Basketball by Buzz
Written by Buzz Breeden

SEC East Basketball preview

With the college football season concluding in a week, the season of conference basketball begins. The SEC certainly can not match up with the elite basketball conferences; however, this year the East has a few contenders. As many as five teams have a shot at winning the conference. The preseason favorite pick was between Kentucky and Florida, but with the emergence of Vandy and Tennessee, there are now four quality basketball teams. Add Georgia as a potential wild card and you have the potential of a good race. The only serious question I want to see is how the absence of Tennessee’s coach from the sideline will affect the team. With that said, here is my outlook for the east.

1. Kentucky 12-2 (RPI 5). Key players: Brandon Knight (18/3/3), Terrance Jones (17/9/2 blocks). Key wins (#11 Washington, #20 Louisville). This young team coming together like last year’s team is the only thing that might keep this race close.

2. Florida 11-3 (RPI 16). Key players: Erving Walker (14/3/3), Chandler Parson (10/7/4). Key win (at FSU, #6 Kansas State). Florida might be playing the best defense in the conference right now, held 8 of 13 opponents under 60ppg.

3. Vanderbilt 11-2 (RPI 14). Key players: John Jenkins (18/3), Brad Tinsley (10/5/5). Key win (#6 North Carolina). Vandy has four players scoring in double figures and has a good mixture of freshmen and upperclassmen playing. Eight of 11 wins have been by double digits. This team is shooting lights out (47% FG) and should have a solid SEC season.

4. Tennessee 9-4 (RPI 40). Key players: Scotty Hopson (16/3), Tobias Harris (15/6). Key wins (#3 Pitt, #7 Villanova). Bruce Pearl absence the first month of the season could hurt these teams’ chances of winning the east, though he will not miss either of the Kentucky games. Tennessee must improve on scoring as they enter conference play, currently only shooting 41% from the field.

5. Georgia 11-2 (RPI 57). Key players: Trey Thompson (17/7), Travis Leslie (14/8/2) both shooting over 50%. Key wins (UAB, Georgia Tech). Georgia didn’t set the world on fire with their non-conference schedule, but they are 11-2. How will this team hold up in conference play with no bench will be the main issue for this team.

6. South Carolina 9-4 (RPI 134). Key player: Bruce Ellington (14/3/3) only shooting 36% field goal and has attempted twice as many shots as the next player attempt. No key wins for South Carolina. The Gamecocks will struggle at the bottom of the East most of the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment