SEC M5: 02.06.13 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on February 6th, 2013


  1. “Correlation does not always imply causation” as our friends at A Sea of Blue point out, but in this case the evidence certainly seems to fit. Kentucky has lost four of the five games it has played this year where the pace was played at 66 or fewer possessions. Kentucky’s scoring in transition has clearly been more effective than its half court offense, but is UK actively pushing the pace or settling for working on its half court woes? What has to be concerning for Kentucky fans is that the Wildcats seem to be slowing down. Other than a January 29 date with Ole Miss, one of the most uptempo teams in the nation, the Cats haven’t gone over 70 possessions since January 2.
  2. Tennessee forward Kenny Hall is in trouble again, this time after an arrest for driving on a suspended license. Police stopped Hall for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, after which it was determined that his driver’s license was suspended for a previous unpaid fine. Hall missed the last 11 games of last season for an undisclosed violation of team rules. It is unclear now how this situation will affect Hall’s status with the Volunteers but University of Tennessee athletics department spokesperson Tom Satkowiak said, “The administration and coaching staff are aware of the situation, and it is being addressed internally.” Guess we’ll find out when we find out.
  3. Former Auburn standout and current Missouri guard Earnest Ross has been markedly better off the bench than he has been starting the game this season. However, Tigers head coach Frank Haith had to create buy-in from Ross by demonstrating just how much better he was playing coming off the bench.  Haith wrote out Ross’ statistics on the white board during a team meeting last week and asked which stat line he would prefer. Ross is averaging 12.6 points per game as a substitute as opposed to just 8.5 PPG beginning the game on the court. Naturally, he chose the 12.6 per-game scoring average. “As a player, it kind of makes you understand a little bit more,” Ross said. “I kind of understood the reason, and as long as we’re winning, I’m happy.”
  4. This season has reached an embarrassing low for Auburn‘s basketball team after six straight losses in SEC play. “I’m pretty sure that you would be embarrassed too if you lose six straight and you have a team that has the talent and is one of the best recruiting classes you can put together, and then having seniors that are not producing,” senior guard Frankie Sullivan said. “It’s very embarrassing. It’s hard to even get on a social network or talk to your family or friends about basketball because you’re embarrassed.” The six-game losing streak has brought Auburn’s record down to 8-13, but a home date with rival Alabama on Wednesday would be a perfect time for the Tigers to break their current skid.
  5. LSU coach Johnny Jones has full confidence in point guard Anthony Hickey, especially after his late-game heroics on Saturday against Mississippi State. “He’s what I like to call a warrior and a winner,” said Jones. “He doesn’t shy away or back away from those opportunities at the end of games.” Hickey scored seven of his 12 points in the final 46.7 seconds of the game including a game winner with just over a second remaining. The Tigers are finally starting to turn the corner, winning three of their last four games.
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SEC M5: 02.04.13 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on February 4th, 2013


