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SEC Power Rankings


 

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People always argue how early on you should start ranking teams. I, for one, never really get into that argument because I understand the true purpose of preseason polling and that’s that it develops headlines. Nobody actually knows who is going to be the best team before any games have been played, and hey, ranking Kentucky over Louisville is just plain fun.

 

So why did I wait a month before releasing my rankings? Well, first of all, my rankings aren’t generating any headlines so there was no need for me to release a “power ranking” of sorts. Secondly, I just didn’t really feel like it. But now, I’m ready to give it my best shot. Since this is a Kentucky basketball website I figured I’d just rank the best SEC teams instead of nationally. Because, you know, the SEC is college basketball, er something. So without further adieu here are the top five SEC teams:

 

5. LSU Tigers (6-2): LSU was one of my SEC sleepers going into the season and so far they’ve done a pretty good job of solidifying my claim. Currently they boast two pretty good neutral court wins against St. Joseph’s and Butler, while both of their losses came away from Baton Rouge against good teams (Memphis and UMass). The frontcourt duo of Johnny O’Bryant and Jordan Mickey have been terrific. Mickey, the freshman four-star prospect, has put up double figures scoring in every game to go along with his shot-blocking prowess (averaging 3.9 blocks per game). The good news for the Tigers is that they’ve been doing all of this while getting relatively little from their five-star freshman stud Jarrell Martin (7.3 ppg, 3 rpg). If Martin can get it going then this LSU team could immediately become a 2nd weekend NCAA team.

 

4. Tennessee Volunteers (6-3): Remember, I’m not ranking these teams based on resume or the Vols probably wouldn’t be slotted in the four spot. I know the three losses look bad right now (especially the one to UTEP) but I don’t think they’re very indicative of this team. They’ve got a go-to scorer in Jordan McRae, they’ve got a dynamic frontcourt with Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon (who’s slowly getting back into game shape and is playing better), and they’ve got some surrounding pieces in Robert Hubbs, Josh Richardson and Antonio Barton. They’ve been much better since the UTEP loss as well, thrashing both Xavier and Wake Forest (hardly world beaters but they’re not bad) before losing a tough road game against Wichita State. I like the Vols to beat both UVA and NC State to close out their non-conference schedule.

 

3. Missouri Tigers (10-0): The undefeated start is nice, as is the big home win over UCLA, but ranking this team third in the SEC is about as high as I can go. They’ve had some less than stellar games against terrible teams like Southern Illinois,Gardner Webb, IUPUI and Western Michigan (all at home). But they did win those games so I can’t penalize them too much for that. KenPom has this Mizzou team ranked 42nd in the nation (or 4th in the SEC) but that is with some preseason bias still built in the system so you can’t go based on that just yet. The backcourt duo of Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown have been fantastic for the Tigers who are thinking of a third straight trip to the NCAA tournament under Frank Haith. If the Tigers can close the non-conference with three wins over Illinois, NC State and Long Beach State then I’ll consider moving the Tigers into my top two.

 

This top two is really hard, by the way.

 

2. Kentucky Wildcats (8-3): I think by the end of this year the Cats will still be best team in the SEC without question. But as of today, I think they are just barely behind the Florida Gators. My expectations have been tempered about this team, but not as much as you’d think. If you take a step back and look at the situation, the Cats have lost three close games away from Rupp against very good teams. Before the season I predicted three losses, to Michigan State, at UNC and at Florida. Now? I think they are probably a five or six loss team going into the NCAA tournament. Don’t get me wrong, the Cats have a lot of work to do in terms of gelling together. But lest remember that the John Wall-team never beat a top-25 KenPom team, and didn’t even play one until the West Virginia game. I’m willing to bet that if that team played this early schedule then they would have endured similar issues (turnovers and three-point shooting were problems with that team too). The twins have begun to show improvement, Willie has been dominant on the defensive end, and Randle is Randle (although he wasn’t Randle against UNC). So everybody just take a deep breath, this team is going to be just fine.

