SEC Full Court Press: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Posted by Brian Joyce on January 9th, 2012

The familiarity amongst teams once conference play begins creates an atmosphere that is truly hard to predict. The SEC experienced some ups and downs as some teams didn’t play as expected while others rose to the occasion. The first week of SEC play was nothing if not unpredictable, and it’s only the beginning of what is to come.

The Week That Was:

  • The Ole Miss Rebels haven’t shot at least 45% from the field and at least 30% from three-point range since a December 17 loss to Southern Miss.
  • Meanwhile, the LSU Tigers, which beat the Rebels 81-55, have won eight of their last nine games.
  • Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is closing in on the single season blocks record for the school. He has 74 so far this season, just 10 away from the all-time best mark of 84 set by Andre Riddick in 1993-94 and Melvin Turpin in 1982-83.
  • Mississippi State allowed Arkansas to shoot 56.5% from the field on Saturday. Previously, the Bulldogs hadn’t allowed an opponent to shoot above 50% all season.
  • The Razorbacks’ Julysses Nobles came up with a huge game on Saturday. The junior guard had 24 points and seven assists in by far his best game of the season.
  • Coming off an 18-point loss to Memphis, the Tennessee defense held Florida to 56 points on 35.7% shooting. Both the point total and the shooting percentage were season lows for the Gators.
  • Billy Donovan won’t want to pack his bags and leave Gainesville again this season. The Gators are 0-4 on the road this year, losing at Ohio State, Syracuse, Rutgers and Tennessee.
  • Was that a Terrence Jones sighting? The Kentucky power forward had his best game in over a month with a 20-point performance on 8-9 shooting against South Carolina.
  • Auburn mustered up 35 points in its game against Vanderbilt. The ‘Dores scored 38 in the first half.
  • After accomplishing Auburn’s first ever triple-double this week, Kenny Gabriel tallied just two points, three rebounds and one block against the Commodores. It might be safe to say that Gabriel won’t secure the Tigers’ second triple-double in history while he’s playing against SEC competition.

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SEC Morning Five: 10.26.11 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on October 26th, 2011

  1. Mississippi State’s big man Renardo Sidney is still talking about his transformation into a good citizen. He spoke to the Starkville media and had this to say, “I think I’ve done changed more than I ever did since my first two years. Attitude’s done got better, my work ethic’s gotten better.” Everyone rest assured, Renardo Sidney has “done got” better. Sidney has even seen a counselor to help with anger issues. He said, “they taught me how to keep my anger inside, count to ten. I’m not crazy, but sometimes I get overheated.” If you don’t trust Sidney then just listen to Arnett Moultrie, who had this to say about his teammate, “he’s like a whole new different person. His attitude has changed a whole 360.” See, I told you so… Sidney is back to his old ways. Although a 360-degree change is probably more accurate, I believe Moultrie probably meant to say that Sidney has done a 180-degree turnaround.
  2. Expansion-apocalypse is still upon us. With Missouri heading to the SEC and West Virginia heading to the Big 12, nobody seems to be sure what will happen next. But if you find yourself complaining about conference realignment, just think, at least the SEC doesn’t have to endure TCU basketball. A TCU to the SEC discussion is an interesting tidbit that came from Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in his article entitled “Missouri needs to say no the SEC.” Engel cites “a couple of TCU sources” as saying, “the SEC inquired about TCU.” Really? Why? As if he could read my mind, Engel goes on to say, “seriously. Not kidding.” Still don’t believe him? Not sure I do either, but you can check out the article here for further confirmation.
  3. Ballin’ is a Habit released their much anticipated “All-Name Teams” and the SEC had a significant amount of representation. Congratulations to Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli for making the All-Name Team Honorable Mention. In the “That’s-Not-a-Real-Name Team” category, Mardracus Wade of Arkansas made the first team while his teammate Julysses Nobles made the fourth team. The SEC must be disappointed to not be represented on the “All-Sounds-Like-a-Disease Team” or the “All-SEC Frathouse Team,” despite the award being named after the conference. Also, special shout-outs to Stacey Poole of Kentucky for making the Second Team “All Gender Confusion” list and Steve Tchiengang of Vanderbilt for Second Team “All-Awesome-Last-Name-Team.” Congratulations to all award winners, including several other SEC players. Please leave your snubs list in the comments section for the ultimate nerdfight.
  4. The Lexington Herald Leader‘s Jerry Tipton spoke with Kentucky sophomore Doron Lamb who said he is playing as a backup point guard in practices. Lamb said, “I like it. I’m getting better at it.” Teammate Terrence Jones noted Lamb’s improved ballhandling skills while endorsing him as the leading candidate to relieve freshman Marquis Teague. Lamb is working hard to improve his game. He said, “I’m working way harder after practice, before practice. I get here an hour early before practice. After practice I’m the last one to leave.” That is exactly what Kentucky fans want to hear.
  5. Set your DVR’s for HBO. Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is featured in an HBO Sports Documentary called “Prayer for a Perfect Season.” His high school basketball team, the St. Patrick’s (NJ) Celtics, were the subject of the documentary because of their quest for an undefeated 2010-11 season. The film, which premiered last night, focuses on the lives of Kidd-Gilchrist and Derrick Gordon, a Western Kentucky University commitment, as well as the pressure and difficulties of playing for a team in search of the perfect season.  It’s the perfect movie to pass the time while waiting for college basketball to begin.
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RTC Summer Updates: Southeastern Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on August 1st, 2011

