SEC Morning Five: 03.06.12 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on March 6th, 2012

  1. Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes earned his first SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award for averaging 14.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, three blocks, and 1.5 steals on the week. St0kes put together an 18-point, seven-rebound performance in a win over LSU. The freshman forward hit 9 of 10 from the field against the Tigers. National Player of the Year candidate Anthony Davis was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. The 6’11” center averaged 15.5 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks while recording his 14th double double on the season. Davis moved up the ladder to eighth on Kentucky’s all time blocks list.
  2. Auburn’s offensive struggles resurfaced in the second half against LSU on Saturday, but the Tigers built up a large enough lead to carry them to victory. “What happens to us is, we let down defensively when we get up 10, 12, 15, whatever the case my be,” Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. “That’s what happened today. We just got lax … But we used a couple timeouts and just told those guys, ‘We got to get back to staying persistent and guard, regardless if we make shots or not.’” And Auburn’s defense rose to the occasion. The Tigers held LSU to just over 30% shooting in the second half. Now if Barbee can find a little offense, the Tigers would feel a lot more confident going into Thursday.
  3. Another team from the state of Alabama is struggling on offense. The Alabama Crimson Tide scored just 17 first half points in a 60-51 defeat to Ole Miss. When asked about his team’s performance, Tide coach Anthony Grant was critical of the team and himself. “Disappointing,” Grant said to describe Alabama’s game. “My job is to make sure our team is prepared. We were not.” Similar to Auburn, Alabama’s defense played well limiting the Rebels to just 42.9% shooting. The problem for the Tide is they aren’t going to win any games when they shoot 34.5% no matter how stifling the defense plays.
  4. Florida couldn’t pull off the victory on Sunday over number one ranked Kentucky, but Billy Donovan knows what it will take to beat the Wildcats. “A real, real physical team,” Donovan said. “There would have to be a presence at the basket constantly in post-ups and duck-ins. Three out (on the perimeter), two in. Straight smash-mouth basketball. … I don’t think a finesse team.” Who would Donovan suggest could pull off such a feat? He thinks North Carolina or Vanderbilt has what it takes to take down the Cats. Kentucky has beaten both teams this year (Kentucky took down Vanderbilt twice), but I’m sure the Cats would love to see UNC grab a #1 seed in order to avoid a potential re-match until the Final Four in New Orleans.
  5. Despite not falling far from preseason expectations, the Arkansas faithful are disappointed in the outcome for the Razorbacks under first year coach Mike Anderson. Razorbacks blog, Arkansas Expats, reluctantly admits, “now that the regular season is over, I have to admit, I’m disappointed. I’m pretty sure it’s unfair to feel that way considering youth, injuries, coaching transition, preseason predictions, etc, but I am.” Should Arkansas fans be disappointed this season? It’s hard not to be disappointed with what could have been, but as it was pointed out, it’s unfair to make a judgement just yet. Anderson needs a deeper bench to run his patented style, and it will take time to build that kind of depth. And time is exactly what Razorback fans need to give Anderson and the new coaching regime.
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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