SEC Non-Conference Schedule Round-Up: Part II

Posted by Christian D'Andrea on January 4th, 2014

Christian D’Andrea is the manager of Anchor of Gold and an SEC Microsite writer. He can be found @TrainIsland on Twitter. 

Conference play is just around the corner in the SEC, and that means it’s time to judge the league’s 14 teams based on their early-season schedules. SEC teams loaded up on cupcakes and quality opponents alike, but the real test for these programs will start when the ouroboros of league play begins. The conference boasts plenty of teams with winning records, but not all victories are built to last – and the drop under .500 could be a precipitous one in a league of “haves” and “have-nots.”

SEC Hoops Tips Off on Saturday With a Full Slate

SEC Hoops Tips Off on Saturday With a Full Slate

Today, we’ll look at five more SEC teams that will be jockeying for a spot in the NCAA Tournament behind big performances this winter. You can find the first part of the non-conference review that was published on Friday here. We’ll have part three, with the final four teams in the league, ready to go in the coming days.

Kentucky

  • Record: 10-3
  • Best Win: A seven-point home win over #6 Louisville.
  • Lowest Point: A 1-3 record against ranked teams. Kentucky’s only win over a ranked opponent came at home, while two of those losses came on neutral(-ish) courts.

At this point in the season, Kentucky has lost to more ranked teams than it’s beaten, but John Calipari’s young team appears to be rounding into shape with SEC play on the horizon. The Wildcats have 11 days to reflect on their season-defining win over #6 Louisville before jumping into conference play against rebuilding Mississippi State and Vanderbilt teams. That should give John Calipari plenty of time to build some momentum behind his young, talented roster.

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The SEC Freshman Report: A Look at the Newcomers in the West

Posted by Christian D'Andrea on January 14th, 2013

Christian D’Andrea is a SEC Microsite Contributor and an editor at Nashville Sports Hub and Anchor of Gold. You can reach him on Twitter @TrainIsland.

SEC play is underway, and the group of teams once known as the SEC West has already churned out some big surprises. The division is home to four of the five teams that are undefeated in league play so far, and while it’s early, it looks like there might be more depth to this side of the conference than analysts had thought. In just one week, the West has produced upsets like Texas A&M’s defeat of Kentucky and Ole Miss’ beatdown of Missouri.

Shavon Coleman Has Been a Nice Addition For the Tigers

Shavon Coleman Has Been a Nice Addition For the Tigers

There are still a couple of months to go before the postseason starts, but this overlooked division may help change the perception of the SEC as a top-heavy league. Though the conference certainly has a big gap between Florida and Missouri and the rest of the conference, teams like Mississippi and A&M will be the key to sending four or more programs to the NCAA Tournament. Rebuilding teams like Auburn and LSU may find their way to postseason basketball earlier than expected if they can rally towards NIT or CBI invitations.

However, these teams are going to need help from their young players to get there. The West is full of talented freshmen and junior college transfers who are having a big impact for their teams. As we did three weeks ago in the East, let’s break down who the top first-year players in the SEC West have been in 2012-13 so far.

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Rushed Reactions, Maui Style: #11 UNC 95, Mississippi State 49

Posted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2012

rushedreactions

Some quick thoughts from today’s Maui Invitational quarterfinal game between UNC and Mississippi State…

Three Key Takeaways.