 

1. Florida Gators (7-2): The Gators were a buzzer beater away from getting a great road win against UConn, but this weeks beating against Kansas will have to suffice for the Gators. Florida is slowly but surely getting all of their pieces back, but the last piece won’t be back for a few more weeks. When Chris Walker joins the Gator-lineup I believe it takes UF from a Sweet 16 team to a Final Four contender. Wilbekin and Hill have been playing well with each other in a dual point guard system, while Casey Prather has blossomed into a star. 73rd year senior Patric Young continues to be a bully down low for the Gators as well. I expect Florida to give Kentucky all they’ve got in the SEC race.

 

Whaddya think? Let me know in the comments.

 

Peace.

 

@BWardKSR

Article written by Ben Ward

20 responses to “SEC Power Rankings”

  1. Brad

    Jarnell Stokes is a big useless overrated sack of shit. (That probably still can’t even stretch properly).

    That is all.

    1. Daniel

      I think Tennessee in general is overrated too….. listen Kentucky will be dominating in the SEC remember that now

  2. Rickyrocket

    Andy Harrison = Harrow. But taller.

  3. Maggie

    8 to 3 Bitches, Can you count?????????

  4. STOOPS TROOPS

    Cats should be #1, otherwise looks good

    1. Duuuuuude

      If the Cats had a quality win, I would agree.

  5. ronnie

    Maggie, that is championships right?

  6. Fire

    Die in me. You’re terrible.

  7. Bill Hick

    Darryl:

    You need to take off your rose colored glasses. this is not and won’t be a great Kentucky team. Cal is great recruiter but average coach

  8. Thebiggest_figgya_ever

    The “Ward” truly has outdone himself; he has tremendous upside as well. I agree with the notion we have the chance to still be great, and “Ward” conveyed that in stunning fashion. KSR readers enjoy, “Ward” will be in Bristol before you know it. He is my accustacrush!

  9. RICK

    Once again you say

  10. RICK

    once again you say the twins are getting better, WCS is doing great and Randall is Randall and no metion of the best player on the team JAMES YOUNG, you guys need to wake up and give this guy some credit. Sorry but none of you guys have said a word about how good this kid is playing.

  11. DH

    Thoughts and prayers to Stevie “Got Loose”Johnson who lost his mother Sunday

  12. Christopher

    Ben your post, just like TT’s is littered with misspellings and grammatical errors especially the part when you write about Kentucky, the most read section. It’s really a shame that “the largest independent college sports blog in America” has this to offer. Tyler is supposed to be the news editor and she can’t even make it past the second sentence with out butchering it. Does Matt even read these because I don’t see how anyone could approve of mistakes unless he just simply doesn’t have the time. Regardless it’s looking rough over here, real rough, and you guys need to get your head out of your asses and start putting together something better than this. This sucks for real, no offense. Aside from that your post are getting less professional, insightful, and funny while sounding more desperate, redundant, and bland. KSR needs talent bad right now. Good luck

    1. KY_For_9

      Christopher, if you hate KSR so much why don’t you just go find a new site. See, this is a sports BLOG, no the New York Times my man. Honestly, it’s people like you who have turned the KSR comment section in the horrid place it is now you grammar troll..

    2. KY_For_9

      Christopher, if you hate KSR so much why don’t you just go find a new site. See, this is a sports BLOG, not the New York Times my man. Honestly, it’s people like you who have turned the KSR comment section in the horrid place it is now you grammar troll..

    3. beavis

      I am sure KSR would consider any new talent that comes along, even you. Submit something worth reading.

    4. Benjamin Franklin

      Topher is right. KSR has gone downhill fast. I have no problem with Tyler at all but this new crowd of writers are downright awful. They are incapable of forming a unique opinion, it’s only regurgitation of whatever Matt said with a pathetic attempt to be funny. And yes I know that we could go elsewhere, but please point me to where I can go? I read KSR because they hooked me with the humorous reporting style and it’s free. I will still read it and get Matt hits to support the site but they need some better writers asap.

  13. pfife

    This team is collectively a dud. Randle, Poythress, Stein can ball for real at times. But cheer up. If these 3, the twins, Young, Dakari and Lee go to the NBA it will undoubtedly be the greatest team in UK basketball history. Even if they wind up being an #8 seed or NIT team. Just ask Cal. You fanboys are a cancer.

  14. Cope

    You fans can be cancer, WAKE UP, WIN OR LOSE WE ARE KENTUCKY. PISS ON ANY OTHER COMENT FOLLOWING