Basketball by Buzz
Written by Buzz Breeden

SEC Week in Review and Power Rankings

The SEC, though early in conference play, already has two distinctive sides; the East (varsity Squad) and the West (biddy ball). The East already has a 3-1 advantage over the West and the current winning percentage should not change over the next two months. Currently seven SEC teams are in the top 100 RPI. Four (Kentucky, Florida, Vandy and Tennessee) are in the top 30. Here is the power ranking for the conference for week two:

1 Kentucky (14-3) (2-1): By the looks of the Wildcats’ drumming of LSU Saturday 82-44, look for the Wildcats to remain in this spot barring major setbacks. First in the conference in rebounds and points allowed top five in nearly every major category. After their loss to Georgia, the Wildcats embarrassed LSU and Auburn holding both to under 55 points each.

2 Georgia (13-3) (2-1): The Bulldogs have been the surprise team in the SEC early on. Trey Thompson is still shooting over 50 percent from the field. Georgia is holding teams to only 36 percent shooting from the field. I moved them to this position due to their route of Ole Miss Saturday 98-76.

3 South Carolina (11-5) (2-1): Sure the Gamecocks are the only East team to lose to the West, however, great early wins over Vandy and Florida have Columbia starting to buzz about this team. As long as Bruce Ellington can continue to score at will like he has in the first three, the Gamecocks should stay in the running most of the season.

4 Florida (13-4) (2-1): The Gators lead the conference in FG% made and opponet FG%. Florida had its first set back Saturday to South Carolina, however; next four conference games are against the West.

5 Vanderbilt (12-4) (1-2): Tough early road losses at South Carolina and Tennessee. The commodores are showing they are good, but not great. Even in their recent struggles, John Jenkins is tearing up the conference in scoring. Like Florida, Vandy should improve its record with next three conference games against the West.

6 Arkansas (12-4) (1-2): Finally a West representative. Arkansas has feasted at home with wins over Alabama and Tennessee. The Hogs led by Rotnei Clarke and Delvon Johnson are by far the most talented team in the west, however, Arkansas is dead last in rebounding; rebounding and second chance scores need to improve to “rebound” from its slow start. Next up the Razorbacks will be tested by Florida and South Carolina.

7 Tennessee (11-6) (1-2): Bruce Pearl not roaming the sidelines early in SEC play is hurting the Vols. Nearly at the bottom of the conference is shooting stats, Tennessee needs to find its shooting stroke before the coach returns. A Tough road test this week against Georgia will help determine if this team has what it takes to be an elite SEC team.

8 Alabama (10-7) (2-1): Tenth in the league in points scored, tenth in points allowed. Not a good sign for the Crimson Tide. On a good note with the struggles of Ole Miss early in the season, Alabama is setting itself up for a possible western conference championship. Final note, JaMychal Green (16/7) is worth the price of admission.

9 LSU (10-8) (2-1): Nearly blew a 30- point lead at Auburn and an 18- point lead against Arkansas. Finally LSU showed its true colors against Kentucky. By far the youngest team in the lead, Head Coach Trent Johnson currently has this team playing above its potential. The Tigers are near the bottom in every major category, yet they are in contention early for the West, I can’t explain this.

10 Mississippi State (10-7) (1-2): Mississippi State is ninth or higher in each of the following stats: points for, points against, assist, rebounding, FG%. Not much to add when you are statistically that bad, hey at least they play Auburn twice.

11 Ole Miss (12-6) (0-3): I can’t explain this either. The Rebels or Bears are third in points per game and second in FG%, top three in FG% allowed. Only rebounding stats are near the conference bottom yet they do not have a conference win. Ole Miss has a close road loss at Florida, at home against Mississippi State and a blow out to Georgia. Ole Miss is still in the hunt, but many experts’ picks to win the West are scratching their heads wondering what they need to do.

12 Auburn (7-10) (0-3): Auburn is the only team with a losing record in the conference and that is saying something, because teams ranked 8-12 stink. The Tigers are last in the conference in just about every category and have been blown out two of the three conference games. The only game they did not lose by ten plus was LSU, they trailed at the half 32-6. Ernest Ross (13/6) is the only player worth noting, and he is only shooting 35 percent from the field.

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