  1. The UNC Guards Are Big, Deep and Talented. This is a completely different type of North Carolina team from the last couple of seasons, and frankly, given a Roy Williams’ system that looks to get into transition at every available opportunity, it may work a little better. With all the size along the Tar Heel front line last year, it sometimes felt like the Heels got bogged down in the half court, but this year’s group doesn’t seem to have that same problem. At least not today, when a Mississippi State defense gave them every opening they wanted — to the tune of 15 threes (the fourth most in school history) and 21 assists — Roy Williams found a reason to be upset with his defense in the postgame (UNC held MSU to 27% shooting), but the fortunes of his team are going to ride on PJ Hairston, Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock, and Dexter Strickland (combined for 65 points today).
  2. Carolina’s Young Size is Raw But Promising. It won’t show up on the stat sheet as very impressive, but the trio of Joel James, Brice Johnson, Desmond Hubert and JP Tokoto is a collection of raw talent whose size, springiness and hustle are going to win Carolina some games this season. The seven-foot James is somewhat reminiscent of a young Brendan Haywood, while the beauty of the others is that they aren’t expected to score in favor of hustling and protecting the rim. Williams’ teams are at their best with featured guard and wing play, so this team’s interior corps, already seeming to already understand its role in the scheme, will serve the Heels well going into the heart of the season.
  3. Mississippi State Has a Long Way to Get Back to Respectability. Rick Ray seemed rather disappointed after this game, and why wouldn’t he be? The realization that his team is roughly 40 to 50 points worse than a top 10 opponent is humbling to say the least. His group of inexperienced players were clearly shaken by the match-up at the opening tip, finding themselves down 9-0, 29-6, and 40-15 at various parts of the first half. They were never able to figure out how to find a good shot in the UNC defensive creases, and turnovers (21) were a major problem. The one bright spot was the hustle and play of Gavin Ware off the bench — he contributed eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks against a much bigger front line.

Star of the Game. PJ Hairston, North Carolina. Hairston had the shot of the game (not the week, thanks to Rotnei Clarke) when his 60-footer at the buzzer of the first half found net. But his all-around game set the pace for the Tar Heels with 18 points (on 7-11 shooting), four rebounds, and three blocks this afternoon.

Quotable. We asked Roy Williams what he thought about Maryland leaving the ACC for the Big Ten, and this was his response:

  • “Stunned, shocked… Didn’t see it coming… Strange what’s going on with college athletics… Hate to see them go, but if they don’t want to be there… [hand motion waving goodbye].”

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Morning Five: 06.29.12 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 29th, 2012

  1. Last night was NBA Draft night, and as always, some players shot up the board in the final tally while others fell off. We’ll have much more on the top draft storylines later today, but for now we’ll briefly tease it by saying the biggest winner of the night was no surprise to absolutely anyone: John Calipari. With six more players selected in this draft (four in the first round), Calipari has put an absurd 15 players into the NBA Draft in his three seasons in Lexington (11 in the first round). There have only been 90 first rounders selected in the last three years, and 83 of those spots went to US collegians, which means that 13.3% of that round has belonged to his recruits. Even in the one-and-done era, for a single school to account for one of every eight selections out of college over a three-year window is simply incomprehensible. You add the national championship to his sales pitch, and it’s easy to wonder how he ever misses on a targeted recruit.
  2. As for some of the other storylines surrounding the draft, it’s always interesting to us how fan bases respond to their players entering the NBA. A quick whirl around various message boards revealed some of the following viewpoints: Duke – Miles Plumlee’s selection (after Austin Rivers earlier) gave head coach Mike Krzyzewski the title as the head coach with the most NBA Draft selections in his career. Vanderbilt (via Tennessee fans) – Three of the top 31 selections led to a grand total of one NCAA Tournament win in John Jenkins, Jeffery Taylor, and Festus Ezeli’s careers. Mississippi State (via Vandy fans) – Making fun of Renardo Sidney. WashingtonMaking fun of themselves. North CarolinaAnger at Creighton for ruining their season. Always fun stuff out there in these bubbles of equal parts insight and insanity.
  3. Getting back to the college game, the NCAA announced on Thursday that it has hired Dan Gavitt, son of the late Big East founder, Dave Gavitt, and current Big East associate commissioner, to take over as its VP of men’s basketball championships. This new position essentially duplicates the role that former NCAA guru and all-around good guy Greg Shaheen handled at the organization for over a decade — Gavitt will be the guy responsible for elevating the NCAA Tournament to even greater heights than those it currently occupies. Given that the blockbuster television deal that Shaheen negotiated is locked into place for the next 12 years, Gavitt will no doubt need to focus on expanding the popularity of the event through greater transparency in the selection process and cross-promotional opportunities to capture the hearts and minds of even more fans.
  4. While making mention of the Big East, the conference released its full schedule for the 2012-13 season on Thursday. Each of the 15 remaining teams (remember, West Virginia joins the Big 12 next year) will play a quartet of other schools in home-and-home games, while facing off with the other 10 schools once. We have absolutely no clue as to the logic behind which teams play each other in the home-and-homes, but according to this report, “each conference team plays nine or 10 games against last season’s Big East NCAA Tournament teams, including at least two of its four home-and-home series.” We’ll at least give the league credit for an attempt at competitive balance.
  5. Usually coaches have a fairly good sense as to when their players will need to leave school to satisfy a religious obligation, as in the common case of Mormon players at BYU taking a two-year mission after their freshman season. What’s less predictable is when a player gets called back to his home country to serve in the army, but that’s exactly the situation that Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold is facing as one of his incoming freshmen — a guard named Orel Lev who practiced with the team last year — has been called back to active military duty in Israel. There’s no possibility of a deferral, so Lev will head home for the next three years before he can give another shot at college basketball. It’s a shame that the rug was so abruptly pulled out from under Lev in this situation, but a lot of folks around the world hate Israel so they need all the help they can get. We hope to hear from him again in a few years.
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Morning Five: 06.27.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on June 27th, 2012

