to end.
  • Florida lost to Rutgers on Thursday night, and the Scarlet Knights turned around and lost to USF on Sunday. That’s just how college basketball goes.
  • Is it ever too early to start the Bubble Watch? At least two surprise SEC teams could be in contention for an NCAA bid with a couple of quality wins. LSU currently has an RPI of #79 while Ole Miss is at #42. You may remember that Alabama was left out last year with an RPI of #80. LSU and Ole Miss have significant work left to do, but will have plenty of chances in conference play.
  • Vanderbilt held Marquette to 32.2% shooting in its 74-57 win. And people (myself included) said the Commodores couldn’t play defense? They obviously can, but will they show up every game?
  • Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor has performed well above his averages in the month of December. This past month, Taylor averaged 23 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game. Can he keep it up?
  • The Commodores beat top-15 team Marquette last week, and turned around and struggled at home against 4-8 Miami of Ohio. It appears that this is just the type of team that Vanderbilt will be this year — terribly inconsistent. That’s a bad habit to have going into NCAA tournament time.
  • Renardo Sidney was 5-of-6 from the field when he was on the court for Mississippi State against Baylor on December 28. He was limited to only 19 minutes of action. As has been said all season long, Sidney needs to find a way to be in the game for his team but that means overcoming both conditioning and attitude issues.

Beat the Press:

  • The team that outran the press this week was Vanderbilt. Kentucky came up with a good win over Louisville, but it was somewhat expected for the Wildcats, especially at home. But the Commodores were left for dead before their bashing of Marquette. Kevin Stallings’ club played its best defense of the season (as mentioned above…). Now, can Vanderbilt use this momentum once everyone is healthy? Will more games like Marquette or Ohio happen in SEC play?

MKG looking like MVP for Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images

  • A lot has been mentioned here and elsewhere about the phenomenal play of Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, so I won’t rehash it in great length. But the superstar turned in a great week, and deserves player of the week mention here. He had 18 points against Lamar and came back with 24 points and 19 rebounds against Louisville. If that isn’t player of the week worthy, then I don’t know what is.

A Quick Look at the Week Ahead:

  • Kentucky’s Darius Miller needs five points to join the 1,000-point club for the Wildcats. Miller is currently 60th all-time on Kentucky’s scoring list.
  • Mississippi State has won 17 of its last 20 SEC openers, including four straight road openers. It is likely those numbers will increase with the Bulldogs at Arkansas on Saturday.
  • Tennessee will get a rematch with Memphis on Wednesday. The Vols lost the first match-up by two in double overtime. Jeronne Maymon went off in the first go-around for 32 points and 20 rebounds.
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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