SEC M5: 11.16.12 EditionPosted by DPerry on November 16th, 2012
- A loss to a long-term but estranged rival is tough to bear for any team, and when you consider how fickle Kentucky fans tend to be, Tuesday night’s loss to Duke presumably indicates the end of Wildcats’ run among the nation’s premier programs. Their coach has to be worried about his job security, right? Afraid not. “We didn’t play that bad, ya know, shoot 49 percent, only have 13 turnovers,” John Calipari told reporters this week. But the coach’s biggest takeaway was the performance of Alex Poythress. “He’s a beast, that’s what he needed to look like. He’s a beast, so be a beast.” The Wildcats are a young team (how about that for analysis?) and will improve as the season goes on. Duke is a veteran team, and should be able to put more cohesive units on the floor in November. His biggest supporters may not realize this, but Calipari certainly does.
- “With an off shooting night from Canaan and Barbee finding the right matchups to exploit, the Tigers could give themselves some momentum early in the season,” said an imposter who pretended to be me in Thursday’s SEC Morning Five. OK, maybe it was actually me. Isaiah Canaan did not comply with my prediction, hitting an incredibly efficient 9-12 from the floor, and leading the Racers past their SEC opponent, Auburn, Thursday night. The Tigers started out slow and couldn’t recover, with Murray State pushing the lead to 17 with a little over 10 minutes gone. Rob Chubb was the sole positional advantage Auburn had, but as he was in foul trouble the entire game, the senior center was only on the court for 15 minutes. “It’s a terrific win anytime you can beat an SEC team,” added Racers’ coach Steve Prohm in the postgame press conference.
- Erik Murphy’s career at Florida hasn’t been smooth-sailing. For the son of a former college star and NBA player, there are certain expectations, and Murphy hadn’t been able to reach them in his first two years in Gainesville. At the climax of the disappointing period of his Florida career, in an incident extending well beyond the court, Murphy was arrested in St. Augustine. However, the consequent wake-up call would be a blessing for the Rhode Island native. Murphy was close to transferring away from the location that contained so many of his troubles, but I’m willing to bet that he’s happy with the decision to stick around. He has finally gained traction in Florida, and the nation took notice on Wednesday night with his perfect shooting performance against Wisconsin. “I’m so proud of him,” Jay Murphy said. “Not just as a player, but really of who he is. Everyone makes mistakes. And everyone deserves a second chance.”
- LSU hasn’t earned an invite to college basketball’s premier tournament since 2009, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers completely lack NCAA tournament experience. Enter Charles Carmouche. “I’ve actually had the opportunity to win and play in the NCAA Tournament,” Carmouche told the Daily Reveille. “I’m trying to help everybody not do the wrong things I did as a younger player and to better the team as a whole.” Carmouche has done more than be a mentor for more inexperienced players so far. In the Tigers’ season opener, the transfer tallied 16 points on 6-10 shooting to lead his team to a win over the UCSB Gauchos, despite the loss of star forward Johnny O’Bryant III. He isn’t LSU’s most talented player, but by stepping up in a game in which his young teammates needed a boost, Carmouche’s decision to transfer to Baton Rouge could be the difference between middle of the pack contention and a finish in the SEC cellar.
- Since two or three games is a sufficient representative sample for an entire season, I’m going to go ahead and declare that Alabama’s sophomore guard Trevor Lacey will be crowned SEC Player of the Year. Not adequate? OK. At the very least, Lacey has put on a show for the Crimson Tide so far. The top prospect in Alabama’s 2011 recruiting class has displayed his promise in 2012, averaging over 19 points per game and shooting over 65% from 3-point range. His team hasn’t had any frontcourt production, but with coach Anthony Grant’s deep backcourt swarm of scorers, Alabama has some time to get top recruit Devonta Pollard up to speed.