  1. Providence appears to be turning things around at least on the recruiting trail, but their on-court product took a significant hit yesterday when it was announced that incoming McDonald’s All-American Kris Dunn will be undergoing surgery on his right shoulder for a torn labrum in the next two weeks and will miss the next four to six months. Although as much as a half-year is a relatively insignificant amount of time in the life of a basketball player, especially at Dunn’s age, it will likely derail the start of Providence’s season as they look to turn things around under Ed Cooley without one of its stars. We wish Dunn the best in his recovery and hope to see him playing in a Friar jersey soon.
  2. We have to give credit to Tom Izzo who is taking the idea of “playing anybody anywhere” to a new extreme as Michigan State is scheduled to open the season against Connecticut at an Air Force base in Germany (pending approval by the Department of Defense) just a year after the Spartans played North Carolina on an aircraft carrier. Fortunately for Izzo his opponent this year will be markedly weaker than the Tar Heel team MSU faced in the Carrier Classic a year ago and they won’t have to do it on the water. While we would welcome more page views from Germany, we do not believe that this type of game is going to generate any more interest in college basketball overseas, as many of the top teams already make international offseason trips and play against high-level teams including occasional match-ups against national teams.
  3. As he does before every NBA Draft, Seth Davis queried a group of NBA scouts, coaches, and executives and got what amounts to a consensus view on the top players in tomorrow’s NBA Draft. A few of the more interesting comments came about players such as Andre Drummond (“scares me to death”), Draymond Green (“his shot’s not broken”), Darius Johnson-Odom (“a killer”), Austin Rivers (“spoiled and selfish”), Marquis Teague (“not going to be playing against Mississippi State and Auburn up here”), and Renardo Sidney (“no chance”). As always, there’s a bunch of great insights from the quotes in the piece, so make sure to check out the entire thing sometime before Thursday night.
  4. We have already seen plenty of 2012 NBA mock drafts, but the latest ESPN Insider feature is the first one we have seen this year where current NBA players select the draftees who would be their eventual teammates (requires membership, sorry). Like most mock drafts there is a certain degree of groupthink here, but this one varies more from the consensus than most. You might say that players have a capacity to notice special skills that draftniks are unable to grasp; or, that players usually make for horrible general managers (we are going with the latter). If you have ESPN Insider access, it is worth a click just for J.J. Redick‘s analysis of Bradley Beal whom he selected 19th (!). Who knew that behind all that poetry there was a sense of humor?
  5. Duke or Ohio State is set to get some excellent news today when Mississippi State forward Rodney Hood announces his decision as to where he will transfer. The 6’8″ all-SEC freshman averaged 10/5/2 APG last year but decided to leave Starkville upon Rick Stansbury’s firing. If you read the tea leaves in his quotes about each school, it would seem that Duke is where he’ll end up. Regardless of where he heads, though, he’ll have to sit out the mandatory transfer year and will not suit up again until the 2013-14 season. There won’t be a many players in next year’s class of 2013 better than Hood as a rising sophomore, so whichever school gets him will be well ahead of the recruiting game a year from now.
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SEC Morning Five: 02.01.12 Edition

