Assessing Seth Davis’ Portfolio: SEC ReactionPosted by Brian Joyce on January 4th, 2013
Seth Davis is active in the stock trades this week buying, selling, and holding on to six SEC teams. And when someone is chiming in on the SEC we just have to weigh in. The SEC catches a bad rap most of the time, and rightfully so, but we are just glad the national media is still talking about us. Here is where we agree and disagree with Davis’ assessment of the SEC:
FLORIDA (9-2, No. 13): HOLD
The Gators were the new little black dress for a while there, weren’t they? They made Wisconsin, Marquette and Florida State look like jayvee teams, and it appeared they solved the chemistry issues that plagued them in the past. […] But until the Gators win a tough game, it’s hard to recommend you buy their stock when they’re ranked in the top 15.
RTC says: Davis just can’t go all in with Florida, but that’s okay, because we can. The Gators are a top 10 team, and it is as simple as that. Billy Donovan has a top 10 offensive and defensive unit (KenPom: second in offense and 10th in defense), but late game struggles have given its detractors enough ammunition to remain in full force despite the realistic possibility of running through a down league in dominant fashion. Ranking #13 in the polls will be the lowest ranking the Gators experience the rest of the season. When stock is low and you are assured it is set to rise, buy up in large quantities. Donovan’s teams succeed in March, and this one will be no different.
KENTUCKY (9-4): BUY
The Wildcats’ floor is clearly rising, but I’m not sure their ceiling is as high as many believe. […] The players are too talented and the league is too weak for them not to continue their climb.
RTC says: Sell. Sell. Sell. Kentucky’s stock is as high as it has been in over a month. Critics, fans, and media members clamored over Kentucky’s heart and toughness in a three-point loss in the Yum! Center, but Davis got the narrative on this one right. The Wildcats’ second half comeback was a mirage fueled by tentative defensive play by the Cards. Kentucky was down 17 in the second half, and that is closer to the truest version of the Wildcats than the rainbows and butterflies version we walked away with on Saturday. UK doesn’t have a go-to offensive threat, and the defense will only take the Cats so far. Sure, Kentucky will benefit from a weak SEC, and perhaps will even wind up ranked again in the Top 25, but this is a team destined to struggle on the road even against sub-par competition. Bet on at least four conference losses (we are guessing at Ole Miss, at Florida, at Arkansas, and home against Missouri) and a third-place finish.
MISSOURI (10-2, No. 12): BUY
This team isn’t as good as last year’s, but in many ways it is more suited for success in the NCAA Tournament. Instead of having to run and shoot all the time, these Tigers can junkyard dog their way to Atlanta. […] Even the move to the SEC is going to help. But they lost, and the SEC is weak, so that makes them a good Buy.
RTC says: The loss to UCLA puts Missouri’s stock at a low price in a prime position to be bought up in large quantities. The Tigers have the depth to take the SEC by storm this year, but the loss to the Bruins puts a Josh Smith-sized question mark on Missouri’s back. Frank Haith has a complete team already equipped with wins over Virginia Commonwealth, Illinois, and Stanford. Jabari Brown gives Haith a much needed outside threat, but is still adjusting to his role on the team. Missouri could be a huge surprise for visiting SEC squads as the Tigers have only lost one home game in each of the last two seasons in a tough Big 12.
TENNESSEE (8-3): SELL
I’d like to tell you that better days are ahead for the Vols, that the weakness of the SEC will allow them to rise. The truth is, this one of the most offensively challenged “good” teams I’ve ever seen. […] Even if Tennessee beats Memphis this weekend, I don’t think it can win enough conference games to make the NCAA Tournament.
RTC says: Unfortunately for the Volunteers their win over Xavier was not really all that impressive. Tennessee again struggled offensively, barely topping 50 points in Thompson-Boling Arena. And the Musketeers have lost four in a row including defeats to Wofford and Wake Forest. A win over Wichita State remains the only quality win on the schedule so the NIT is looking like the best option at this point. Without Maymon — whose return is looking less and less likely — a scoring machine the Vols are not. And the way this offense has operated, wins will be difficult to come by.
Ten Stocks To Dump (If you haven’t already)
Georgia (5-7). The Bulldogs also have some bad home losses to Youngstown State, Southern Miss and Iona.
Mississippi State (4-7). The Bulldogs needed to clean house for first-year coach Rick Ray. This is what a clean house looks like.
RTC says: Was there even a question? These two teams (Mississippi State especially) should have never even been in the portfolio. If you had these stocks sticking around, it is quite likely that you have already lost a significant amount of money. And if you have a few dollars left, then I have two lower level tickets to The Hump I want to sell you at face value. Trust me, they are worth every penny.
Brian Joyce is a writer for the SEC microsite and regular contributor for Rush The Court. Follow him on Twitter for more about SEC basketball at bjoyce_hoops.