SEC Stock Watch: 01.30.15 Edition

Posted by David Changas on January 30th, 2015

It’s time for our weekly look at which SEC teams, players, and coaches are trending up, down, or somewhere in the middle. This is SEC Stock Watch.

Trending Up

  • Texas A&M. It is hard to imagine that the future has looked any brighter at this school since the glory days of Billy Gillispie. The Aggies lost their first two SEC games — played without second-leading scorer Jalen Jones — but have since reeled off five in a row in league play. They already have three conference road wins and a favorable schedule going forward. With an RPI that sits at #34, this team is a legitimate contender for an NCAA Tournament bid, something that certainly didn’t seem very likely a few short weeks ago.
Alex Caruso and Texas A&M have hit their stride (Paul Abell- USA Today)

Alex Caruso and Texas A&M have hit their stride (Paul Abell- USA Today)

  • Dorian Finney-Smith Dunks. In what was likely the most emphatic game-winning basket we’ve seen this year, Finney-Smith put away Alabama and got his Gators a key road win last week. Florida is still sitting squarely atop the bubble and has a lot of work to do to overcome it, but this was the type of win that will serve handy on Selection Sunday.
  • Mark Fox’s Job Security. It’s looking more and more like Georgia has a legitimate chance to emerge as the SEC’s second-best team, as the Bulldogs have bounced back nicely from two losses to open conference play. Georgia has moved into the RPI’s top 25 and appears very well-positioned to secure its first NCAA bid since 2011.
  • Jordan Mickey’s Draft Stock. If there is a more consistent player in the SEC this season, we haven’t seen him. Mickey is averaging 15.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per contest and has propelled LSU to a nice 5-2 league record. The only bad news associated with Mickey’s play is that he likely won’t be around to play with Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney next season, as the NBA Draft’s first round is well within his sights.
  • Kentucky’s Chances of an Undefeated Season. This stock trends up with every passing week that the Wildcats don’t lose a game. According to KenPom, the best chance Kentucky has of losing in the regular season is when it travels to Georgia on March 3. There, the Wildcats have an 84 percent chance of winning, according to the advanced stats guru’s latest projections.


  • Donnie Tyndall. We are keeping Tyndall here for now even though Tennessee lost to Texas A&M and Arkansas last week. In the loss in Fayetteville, Tennessee kept the game closer than it probably should have been thanks in large part to Tyndall’s coaching. Off the court, the head coach continues to deal with fallout from the investigation into his former program at Southern Miss. If Tyndall can weather the storm through these allegations, he has shown that the future can indeed be bright under his guidance in Knoxville.
  • Ole Miss. This team has almost been forgotten in the SEC race. It almost pulled off the upset of the season when it took Kentucky to overtime to open conference play, and the Rebels won at Arkansas. Its only other conference losses were to LSU and Georgia, but its resume has some other blemishes that will hurt come March. Right now, it’s almost impossible to predict whether the Rebels will ultimately have done enough to make the Big Dance.

Trending Down

  • Vanderbilt. This is a hard team to figure out. The Commodores have a group of nice young talent, including a budding star in Damian Jones. They are an efficient offensive team whose numbers belie their 1-6 league record, and they’ve lost several close games with a difficult early schedule. Things may turn around when the schedule softens, but six league losses in a row is nothing short of disappointing.
Things have not gone well in SEC play for Kevin Stallings and Vanderbilt (AP/Bill Kostroun)

Things have not gone well in SEC play for Kevin Stallings and Vanderbilt (AP/Bill Kostroun)

  • Kim Anderson’s Sanity. Anderson took over arguably the most difficult SEC job this season given how Frank Haith left it. He is clearly an excellent coach (he won a Division II national championship at Central Missouri) and he will eventually do a good job at Missouri, but this season has been difficult on the veteran coach. He was also lucky enough to draw not one but two games against Kentucky in his first month of SEC play.
  • Bruce Pearl Miracles. When Pearl got to Tennessee a decade ago, he inherited a group that included C.J. Watson, Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith — that core of talent led the Volunteers to a #2 NCAA Tournament seed in his first year. He has already lost more SEC games in less than half a conference season than he did in his inaugural campaign at Tennessee, where his team pays a visit on Saturday. Things will get better for Pearl, but this season is quickly becoming forgettable on The Plains.
  • Memories of South Carolina’s Win Over Iowa State. It is hard to believe the Gamecocks actually beat the Cyclones at a neutral site, and it is even harder to believe that it happened less than four weeks ago. Frank Martin’s team is 1-6 in the SEC now and looks as far from being an NCAA Tournament team as it has since Martin arrived on the scene three years ago.
David Changas (166 Posts)

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