  1. Scottie Wilbekin received a generous amount of recognition for his defense recently, but his offense is making strides as well. He scored 13 points and dished out seven assists in a much anticipated clash with Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson. “Since the year has gone on I have gotten more comfortable out there,” Wilbekin said. “It has been slowing down. The reads become easier as I’ve grown up. When I just slow down it seems something always opens up.” However, Wilbekin’s defense earned universal acknowledgment for a reason. His defense on Henderson played a large part in forcing Ole Miss’ enigmatic guard into four turnovers. 
  2. Henderson was extremely complimentary of Florida after the Gators’ 78-64 win, despite his 25 points on 7-11 shooting from beyond the arc. “I think (Florida) will contend for the national championship,” Henderson said. “We have seen how they have been blowing people out. They execute perfectly.” He didn’t exactly speak as favorably of UF’s student section, the Rowdy Reptiles. “I had to give it to them — I thought they’d be a little bit more mean than they were. There were some funny signs.” The O’Connell Center might be the most volatile environment Henderson and the Rebels have remaining on the schedule, with just a trip to Missouri that could even come close.
  3. Kentucky’s freshman laden team has been in desperate need of leadership. Saturday in College Station, senior Julius Mays stepped up as the veteran the Wildcats have been missing. Cat killer Elston Turner would most likely attest to Mays’ excellent defense. “Julius did a great job on Turner,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “Because Archie (Goodwin), if Archie ever sees Turner again, leave. If it’s a pickup game, go home. Don’t go near the guy. Julius played him pretty good, and made it hard. He scored some baskets, but (Julius) made it hard.” Turner ended the game with 21 points, including the game tying three pointer in regulation, but Mays impact on the road was invaluable. “Julius, without him, we don’t win today,” Calipari said.
  4. It takes a certain level of confidence and toughness to go on the road and win in the SEC. Vols center Kenny Hall says Tennessee just doesn’t have what it takes. “I feel like we still lack mental toughness,” Hall said. “I don’t even feel like we’ve got it down all the way. As a team, it’s about being consistent, staying focused, not turning the ball over, making plays, getting stops without the defensive breakdowns. At home we do a great job of it, but on the road, that’s when we when we really have to step it up, really tighten up our screws.” The Vols are 0-6 away from home this season, and they have five more road games left in SEC play. That is quite a few more defeats if Tennessee can’t put together the mental fortitude to steal one away from the friendly confines of Thompson-Boling Arena.
  5. Alabama coach Anthony Grant is confident going to the bench when his team needs composure and leadership. That’s because that’s where fifth year senior Andrew Steele resides. Steele came off the bench with 13 points to steady the Tide in a 58-54 win over Vanderbilt. “The numbers speak for themselves … but the other stuff, just his leadership, his communication, just the respect that he get, I can’t tell you how valuable it is,” Grant said. “For our young guys, they’re learning the lessons of what leadership is all about in terms of what he provides for them. Tonight, he got shots to fall. He had a season-high 13 points. He’s always going to give you the effort and the intangibles. … It’s great to see the ball go in, as hard as he works at it. The other things to me supersede the points, the rebounds and anything else. The intangibles, the leadership, the passion that he has for his team, for this university shows, and it’s contagious.” The numbers Grant refers to is Alabama’s winning percentage with Steele, which is 12-2, as opposed to its 2-5 record without him.
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In Their Own Words, SEC Edition: 11.16.12

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 16th, 2012

In Their Own Words, SEC Edition is a compilation of what coaches, players, media, and fans are talking about via Twitter. Some tweets are informative, some funny, and some are just plain interesting. This week’s edition looks at some star performers, takes a few jabs, and focuses on the poor play at the bottom of the conference this week:

Whoa, we see you Erik Murphy. Man, if only he play defense. #AllSECPerformer

Well, he’s not really Jerry Tipton, but that doesn’t mean he’s not right. We would ask John Calipari if he actually said that, but he would probably claim he couldn’t remember and then make us repeat the quote word for word. We’re just not prepared for that. But unlike Duke reporters, we can take a joke, and that’s a good one.

This soothes the loss of injured Jeronne Maymon for now. The big fella finished with 12 points and eight boards against UNC Asheville. When Maymon returns, Hall’s emergence gives the Vols a quality rotation to work with in the frontcourt.

That’s what the Tide needed. Where was that shooting last year? Lacey shot 30 percent from beyond the arc last season, but is hitting for 70 percent in the first two games this year. He is also averaging 19 points per game. Somebody figure out his offseason workout routine.

Hard to argue with that. But really we just feel bad for these three teams at this point. It’s not even funny anymore. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s definitely not fair. It is hard to believe that Mississippi State cancelled its basketball team this year, and decided to painfully injure each of its remaining players.

That’s one way to lose a game. Mark Fox should really consider a new strategy. Layups are so much easier than three-pointers. Maybe that’s why the Bulldogs are losing so often these days. Or maybe it’s because they’ve been playing one-on-five. That’s difficult too.

Speaking of going one-on-five, Murray State point guard Isaiah Canaan took on the entire Auburn team. And he won. Auburn might want to guard him. Or perhaps the Tigers should put five new players on the court.

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.