Posted by EMoyer on February 1st, 2012

  1. The Anthony Davis season-long block party continued in Lexington last night as he blocked seven shots in Kentucky’s 69-44 win. Davis increased his block total to 108 on the season, good for 10th on the SEC single-season list. He trails only Shaquille O’Neal for the SEC freshman record, when he blocked 115 shots in the 1989-90 season. For the first time in more than 1,800 games, the Wildcats held three straight opponents to 50 or fewer points (Georgia 44, LSU 50, Tennessee 44). Kentucky had not limited three teams to 50 or fewer points in three consecutive games since the 1950-51 season. On the offensive side, UK hit its first 11 shots and jumped out to a 26-8 lead.
  2. Arkansas remained perfect at Bud Walton Arena this season beating Vanderbilt, 82-74, thanks to a 50-point effort in the second half. The Razorbacks improved to 16‐0 at home this season, tying the school record for the most consecutive home wins to start a season (matching the 1993-94 national championship team). The Razorbacks now own home victories against Mississippi State, Michigan and Vanderbilt; the last time that Arkansas defeated three ranked teams in the same season came in 2007‐08 when it beat Mississippi State, Florida and Vanderbilt.
  3. The only contest on Wednesday night features Georgia traveling to Auburn to face the Tigers at 8 PM on the SEC Network. Although neither team is threatening the top of the SEC standings, the series is extremely tight as the Bulldogs took a two-game lead in the series (89-87) after a pair of wins last year. Over the 176 games, Georgia leads the all-time score, 10,427-10,223, a difference of a mere 204 points. The home team has won 16 of the last 20 contests.
  4. Florida has moved to the top of the national leaderboard in assist/turnover ratio at 1.55. The Gators have increased that mark over their last four games (wins against South Carolina, LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State) by dishing out 66 assists against only 33 turnovers. Point guard Erving Walker paces the team with 106 assists and the senior has only 43 turnovers, good for a 2.47 A/TO ratio. He entered his final season sporting a 1.67 A/TO ratio. In the previous two seasons, the Gators sported a 1.14 A/TO ratio, a mark that ranked just outside the top 50 in the NCAA.
  5. Since starting 12-1, Mississippi State has gone just 5-4. In defense of the Bulldogs, the losses are all to RPI top-50 schools (Baylor, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Florida). However, Brad Locke surmised that the Bulldogs’ lack of depth could be showing itself. The top three minute-loggers in the SEC come from Mississippi State with Dee Bost (35.0), Arnett Moultrie (34.2) and Rodney Hood (34.2) seeing significant minutes. The Bulldogs feature just 10 scholarship players, and that still includes Renardo Sidney, who as Locke writes is “clearly out of shape and overweight, and he seems incapable of handling any bigger of a playing load.”
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ATB: Weekend Edition — Indiana’s Statement Win, a Crosstown Blowup, & Dunkdafied…

Posted by rtmsf on December 12th, 2011

This Weekend’s Lede. Saturday was one of the wildest afternoons of college basketball in recent memory. Within a five-hour window from around 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM EST, we experienced one of the ugliest incidents in the modern history of college basketball, followed by both the nation’s #1 and #2 teams losing their first games of the season on the road. The afternoon’s action had the feeling of March in the intensity and drama of the games played, but the added bonus of insane home crowds hungry for key December victories over a bitter rival or, just because. Let’s jump into a busy weekend of storylines…

Your Watercooler Moment. Malice in the Cintas.

We will have much more to say on this in our sister ATB focusing exclusively on the events that occurred with 9.4 seconds remaining in the Crosstown Shootout on Saturday (the post will go live at 6:45 AM EST). Look, we all know that fights sometimes happen in sports, and they’re more likely to happen in volatile situations involving bitter rivals who don’t like each other. The fight was bad enough — in our view, Cincinnati’s Cheikh Mbodj should face criminal battery charges for his stomp to Kenny Frease’s head while the player was already lying on the floor — but the real shame in all of this was the aftermath. Not only did Xavier completely embarrass itself as a school and program in allowing Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons to get on the dais and act like they were representing XU straight outta Compton, but both schools failed to step up Sunday and properly punish the players involved — the most any player was suspended was six games (UC’s Yancy Gates, Octavius Ellis and Mbodj). We hate to say it, but the image-conscious NBA would have been much harsher in its punishments of these players, and given that all of the adults at both schools went to great pains afterward to suggest that such an out-of-control incident was unconscionable, this appears to be yet another example of actions speaking louder than words.

Grab a Coffee While You’re At It. #1 Kentucky Loses at the Buzzer.

