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Sporting News Scouting the SEC

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#1
UK4Life

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http://aol.sportingn...couting-the-sec

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Kentucky
2. Missouri
3. Florida
4. Tennessee
5. Arkansas
6. Alabama
7. Ole Miss
8. Georgia
9. LSU
10. Texas A&M
11. Auburn
12. Vanderbilt
13. South Carolina
14. Mississippi State
MUST-KNOW STORY LINES

Tennessee is a legit SEC threat. Tennessee was a completely different team last season once Jarnell Stokes graduated high school early to join the Volunteers midway through January. The Vols knocked off Connecticut, Florida and Vanderbilt and made a highly improbable NCAA Tournament push (but ultimately settled for the NIT). They now have had time to work with Stokes, and coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad is expecting to challenge the league’s heavyweights.
A tale of two newbies. Missouri and Texas A&M enter the conference with vastly different expectations. Mizzou, with a veteran backcourt and a roster stacked with talented transfers, has its sights set on battling Kentucky and Florida for league supremacy. The Aggies, on the other hand, are coming off an utterly forgettable season and would be thrilled with a .500 conference finish.
A tale of overhauled rosters. Kentucky and Vanderbilt—the two completely reconstructed SEC teams—enter the season with vastly different expectations. The reigning national champion Wildcats lost all five starters but added another freshman class full of five-star recruits and have their sights set on another deep NCAA Tournament run. Vandy, on the other hand, lost all five starters and would be thrilled with a .500 league mark.
LSU’s new coach has something to work with ... Of the league’s three new coaches, LSU’s Johnny Jones inherits the best stable of talent. With sophomore big man Johnny O’Bryant and sophomore guard Anthony Hickey—who averaged 3.8 assists and led the SEC in steals last season—the Tigers should be competitive on a nightly basis.
But not everyone is as lucky. For South Carolina’s Frank Martin and Mississippi State’s Rick Ray, the rebuilding process pretty much starts from the ground floor. The positives: Dynamic junior guard Bruce Ellington will give Gamecocks fans a reason to pay attention once football season ends, and Ray’s first class of freshmen includes two four-star recruits.
Last season’s NCAA trip was a warmup act for the Tide. Alabama learned it could survive without leading scorers Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green late last season, a good primer for this year. With point guard Trevor Releford leading an experienced group of returners—and uber-recruit Devonta Pollard joining—the Tide could easily make a return to the NCAA Tournament.
The Gators have a sleeper candidate for SEC player of the year. For the past two seasons, 6-9 Patric Young has played a secondary role in the offense. With Erving Walker and Bradley Beal out of the picture, though, there are shots to be had, and Young—a team-first player who’s a physical beast—will get extra touches in the post.
There’s hope for the Hogs. Coach Mike Anderson had a couple of highlights in his first year back at Arkansas, but his Razorbacks won just one road game all season and went 3-9 in their final dozen games. With B.J. Young’s decision to put off the NBA for a year and the return of Marshawn Powell—who averaged 19.5 points in two games last season before tearing his ACL—the NCAA Tournament is a realistic possibility in Year 2.
A pup won’t lead Kentucky’s offense. Ryan Harrow snaps John Calipari’s impressive streak of one-and-done freshman point guards—Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight and Marquis Teague—but that’s not a bad thing for Kentucky. The N.C. State sophomore transfer has had a year of learning Calipari’s system, and he’ll step right into a leadership role.
The middle of the pack has March dreams. Don’t be shocked to see Georgia or Ole Miss make a run at the NCAA tourney. Both have March-caliber pieces—Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for the Bulldogs and the Reginald Buckner-Murphy Holloway post combo in Oxford—on the roster.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Michael Dixon, Missouri. Dixon was a big reason Missouri had the most efficient offense in the country last season, as calculated by KenPom.com. Even though he didn’t start for the Tigers, he was the one with the ball in his hands late in games. Dixon’s ability to get to the rim and convert (57.8 percent on 2-point attempts) or draw fouls and get to the free-throw line (87.9 percent shooter) was crucial for the Tigers, who lost just five times in Frank Haith’s first year as coach. Dixon was Mizzou’s fourth-leading scorer at 13.5 points per game, but the three players ahead of him have departed. Kentucky's Alex Poythress, Florida's Patric Young and Missouri's Laurence Bowers will try to lead their teams to SEC supremacy. (AP Photos)
ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

PG—Michael Dixon, Jr., Missouri
SG—B.J. Young, Soph., Arkansas.
His 2-point field goal percentage (.552) was outstanding for a freshman guard, and his 3-point accuracy (.413) wasn’t shabby, either.
SG—Kenny Boynton, Sr., Florida. He has learned the value of smarter shot selection, which makes him a dangerous marksman.
SF—Alex Poythress, Fr., Kentucky. He’s the freshman Wildcat most ready to make an impact on both ends of the court.
PF—Jarnell Stokes, Soph., Tennessee. Count his experience at the FIBA Americas Under-18 tourney this summer as one of his many positives entering the season.
BEST OF THE SEC

Shooter: B.J. Young, Arkansas
Passer: Phil Pressey, Missouri
Penetrator: Michael Dixon, Missouri
Shot-blocker: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Leader: Trae Golden, Tennessee
Defender: Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss
NBA prospect: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Freshman: Alex Poythress, Kentucky
Rebounder: Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee
Transfer: Alex Oriakhi, Missouri (from Connecticut)
Coach: Billy Donovan, Florida
Recruiter: John Calipari, Kentucky
Home-court advantage: Rupp Arena, Kentucky
FIVE BIGGEST GAMES

Jan. 12—Tennessee at Alabama. Life on the bubble will be less stressful for the Crimson Tide if they can knock off the Vols in their second conference game.
Jan. 15—Tennessee at Kentucky. Calipari never has lost at Rupp Arena as coach of the Wildcats; the rival Vols would love nothing more than to snap that streak.
Jan. 19—Missouri at Florida. The Tigers get an early chance to establish their position in the SEC basketball pecking order with this trip to Gainesville.
March 5—Arkansas at Missouri. Coach Mike Anderson will bring his team to the school he jilted at the end of 2010-11. Should be an entertaining atmosphere at Mizzou Arena.
March 9—Florida at Kentucky. Here’s hoping the SEC title is on the line when these SEC bigwigs square off on the final day of the regular season.
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#2
UK4Life

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The guys in the video are somewhat clueless. They seem to believe the SEC will be down this year. As a whole i think the conference will be stronger, but i doubt UK and UF will be as strong as they were last year. I know we won't.
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#3
Mizzou_Fan

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Mike Dixon should be switched by Phil Pressey as POY and first team SEC.

Edited by Mizzou_Fan, 08 November 2012 - 04:31 PM.


#4
UK4Life

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View PostMizzou_Fan, on 08 November 2012 - 04:31 PM, said:

Mike Dixon should be switched by Phil Pressey as POY and first team SEC.
I thouht it was kinda wierd that their making Dixon out to be the better of the two.
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#5
Mizzou_Fan

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View PostUK4Life, on 08 November 2012 - 05:19 PM, said:

I thouht it was kinda wierd that their making Dixon out to be the better of the two.
I have seen both of them on different preseason all sec teams but in my opinon it isn't even a contest. Pressey is a much better ball handler and passer. Dixon probabaly is a little better shooter and driver. Pressey also has Dixon beat on the defensive end. Pressey is a much better point guard and I think that Dixon is more of a shooting guard.