With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our SEC correspondent, Gerald Smith.  This season he will be covering the NCAA Basketball with zeal, nerd-culture references and a fistful of silliness at halftimeadjustment.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@fakegimel).

Reader’s Take

Summer Storylines

  • One Big, Mostly-Happy Conference: After several years of divisional lopsidedness in conference scheduling and tournament seeding – to the dismay of programs like Alabama — the SEC has merged the West and East divisions for basketball. A 16-game conference schedule, consisting of the same pairings within and across old divisions, remains for the 2011-12 season. Starting with this year’s SEC Tournament, teams will be seeded and awarded first-round byes by their overall conference record. The most vocal dissenter against peace, conference unity and love was Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury. He argued unsuccessfully that divisional championships create excitement for the fans. MSU athletics must have sold some awesome merchandise for Coach Stansbury’s six SEC West Division championships.
  • Too Much of a Good Thing? - Stansbury also argued that a united 12-team conference won’t produce a true champion unless each team plays a full 22-game home and away conference schedule. In July’s coaches’ conference call, some SEC coaches (South Carolina’s Darrin Horn & LSU’s Trent Johnson) agreed, but wonder if such a schedule is feasible. Other coaches (Kentucky’s John Calipari & Alabama’s Anthony Grant) believe that teams should worry more about strengthening their non-conference scheduling and RPI ratings. Increasing the schedule to at least 18 games would placate athletic directors and the SEC’s broadcast partners, but would add further scheduling imbalance and hysteria. In meetings, the decision to increase the number of conference games was postponed until after the 2011-12 season. The SEC coaches will meet again later in August to debate their options.
  • Missouri Newbies - Two coaches previously employed in the Show-Me State join the SEC during this period of conference remodeling. As an assistant under former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, new Arkansas coach Mike Anderson became very familiar with the “40 Minutes of Hell” system (and Coach Richardson’s snakeskin boot collection). After stops with UAB and Missouri, Anderson returned to Fayetteville to replace John Pelphrey.
  • Caught lying to cover-up his impermissible BBQ — mmmm… impermissible BBQ… *gurgle noise* — Tennessee was forced to fire Bruce Pearl. Missouri State’s Cuonzo Martin was hired to fill Pearl’s vacated orange blazer. With his athletic director resigning and additional NCAA penalties applied to his program, Martin may long for his past days in Springfield.