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Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon Suffers a “Minor Setback”

Posted by Brian Joyce on October 24th, 2012

According to the Twitter account of GoVolsXtra’s Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball beat writer Brendan Quinn, Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin says that forward Jeronne Maymon has suffered a “minor setback” and will likely not start the beginning of the year with the Volunteers. Maymon had arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee in June and was originally expected to return to action when the Vols traveled to Italy in August. Though Maymon made the trip, he sat out the first two games for precautionary reasons, and was not a major contributor when he played.

Jeronne Maymon Suffers a Minor Setback

According to Martin, “Jeronne had a minor setback so we probably won’t have him to start the season.” He went on to state that Maymon is “obviously not lost for the year.” When reporters asked if the forward was ready to play otherwise, Martin said that he didn’t “think he’s at the level where he could play a game right now.” The head coach gave no further comment on exactly what was involved in the “setback.”

Maymon played in 33 games last season, averaging 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. In addition, he was selected as a second team preseason all-SEC member by the media. In the short term, Maymon’s absence could benefit Vols’ center Kenny Hall. The senior averaged 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds last season, but will likely see additional playing time with a thin frontline. When asked about a timetable for Maymon’s return, Martin simply stated that “it’s a case of when he’s ready.” Maymon is clearly a major component to the high expectations accompanying Tennessee this year, and his return is crucial to the Vols’ success.

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.

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SEC Transition Basketball: Tennessee Volunteers

Posted by Brian Joyce on August 13th, 2012

It’s hot out there, and to many of us, college basketball is the last thing on our minds. But here at the SEC Microsite, we’re going to be rolling out mid-summer resets of each of the (now) 14 basketball programs in our league. We’re calling it Transition Basketball, and you can expect we’ll cover three or four teams a week until we’re done. By that time, we’ll actually start to be turning the slight corner into the fall, and from there it’s a smooth slope down to Midnight Madness in mid-October. Today’s update: Tennessee. 

State of the Program

Year one under new head coach Cuonzo Martin was, for all intents and purposes, a success. Most of the talent in Knoxville walked out the door when the Bruce Pearl circus left town, leaving the Vols with a tough rebuilding job. But Martin had UT competing night in and night out with some of the best teams in the country. The Vols lost to Duke, Pittsburgh, College of Charleston, and twice to Memphis just to name a few of the early-season defeats.  Tennessee’s difficult non-conference schedule may have piled up several losses, but it also prepared the Vols for life in the SEC. And it paid off. Martin’s team went a surprising 10-6 in conference play, including winning eight of its final nine games in the regular season.

Cuonzo Martin is building a winner in Knoxville, and doing so quickly. (Photo via AP Photo/The News Sentinel, Adam Brimer)

Year one  of the Martin Era was impressive, but the pieces are in place for year two to be even better. The Vols built a strong frontline in Jeronne Maymon, Jarnell Stokes, and Kenny Hall, and all three have returned to Knoxville for another season. Point guard Trae Golden is back as well. The list of returning players goes on and on, giving the Vols the advantage of having the entire offseason to gain a better understanding of Martin’s system. But any conversation about Tennessee’s rebuilding efforts wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the biggest returner of all. The most important piece to the Vols’ hoops success is Cuonzo Martin, and that is saying a lot considering the resounding “who?” heard around the state of Tennessee in March 2011 when Martin was hired to take over the reins of a reeling UT basketball program.

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SEC Morning Five: 03.28.12 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on March 28th, 2012