Rules for rushing the court are mostly general guidelines that come down to whether it feels right given the specifics of the situation. There are few scenarios that will feel better than Indiana’s buzzer-beating win over #1 Kentucky on Saturday evening. All of the following boxes were checked: 1) IU beat the #1 team in America; 2) on a buzzer-beating shot; 3) after it appeared the Hoosiers had blown the game; 4) versus a bitter rival; 5) in a statement win for the program that announced its status as a national player again. You simply won’t find many more perfect situations for an RTC, and Hoosier fans responded appropriately, filling the court from all corners of the arena with exalted jubilation. It was an outstanding game, and an even more outstanding RTC. For some great reactions recorded around the interwebs, check out some of these: a real-time call by IU’s play-by-play radio guy, Don Fischeran IU dad goes crazy in his house; a Bloomington bar called Nick’s explodes when Watford’s shot goes down; the scene at floor level for the final play and the ensuing RTC.

Perhaps the best thing we’ve seen from this weekend is this mash-up put together by an IU student (@dbaba12) which shows clips from the camp-out, the game itself (including his halftime prediction of an RTC), the final play, and the aftermath. It’s stuff like this that reminds us why we love college basketball.

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Night Line: Mississippi State Shows Its Upside in NYC

Posted by rtmsf on November 18th, 2011

Evan Jacoby is an RTC columnist. 

For the past two seasons, Mississippi State has been a team that’s warranted strong preseason buzz but never lived up to expectations. After a home loss to Akron in its second game this season, it looked like the same old story for these Bulldogs. But just one week later, the outlook of Rick Stansbury’s team has completely changed.

What's Reasonable to Expect From These Bulldogs? (JCL/F. Franklin)

On Friday night, Mississippi State defeated No. 16 Arizona in Madison Square Garden to be crowned champions of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, one night after it knocked off-No. 18 Texas A&M in the semifinals. MSU used a balanced offensive attack in which eight different players all converted at least two field goals to control this game from the outset. Its depth and talent were on display all night, as veteran leaders Dee Bost and Arnett Moultrie played well and were joined by impressive young reserves Wendell Lewis and Deville Smith. In limited minutes, Moultrie dominated inside to the tune of 19 points and ten rebounds on 8-10 shooting, while senior lead guard Dee Bost racked up eight points, six boards, and five assists.

Watching tonight’s game just makes you wonder how the Bulldogs lost at home to Akron last week. Perhaps we should just accept that this, again, is who Mississippi State is — talented enough to beat ranked teams on back-to-back nights, but undisciplined enough to lose at home to a team from the MAC. MSU’s ability to bounce back from the early upset and improve immediately to win two games over good teams with excellent coaches should leave a real impression on the rest of the SEC and, perhaps, the entire country. The Bulldogs could be ranked in the new Top 25 come Monday, and the buzz will be building again. This team goes eight deep with a combination of experience and youth, and a good mix of size inside and speed on the perimeter.

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RTC Live: Coaches vs. Cancer Finals/Consolation

Posted by rtmsf on November 18th, 2011

It’s a late afternoon tipoff, but RTC Live is back in MSG for the consolation and finals of the 2kSports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Texas A&M will take on St. John’s first, followed by Arizona and a surprising Mississippi State team in the nightcap. Join the conversation from the Garden, after the jump.

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RTC Live: Coaches vs. Cancer Semifinals

Posted by rtmsf on November 17th, 2011

RTC Live is back in MSG tonight as the next week-plus of pre-conference tournaments start tipping off everywhere around the country. Texas A&M will take on Mississippi State in the first game, with Arizona visiting a young but talented St. John’s squad in the nightcap. Join the conversation from the Garden, after the jump.

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After the Buzzer: Lavin Returns on an Otherwise Yucky Night

Posted by rtmsf on November 10th, 2011

Tonight’s Lede. Say It Ain’t So, Joe! On the second night of games of the opening week of college basketball, we’d be completely remiss if we didn’t comment on the insane evening that took over the airwaves while the Coaches vs. Cancer games were going on in the background. The number of stomach-turning things about this entire sordid Penn State affair are too many to count, but the absolutely shameful response by PSU students more concerned with protecting their beloved coach than recognizing the basic simplicity of right from wrong is beyond incomprehensible. Where have we come to as a society when the middle 80% of this great land are only moved to demonstration when our sports heroes are under duress or we’ve killed an enemy of the state? Why not take the streets in outrage over the numerous children whose innocent lives were destroyed by the selfish and criminal actions of a powerful few? That folks would care when it matters, and matter when they care. Mistakes were made at Penn State; it doesn’t mean that Joe Paterno is a horrible person, but it does mean that he has to go.

