SEC Morning Five: 03.02.12 EditionPosted by Brian Joyce on March 2nd, 2012
- JaMychal Green’s role has been somewhat limited as of late because of a suspension handed down from coach Anthony Grant, but Green stepped up in a big way on Senior Night. “For this to be my last game at the Coliseum, that’s the way I’d like to go out,” Green said. “I really didn’t think of it as my last game, I just thought about winning.” Green scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, including a tip in with just 34 seconds remaining in the game as the Crimson Tide went on to beat rival Auburn. For Alabama to be effective in the NCAA Tournament, Green will be a key reason why.
- Arnett Moultrie is now praising his team for its togetherness, just days after he blasted them for an inability to turn the season around. After the Bulldogs’ win over South Carolina, Moultrie said, “The team is together. It’s always been together since Day 1. We’re enjoying this win right now and hopefully it’ll start a streak and get us going so we can make a nice run in the NCAA Tournament.” Moultrie was a big reason for the victory. The power forward finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds for his 17th double double of the season. This win ended a five-game losing streak for the Bulldogs, and hopefully squashed some team turmoil that seemed to be brewing from within.
- After two straight losses, Florida is focused on getting better, even if it is March. While UF’s next opponent, Kentucky, played Georgia Thursday night, the Gators were able to focus on making improvements in practice. “I think the next 11 to 12 days for our team will be critical because we do have some periods where we can practice and focus on ourselves,” coach Billy Donovan said. Florida looks to avoid its first three-game losing streak since the 2009-10 season.
- Tennessee kept hope alive for a first round bye in the SEC Tournament. After beating LSU on Wednesday night, the Volunteers need to beat Vanderbilt on Saturday to avoid playing next Thursday in the conference tournament. Coach Cuonzo Martin stressed the team’s desire as the primary reason for its victory Wednesday, and of its key ingredient for success moving forward. “The key was heart,” said Martin. “We’ve been through these situations plenty of times before, and we had the heart and mental toughness to win it.” Martin’s team may have a lot of heart, but it also has a lot of freshman Jarnell Stokes. Stokes came up big on Wednesday with a career high 18 points.
- Kentucky has come a long way since 2009 when Georgia came to Lexington and spoiled Senior Night. On March 4, 2009, the Bulldogs beat the Wildcats 90-85 while UK was under head coach Billy Gillispie. What a difference a couple of years make. At the end of Gillispie’s era at UK, the Wildcats’ future was in question as they were coming off a 3-5 end to the SEC season and a trip to the NIT. Now, the Cats are fresh off a Final Four trip, and are hoping to attend another one this year. And of course, the Wildcats are looking to go a perfect 16-0 in conference play for the first time since 2003. A lot has changed, and John Calipari deserves way more credit then he gets for that transformation.