SEC Stock Watch: 02.27.15 Edition

Posted by David Changas on February 27th, 2015

Each week, we take a look at which teams, players, and coaches are on the rise, which are holding steady, and which are on the decline. This is SEC Stock Watch.

Trending Up

  • Kentucky Running the Table. With each passing week, the chances that the 28-0 Wildcats make it to the Big Dance with an unblemished record get prospectively better. Kentucky will face two tough challenges in the next five days — hosting Arkansas and traveling to Georgia — but if they can handle those , they’ll certainly arrive in Nashville for the SEC Tournament without a loss and be prohibitive favorites to remain so.

    Willie Cauley-Stein and his Wildcats have a tough test against Arkansas Saturday. (USA TODAY Sports)

    Willie Cauley-Stein and his Wildcats have a tough test against Arkansas Saturday. (USA TODAY Sports)

  • Georgia. After the Bulldogs inexplicably dropped a pair of home games against lowly Auburn and South Carolina, they bounced back with wins at Alabama and Ole Miss. Those two wins now put Mark Fox’s team at 10-5 in SEC play and in very good shape for an NCAA Tournament bid.
  • Six Teams to the Big Dance. Right now, it looks like the league is in good shape to receive six bids, as both bracketologists Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm have Kentucky, Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M into their fields. There is plenty of basketball left to play, however, and no team other than Kentucky and Arkansas should get too comfortable, but for the SEC to be in this position is a dramatic improvement from a year ago.
  • Arkansas as the League’s Second Best Team.There was some debate a few weeks ago about the second-best team in the SEC, but that is no longer the case. Arkansas is now an impressive 12-3 in SEC play heading into Saturday’s big-time tilt in Lexington. The Razorbacks have separated themselves from the rest of the pack and are now playing for postseason seeding.
  • Vanderbilt’s Future. The Commodores started SEC play 1-7 but have since righted the ship, winning five of seven games. Thursday’s come-from-behind win at Tennessee, in which they hit an astonishing 84 percent of their attempts in the second half, is a great example of the improvement of Kevin Stallings’ team. With two winnable home games left against Alabama and Mississippi State, Vanderbilt will astonishingly have a chance to finish .500 in SEC play with a win at Mississippi to close out the season, something that didn’t seem possible a few short weeks ago.


  • Ole Miss. The Rebels have struggled lately and could use a good performance at LSU on Saturday before finishing SEC play at Alabama and at home against Vanderbilt. With an RPI of #43 at this point, Ole Miss needs to win two of its last three games to feel comfortable about its NCAA chances.
  • Antoine Mason. Given the dire condition of his father, Anthony Mason, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Auburn senior has been up and down lately. In three of his last five games, Mason has scored in single figures, sandwiched around 24- and 29-point games against Alabama and Kentucky. Perhaps his father’s improving health will allow Mason to play more consistently and will compel the Tigers to finish strongly down the stretch.

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  • Tennessee at Home. The Volunteers are 4-3 (7-0 against the spread) on the road, but after Thursday’s home loss to Vanderbilt, Tennessee is a dreadful 2-6 in SEC play at Thompson-Boling Arena. Some of that can be explained by the fact that they’ve played a much tougher slate at home than on the road, but Donnie Tyndall has to be disappointed with how his team has performed in front of the home fans this season.
Tennessee has been tough on the road, but awful at home (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Tennessee has been tough on the road, but awful at home (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

  • Florida’s Postseason Chances. The Gators’ season hit rock bottom on Tuesday when they lost at Missouri, all but ruining their chances of making the NIT. The loss dropped Florida to 13-15 overall (6-9 SEC) and it still has a game at Kentucky left to play. They will need a run in the SEC Tournament to have a chance of attending any type of postseason tournament.
  • Anthony Grant’s Future. With his team sitting at 17-11 overall and 7-8 in SEC play, Grant’s team will need a miraculous run in the SEC Tournament to make the Big Dance. As a result, it looks like Grant will be in danger of losing his job given the do-or-die status of this season. The question for the Alabama administration is where will it turn next?
David Changas (166 Posts)

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