SEC Power Rankings: Week OnePosted by DPerry on November 19th, 2012
Every week, the SEC microsite will post a composite power ranking list for the league’s performances coupled with a short commentary justifying each team’s specific ranking. We’ve been able to see each team in action, but with vastly different degrees of difficulty as far as scheduling, we’ll need to see more before the rankings truly take form.
- Florida- The Gators’ offense has shown the potential to be dominant. The lineup is bursting at the seams with skilled scorers, both in the frontcourt and backcourt. In going 10-10 from the field, we’ve probably seen senior Erik Murphy‘s best performance of the season, but he should have no problem improving on last year’s breakout campaign. Turnovers have been a concern, but with the reinstatement of point guard Scottie Wilbekin allowing Kenny Boynton to move to the two, Florida should be able to take better care of the ball.
- Kentucky- The loss to Duke isn’t a huge concern. The Blue Devils are a quality, veteran team. No, the real problem with the Wildcats so far is the lack of depth. Jarrod Polson, a star against Maryland, was completely ineffective against a more disciplined defense, and John Calipari only trusted Willie Cauley-Stein enough to give him six minutes. The continued absence of Ryan Harrow leaves Kentucky without a true point guard, a role not suited for Archie Goodwin or Julius Mays. Still, in watching the young Wildcats play, it’s tough to argue that they have the highest ceiling of any SEC team.
- Missouri- Frank Haith has used his first few games to assess all the new talent that arrived in Columbia this offseason. Auburn transfer Earnest Ross and freshman Negus Webster-Chan have been particularly impressive. We’ll know a lot more about the Tigers after the face three quality opponents in the Battle 4 Atlantis this week.
- Alabama- The Crimson Tide survived late scares from South Dakota State and Oregon State, but are sitting atop the SEC standings at 4-0. The backcourt triumvirate of Rodney Cooper, Trevor Lacey, and Trevor Releford has been stellar, buying the inexperienced frontcourt some time to improve.
- Arkansas- The Razorbacks beat Sam Houston State and Longwood. So they stay at #5.
- Ole Miss- Marshall Hendersonwon’t stop shooting and he shouldn’t. The JUCO transfer is ranked 2nd nationally in three-point shots made (5.33 per game) and attempted (11.33 per game).
- Tennessee- The Volunteers drop three spots after an ugly loss to Oklahoma State, a game in which they could only muster 13 field goals. Jeronne Maymon can’t return soon enough.
- Texas A&M- After three easy victories, the Aggies will face their first test tonight against the Saint Louis Billikens. Fabyon Harris is another JUCO transfer making waves in the league, providing coach Billy Kennedy with another threat from long-range to go along with star Elston Turner.
- LSU- First-year coach Johnny Jones has had no trouble dispatching his first two opponents to open his career in Baton Rouge, and the next two won’t provide much of a challenge either. Forward Johnny O’Bryant III left the Tigers’ opener with an injury, and having him come back healthy is absolutely essential for LSU.
- Auburn- Isaiah Canaan had his way with the Tigers, but the defense isn’t the biggest problem for Tony Barbee. His team is shooting 37.8% from the field, and senior Frankie Sullivan is the only player averaging in double figures.
- South Carolina- Frank Martin‘s influence on his new team has been seen immediately. The Gamecocks are averaging almost 79 possessions per game, up from 63.8 a season ago. They aren’t going to win a lot of conference games, but at least they’ll be more fun to watch.
- Vanderbilt- The usually fearsome Commodores are in for a rough season. In Friday’s trip to Eugene, Vanderbilt shot only 34% in a 74-48 loss to the Ducks. The team participates in the Old Spice Classic this week, where the competition won’t get any easier.
- Georgia- A blowout home loss to Youngstown State made it a tough week for the Bulldogs, and tonight’s match-up against the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers isn’t the ideal way to regroup. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia’s leading scorer and rebounder, can’t do it all on his own.
- Mississippi State- A win over Florida Atlantic isn’t enough to get the Bulldogs out of the cellar. We’re hoping Rick Ray‘s bunch enjoys their time on the sands of Maui, because they aren’t going to have a lot of success in the gym.