  1. Tennessee Volunteer center Kenny Hall has been reinstated by Cuonzo Martin. “Kenny’s back in the fold,” Martin said Tuesday morning. “Kenny is a good young man, and I believe he has learned a valuable lesson and he’s ready to move forward.” Hall will rejoin team workouts after being held out of the final nine games of the season. He will join a front line that includes Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes, who both had outstanding seasons, for a promising second year under coach Martin.
  2. High school standout Shabazz Muhammad confirmed that he will decide on his college choice on April 21. He is down to five schools, but Kentucky, UCLA, and Duke are the leaders for his services. The Cats are likely to lose as many as six or seven players from their current roster, but still have a solid class coming in and John Calipari‘s success with getting freshmen into the NBA draft only helps him continue to recruit the nation’s best. Of course there are still lingering concerns about Muhammad’s eligibility.
  3. Even while Kentucky prepares for the Final Four that doesn’t mean Calipari isn’t still recruiting for next season. The Wildcats are reportedly one of at least two schools (North Carolina is the other) that has reached out to Connecticut senior Alex Oriakhi to inquire about a transfer to UK. With Kentucky’s frontline about to be decimated by the pro game, Oriakhi could play significant minutes for a team with the potential to go very deep in the NCAA Tournament again next year. Whether or not he plays next year depends on the decision by the NCAA on UConn’s appeal of its 2013 NCAA Tournament. If the Huskies win and can play in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Oriakhi would have to sit out a year, but if they lose and are kept out, Oriakhi is eligible immediately.
  4. After Mississippi State’s season ended, Renardo Sidney is preparing to boost his stock in the upcoming NBA draft. Sidney and his agent think his draft status is fairly simple. “Right now we’re just working on losing about 30 pounds. We’re not worried about my game because my game has always been there. It’s always been about the weight. We’re working to get 30 pounds off me and see where it goes from there.” And Sidney is right. Unfortunately, he has always known weight was an issue and didn’t do anything about it while he was in Starkville.
  5. The 2011-12 Florida Gators left a lasting impression on coach Billy Donovan. “A team that was really young and immature in a lot of ways and in front of my eyes I got a chance to watch them grow up and mature competitively. To see where Patric Young was at the start of the year, in January, to see where they finished. To see before Brad (Beal) was in November and December, see where he finished. Same with Erik Murphy. Our guys grew up.” Unfortunately for the Gators, they returned to that same immature team for the final eight minutes of their Elite Eight matchup with the Louisville Cardinals.
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Set Your TiVo: 12.14.11

Posted by Brian Otskey on December 14th, 2011

Brian Otskey is the Big East correspondent for RTC and a regular contributor. You can find him @botskey on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.

Cincinnati plays its first game since the Xavier brawl as Dead Week continues around the country. You should also keep an eye on the Iona/Richmond game at 3 PM but that one won’t be found on television.

Cincinnati at Wright State – 7:00 PM EST on ESPN2 (**)

  • Cincinnati will only have six key contributors available when it heads to Wright State tonight. The Bearcats will be without Yancy Gates, Cheikh Mbodj, Ge’Lawn Guyn, and Octavius Ellis due to their suspensions stemming from the fight with Xavier on Saturday. Sean Kilpatrick and Dion Dixon will have to step up in a big way for Cincinnati in order to win this game on the road. Wright State is not a good team, but the Bearcats have only one player taller than 6’5” available tonigt. For a team that can’t afford to speed up the game, that’s not a good combination for Cincinnati. Kilpatrick, Dixon, and point guard Cashmere Wright all can score, but the other Bearcats are all unproven. With Gates and company out, Cincinnati is missing a combined 22.2 PPG and 14.6 RPG in this game.
  • Wright State’s biggest advantages in this game are home court and height. Cincinnati’s players may be rattled playing a road game after the suspensions while the Raiders have three players 6’7” or taller, including 6’10” A.J. Pacher. He’s been plagued by foul trouble all season but if he manages to stay on the court for any extended period of time, Pacher will cause problems for Cincinnati in the paint. Billy Donlon’s top scorer is point guard Julius Mays, who is averaging 10.2 PPG. Wright State doesn’t score a lot of points due to its brutal offense but Mays does hit on 39.4% of his treys. Ordinarily, Wright State wouldn’t have much of a chance to beat Cincinnati. Given the Bearcats’ personnel issues, the Raiders have a solid chance this time.

Mick Cronin Will Need To Find A Way To Win Without His Best Players Tonight

  • Expect this game to be played at an incredibly slow pace. Both teams struggle to put the ball in the basket so this has the makings of a close game played in the 40s or 50s. For Wright State to win, it must assert itself inside from the start, limit Kilpatrick, and force some turnovers. The Raiders rank #35 in defensive turnover percentage, certainly a respectable number. Should this game come down to the wire, Cincinnati is actually a better free throw shooting team without the suspended players on the court. Kilpatrick, Wright and Dixon all shoot over 70% from the stripe. With all of the uncertainty around Cincinnati, we’re not sure how this game will play out. If forced to pick, we would give the slightest of edges to the home squad.