A major growth spurt led to a similar shoot up the 2011 high school rankings for Kentucky's Anthony Davis. (Sam Forencich/USA Basketball)

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SEC Wrap & Tourney Preview

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 10th, 2011

 

Jared Quillen is the RTC correspondent for the SEC. With tournament action set to tip from Atlanta on Thursday, get set with RTC’s regular season recap and postseason outlook.

Postseason Preview

Hottest Teams Going Into The Postseason:

  • FloridaPasting Alabama to close out the season is a really good sign.
  • KentuckyLooking good on a lot of people’s brackets after winning two tough ones and they’ve been top 10 at KenPom.com all season.

Tournament Sleeper: Mississippi State – Too much talent here to not be dangerous when push comes to shove.  The question is, will they play the way they’re capable or the way when they’ve fumbled?

Best First Round Matchup: Tennessee vs. Arkansas, Thursday - The South Carolina/Ole Miss game doesn’t carry much weight, and I don’t see Georgia having too much trouble with Auburn, nor Vanderbilt with LSUArkansas is the higher seeded team here due to the wackiness of the Southeastern Conference Tournament seeding (more on that later).  Arkansas won the previous meeting 68-65 in Fayetteville.

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Set Your Tivo: 01.04.11

Posted by Brian Otskey on January 4th, 2011

***** – quit your job and divorce your wife if that’s what it takes to watch this game live
**** – best watched live, but if you must, tivo and watch it tonight as soon as you get home
*** – set your tivo but make sure you watch it later
** – set your tivo but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2013
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game

Brian Otskey is an RTC contributor.

Tuesday is a relatively quiet night for hoops fans but there are a few interesting games out there. All rankings from RTC and all times eastern.

#13 Connecticut @ #16 Notre Dame — 7 pm on SNY/ESPN3.com (****)

Hansbrough Can Get Hot Anywhere, Especially At Home.

The Huskies enter a difficult road environment struggling somewhat after their hot start. Connecticut was beaten soundly at Pittsburgh last week and had a very hard time putting away Big East bottom feeder South Florida at home on Friday, needing overtime to knock off the Bulls. As has been the case all year long, Jim Calhoun’s team hasn’t found a third scorer to take some pressure off Kemba Walker and Alex Oriakhi. Walker needed 27 shots to score 31 points against Pittsburgh and Connecticut is going to need a third option tonight against an experienced Irish team with a lot of scoring balance. Notre Dame has five players averaging double figures when you round Scott Martin’s 9.8 PPG up, and each player knows their role in Mike Brey’s newly disciplined offense.

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Checking In On… the SEC

Posted by jstevrtc on December 1st, 2009

checkinginon

Paul Jordan of Wildcat Blue Blog is the RTC correspondent for the Southeastern Conference.

EAST

  1. Kentucky  (7-0)
  2. Florida  (6-0)
  3. Tennessee  (5-1)
  4. South Carolina  (5-1)
  5. Vanderbilt  (4-1)
  6. Georgia  (3-2)

WEST

  1. Mississippi  (5-1)
  2. Mississippi State  (4-2)
  3. Alabama  (4-2)
  4. LSU  (3-2)
  5. Auburn  (3-3)
  6. Arkansas  (2-4)

The big story in the SEC this week has been the re-emergence of Florida as a national threat.  The question being asked everywhere is, “Is Florida back?”   As of now, that answer is a resounding YES.  The Gators just completed a very impressive week (see team updates), and have a good core group in the 2010 recruiting class.  Add to this the speculation that Florida may be taking the lead over Kentucky in the race for #1 2010 recruit Brandon Knight and it appears that this season and the future for UF is very bright indeed.  Thanks to Florida, the SEC East is shaping up as possibly one of the best divisions in the country with Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt combining for a 27-3 record.  The SEC East has three teams in the Top 17 in the country (Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida) with Vanderbilt lurking in the fringes of the Top 25.  The SEC is still looking solid for a possible eight NCAA bids this year.  I know it’s early, but the five teams in the East, plus the two Mississippi teams and darkhorse Alabama are clearly the class of the conference thus far.

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