Lavin Returned Early From Medical Leave and Led His Team to a Victory (NYDN/A. Theodorakis)

Your Watercooler MomentLavin Returns, Surprises His Team.  How about some good news in an emotionally rough night? St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin, not someone we would characterize as a man content with sitting around at home, made an early return from his recent prostate cancer surgery and surprised his young team so much that they forgot to play the first half. Truthfully, despite a surfeit of talented parts, St. John’s is going to have evenings when the Red Storm will fall behind by 16 points in the opening stanza because players are still figuring out how to play with each other. But, as Lavin’s interchangeable pieces learn to synergize and feed off one another as they did for the game-changing run in the second half against Lehigh, the ceiling for his team this year appears fluid. And we referred to this angle the other night, but it bears repeating — cancer is an insidious disease, so we love the fact that Lavin was able to make his season debut during one of the Coaches vs. Cancer games. Even before his own diagnosis of prostate cancer, Lavin was a vocal supporter of the various anti-cancer charities related to college basketball. We wish him nothing but the best on his road to complete recovery (having a God’s Gift on hand doesn’t hurt!).

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RTC Conference Primers: #3 – Southeastern Conference

Posted by rtmsf on November 9th, 2011

Gerald Smith of HalftimeAdjustment.com is the RTC correspondent for the SEC. He also contributes to the RTC SEC Microsite. You can find him on twitter @fakegimel.

Reader’s Take I

The SEC/Big East Invitational features all 12 SEC teams in action.

 

Top Storylines

  • Everything In Its Right Place: After several years of coaching changes and lackluster out-of-conference performance, the SEC is finally ready to jump back into the national discussion of powerful basketball conferences. The movement is powered by young coaches (Alabama’s Anthony Grant), older but new-to-the-SEC coaches (LSU’s Trent Green, Georgia’s Mark Fox) and the SEC coaching stalwarts (Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Mississippi State’s Rick Stansbury, Mississippi’s Andy Kennedy, Kentucky’s Johhn Calipari). Thanks to the solidifying of the coaching guard, the conference is flush with top talent: 13 McDonald’s All-Americans will be playing this season across six different teams. The national basketball pollsters have noticed and have rewarded the SEC’s upward mobility with four teams in the preseason Top 25 polls; the first time the conference has had four or more teams in a preseason poll since the 2006-07 season (incidentally, also the last time an SEC school won it all).
  • Sit Down. Stand Up. (Snakes & Ladders): Kentucky head coach John Calipari brings arguably the greatest recruiting class in SEC history to join an already-talented roster. The hype for this season was already building in Lexington even before the 2010-11 season began when Calipari netted McDonald’s All-Americans Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer; when Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb elected to return for their sophomore seasons to rejoin senior Darius Miller, expectations were raised to national championship status. It remains to be seen if Calipari’s freshmen will wilt against more experienced teams that will play them tough physically and mentally. One thing is for sure: This Kentucky team will score in downpours not seen in Lexington since the 1995-96 National Championship team.

Will Sidney Finall Reach His Full Potential This Year?

  • My Iron Lung: After an infamous season that included fighting his own teammate, Mississippi State’s Renardo Sidney realizes that the college basketball public is watching him for more screw-ups. He spent this summer working out in Houston with former NBA player/coach John Lucas in order to improve his conditioning and attitude. Sidney’s lackluster performance in MSU’s first game Monday (nine points and three rebounds in just 23 minutes of play) won’t easily squelch his critics. Unless he can finally meet the expectations of his talent level, the Bulldogs will be wheezing all season long.
  • Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box: This season the Southeastern Conference removed the divisional formatting for its basketball conference standings. The teams with the top four overall conference records regardless of schedule strength will receive a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. The SEC East and SEC West divisional championships now exist only in the past. And perhaps the future: With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M in the 2012-13 season, going back to the two basketball division format may be necessary.

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