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SEC Morning Five: 12.13.11 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on December 13th, 2011

  1. The Florida Gators swept the SEC Player of the Week awards this week. Center Patric Young averaged 18.5 points and 10 rebounds as he was named SEC Player of the Week. Young had a double-double in both games this week against Arizona and Rider. Great things happen when the Gator guards feed the low post as evidenced by Young’s 77.3% shooting from the field. Bradley Beal was named SEC Freshman of the Week as he averaged 13.5 points, five rebounds and two assists per game. Beal put up 18 points and four rebounds in the Gators’ blowout win over Rider. This is the second time this season that Beal has won the award.
  2. After a third consecutive loss, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is considering changes to the starting lineup for the Volunteers going into Wednesday’s battle with the College of Charleston. Some Tennessee starters may be playing themselves out of the rotation for not buying into the defensive philosophy of Martin. “We’re definitely looking into it as we speak,’’ Martin said. “You look at every scenario. For us, we have to have a defensive mind-set, and I don’t know if we have that right now.’’ The Volunteers allowed Austin Peay to shoot 72% from the field in the second half on their way to their fifth loss of the season. Martin’s defense is allowing a 51.3 eFG% (254th in the nation) and has an adjusted defensive efficiency of 99.2 (162nd in the nation).
  3. Speaking of the Volunteers’ clash with the College of Charleston, Tennessee is looking at this game as a must-win situation. The Vols have lost three in a row coming into tomorrow’s game. On top of that, the Cougars beat Tennessee 91-78 last year in Knoxville. “Losing three straight, we have to get this win,” center Kenny Hall said. “We also remember them coming in and dominating us last year.” Martin’s squad is in need of a confidence-building win, and a win over CofC might do the trick. College of Charleston is 7-1 coming into the rematch with the Vols, with 6’7″ forward Antwaine Wiggins averaging 17.4 PPG.
  4. Alabama’s Anthony Grant is looking for more consistency from his young Crimson Tide team. The Tide raced out to a 38-16 lead over Detroit on Saturday only to allow the Titans to scratch back into the game in the second half. Alabama eventually won by eight points, but Grant was looking for more. “We’ve got to learn to maintain that focus and energy over the course of a 40-minute game regardless of a score or how things are going for us individually,” he said. “We’ve had spurts that lasted longer than they did tonight. We’ve got to figure out how to put that together for 40 minutes.” In the second half, Bama was limited to 35% shooting and were forced into nine turnovers, getting out-scored 32-24 in the second 20 minutes of action.
  5. There was no doubt that something was wrong with Kentucky’s Terrence Jones on Saturday in the Wildcats’ one-point loss against Indiana. It was mentioned here yesterday in the SEC M5. And now several experts, including Dick Vitale, are weighing in on what was wrong with Jones. “I can understand kids having a bad game. Not scoring. Maybe forcing turnovers. I cannot understand not playing aggressively, and he didn’t play aggressively in a very emotional [game]. The kid has to look in the mirror,” Vitale said. “There’s no question he let his teammates down. It’s not about putting up numbers. I have no problem with that. I have a problem if you’re not playing hard.” Jones took only three shots the entire game (scoring four points), but it was his defensive effort that forced John Calipari to relegate him to the bench for good with three minutes remaining in a close game on the road. Kentucky dropped to #3 in both national polls on Monday, although the Wildcats only fell to #2 in the RTC Top 25.
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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 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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Checking in on… the SEC

Posted by jstevrtc on January 26th, 2010

Paul Jordan of Wildcat Blue Blog is the RTC correspondent for the Southeastern Conference.
  1. Kentucky                   19-0  (4-0)
  2. Vanderbilt                 15-3  (4-0)
  3. Tennessee                 15-3  (3-1)
  4. Florida                     14-5  (3-2)
  5. South Carolina           11-8  (2-3)
  6. Georgia                        9-8  (1-3)
  1. Mississippi State        15-4  (3-1)
  2. Mississippi                 15-4  (3-2)
  3. Alabama                   12-7   (2-3)
  4. Arkansas                    8-11  (1-3)
  5. Auburn                      10-10  (1-4)
  6. LSU                           9-10  (0-5)
Good Rankings Week in the SEC.  Kentucky finally ascended to the top of both the AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Top 25 . The last SEC team ranked No. 1 in AP poll was Tennessee on Feb. 26, 2008. This is Kentucky’s first No. 1 AP ranking since March 18, 2003.  Kentucky also stands alone as the only undefeated team in college basketball with a 19-0 record. Kentucky was an unanimous choice to both sets of voters.  Tennessee fell from the top 10 in both polls as they landed at #14 in both.  The Ole Miss Rebels came in at #18 in the AP poll and #20 in the ESPN/USA Today.  Vanderbilt is now the fourth SEC team in both polls, coming in at #21 in the AP poll and #23 with the ESPN/USA Today voters.  Mississippi State continues to swim in the “receiving votes” pool.
Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins was named SEC Freshman of the Week.  He played just 17 minutes but had 16 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Arkansas.   Georgia’s Travis Leslie was named SEC Player of the Week. He had 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in win over No. 8 Tennessee.
1/26 – #1 Kentucky (19-0) (4-0) @ South Carolina (11-8) (2-3) – 9 PM – ESPN
1/27 – #23 Vanderbilt (15-3) (4-0) @ #14 Tennessee (15-3) (3-1)  – 7PM – ESPNU.
1/27 – Georgia (9-8) (1-3) @ Florida (14-5) (3-2) – 7 PM – ESPN  360
1/28 – #20 Mississippi (15-4) (3-2) @ Auburn (10-10) (1-4) 9 PM – ESPNU
1/28 – Mississippi State (15-4) (3-1) @ Arkansas (8-11) (1-3) – 9 PM – ESPN2
1/30 – #23 Vanderbilt (15-3) (4-0) @ #1 Kentucky (19-0) (4-0) – 4 PM – ESPN
1/30 – Arkansas (8-11) (1-3) @ #20 Mississippi (15-4) (3-2) – 4 PM – ESPN 360
1/31 – Florida (14-5) (3-2) @ #14 Tennessee (15-3) (3-1)
Kentucky (#1 – #1) — Kentucky turned in their most complete game of the season with a 101-70 romp over the Arkansas Razorbacks this past Saturday.  The Wildcats jumped out o a 10-0 start and never looked back as they made their case for the number one ranking in the country.  Darius Miller had a career high 18 points and John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both chipped in 16.  Cousins added 14 rebounds.

Vanderbilt (#21, #23) —  Jeffrey Taylor scored all of his 18 points in the second half and Vanderbilt rallied for an 82-74 victory over Auburn.  John Jenkins‘ 3-pointer with 11:39 left gave Vanderbilt its first lead after the Commodores trailed by as many 16 in the first half. A.J. Ogilvy, Jermaine Beal and Brad Tinsley assisted the win with 17, 16, and 15 points, respectively.
Tennessee (#14, #14) — Wayne Chism scored all 11 of his points late in the game and Tennessee held off a determined Alabama Crimson Tide on Tuesday, 63-56.  Scotty Hopson scored 17 and Kenny Hall 12 off the bench to pace the Vols who are 5-0 since the January 1 incident that led to Tyler Smith being kicked off the team. Then, on Saturday, Tennessee fell behind early to the Georgia Bulldogs and trailed at the half by 15 points.  The Vols could never get back into the game on the road and fell, 78-63.  Hopson led the Vols in scoring with 19 while Bobby Maze and Kenny Hall both conributed double digits in a game in which Georgia outplayed them in every aspect.
Florida —  Erving Walker scored 27 points, and Florida went on a 9-0 run late in the second half to pull away for a 71-66 win over Arkansas. Kenny Boynton added 13 points in the UF win, but the Gators bench only managed six points in the game.  Chandler Parsons hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, his second game-winning shot in three weeks, and Florida beat South Carolina 58-56 on Saturday night.  Parsons finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. He missed his first three 3s, but hit the only one that mattered.  Boynton led the Gators with 14 points.
South Carolina —  Devan Downey scored 25 points but got very little help from his teammates as South Carolina fell to Mississippi on Wednesday, 66-57.  The Gamecocks did find a bit of hope as freshman Ramon Galloway had 11 points and is starting to emerge as a new scoring option.  The Devan Downey show continued in Gainesville on Saturday as Downey scored 36 of his team’s 56 points against the Gators.  That was almost enough for the win but a last second Gator 3-pointer finished the Gamecocks, 58-56.  Sam Muldrow was the next leading scorer with six points.
Georgia — The Bulldogs ended a ten game losing streak to the Tennessee Vols with a 78-63 upset on Saaturday.  Georgia hit 56% for the game, including 7 -12 3-pointers in the win.  The duo of Trey Thompkins (21 pts) and Travis Leslie (19 points) keyed the win.
Mississippi State — After a week off, the Bulldogs struggled through their worst shooting performance of the season on Saturday and hit just 2 -18 3-pointers resulting in a 62-57 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.  The Bulldogs also shot just 31.7% from the floor and 65.2% from the line.  Even Jarvis Varnado was not immune to the bad shooting as he went 4-14.  Barry Stewart was their leading scorer with 13 points.
Mississippi (#18, ##20) — The Rebels evened their SEC record on Saturday with a tough 66-57 win over South Carolina.  The Rebels had to fight off a furious Gamecock rally after leading by 15 at half, but evened their SEC record at 2-2.  Chris Warren had 17 points and Murphy Holloway had 14 points and 12 boards.  On Wednesday, the LSU Tigers held Warren scoreless for 30 minutes, but Warren got loose for the last ten with 14 points, and helped the Rebels pull away from LSU, 73-63.  Warren was one of three Rebels (Terrance Henry, Eniel Polynice) with 14 points.
Alabama — The Crimson Tide found themselves in a 1-3 SEC hole after losing a tough 63-56 game to the Tennessee Vols on Tuesday.  Alabama appeared to be a darkhorse candidate for the SEC West title but now need to put together a nice winning streak to get their season back on track.  JaMychal Green had 16 to lead Alabama.  The Crimson Tide stopped their slide with a 62-57 upset of Mississippi State four days later.  Mikhail Torrance had 20 points and Green added 18 as the Tide came away with a big home court win.
ArkansasRotnei Clarke had five 3-pointers and scored 17 points to lead the Razorbacks but it was not enough to stop a late 9-0 run by Florida and an eventual 71-66 loss on Thursday.  Marshawn Powell and Courtney Fortson both had 14 points but this was another in a season of frustrating losses for Arkansas.  Less than 48 hours later, Arkansas went up to Rupp Arena in Lexington to try and prevent Kentucky from ascending to the number one ranking and came back the victim of a 101-70 beatdown.  Fortson scored 21 points to lead the Razorbacks and Clark managed 13 points even though he was harassed into 2-9 shooting from beyond the arc for the game.
Auburn —  DeWayne Reed scored 21 points on Wednesday and Auburn hit six of eight free throws in the final minute, sealing an 84-80 win over LSU.  Auburn had balanced scoring with five players in double digits scoring and was 10-22 on 3-point shooting.  The Tigers let a 16 point first half lead get away from them and they suffered a tough 82-74 loss at the hands of the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday.  Lucas Hargrove had 19 points for the Tigers while Reed and Frankie Sullivan added 16 and 14.
LSU —  LSU got 38 points and 10 rebounds from Tasmin Mitchell on Wednesday but that was not enough to beat the Auburn Tigers.  Storm Warren added 17 points and 12 boards and Bo Spencer added 12.  The rest of the Tigers could only muster 13 points as LSU fell, 80-67.   Spencer, Mitchell, and Warren scored 49 of the Tigers’ 63 points and once again it was too little as the Tigers fell 73-63 to Ole Miss on Saturday for their fifth straight loss. Michell had a double-double with 16 and 11 and Spencer added 22 points.  The Tigers are still winless in the conference and will try for their first again this Wednesday against Alabama.
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