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More Preseason SEC Praise


Yahoo released their updated preseason basketball top 25 today, and to no one’s surprise Kentucky landed at number two. Just once I would like to see someone put us at 1 with UNC at 2, if not solely to have bragging rights when we beat them in Rupp this year.  But no, it seems as though UNC, Kentucky, Ohio State are glued to the 1, 2, and 3 rankings this off season.  However, Jason King joins a number of other writers in predicting a strong season for the SEC, by placing four schools in the top 15 (and 5 in the top 25.)

Here’s how it shook out:

2. Kentucky — Unlike the past two years, the latest version of the Wildcats has a decent amount of experience to blend with its youth. Terrence Jones was one of the top two players on last year’s Final Four squad while Darius Miller and Doron Lamb played key roles, as well. The biggest stars, however, will probably be a pair of freshmen. Forward Anthony Davis and point guard Marquis Teague are both projected to be top 10 picks in next summer’s NBA draft.

6. Vanderbilt — The Commodores in the Final Four? Hey … stranger things have happened. Kevin Stallings returns every key player from one of the SEC’s most solid teams last season. John Jenkins is a future first-round draft pick and Festus Ezeli and Jeffrey Taylor are both battle-tested veterans. Give Stallings credit for turning Vanderbilt into one of the league’s top teams.

10. Florida — Will the Gators have the best backcourt in the country? Perhaps. Returning starters Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton will have to share time with high-scoring Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario and all-everything freshman Brad Beal. The problem is that Florida is thin and inexperienced down low with Erik Murphy and talented-but-raw Patric Young. Don’t be surprised if Billy Donovan occasionally uses a four-guard lineup.

15. Alabama — The Crimson Tide went 25-12 overall and 12-4 in the SEC last season but failed to make the NCAA tournament. Still, Anthony Grant’s program has a ton of momentum after finishing second in the NIT. Forwards JyMychal Green and Tony Mitchell return along with point guard Trevor Releford. The threesome combined to average 41.7 points last season.

23. Mississippi State — If Renardo Sidney gets his life back together — and gets in shape — the Bulldogs will have one of the most-talented teams in the SEC. Sidney and UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie will man the frontcourt while underrated senior Dee Bost is back at point guard. Freshman wing Rodney Hood is a five-star prospect that is expected to start immediately.

While it’s great to see conference praise, I have to say I’m at least not sold on Vanderbilt yet. Last year, after the umpteenth loss in the first round of the tournament, I made a promise to never pick Vanderbilt to win anything ever again.  Despite having all their players back, they are also the same players that lost to Richmond.  I’m sure they’ll be great at home in their terrible gym, and John Jenkins will likely go off against Kentucky like veteran guards tend to do, but at the end of the season there’s no way you’ll catch me penciling them in to the Final Four.

At the very least though, with UNC, Louisville and Kansas all ranked as well, strength of schedule certainly won’t be a problem for the Wildcats this year.

Article written by Will Lentz

29 Comments for More Preseason SEC Praise

  1. tdogg4033011
    6:15 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    I like being #2, sometimes that pre-season #1 ranking isn’t the best for a team. Calipari
    will have these boys ballin ….. enjoy the fun ride !!!!

  2. SoCalCat
    6:20 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Agree with 1.

  3. SexnNursinHomes
    6:25 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    1- I like takin’ a #2, speakin of which….. see ya in a bit boys.

  4. The Real Hambone
    6:30 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    dont do us any favors #3

  5. The Real Hambone
    6:31 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    by coming back

  6. tdogg4033011
    6:32 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    3) I hope every thing comes out alright for ya !!!

  7. boyd crowder's bible
    6:34 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    why do you want to be number #1? we lost a lot of minutes & points from last years & when the season starts we really may only be a top 5-10 team. by the time march rolls around though…..

  8. JackB
    6:35 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    I have been stung by high expectations for Vandy for the last time as well. I don’t care what they are ranked – I will have them exiting the NCAA Tourney the first weekend.

  9. SexnNursinHomes
    6:37 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    6- thanks man. It worked out well. Dropped about 3 Real Hambones in there. whew. Wasn’t as good as takin’ a Tipton, but everything is A-OK!

  10. The Real Hambone
    6:39 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Who in that top 10 besides UNC would you rank ahead of KY #7…
    louisville? Give me a break.

  11. Jason
    6:47 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Doesn’t matter if we are 1 or 2. Whoever wins the UK-UNC game in Rupp will be #1.

    ***It appears highly ranked 3* Tyrone Pearson has committed to UK, but UK is waiting to see if he makes his grades (which is in doubt). He has offers from Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Louisville, and others. Very good, very talented player. But like mentioned, grades are a big issue.

  12. All Roundball, All the Time...
    6:54 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Yes!!! A(nother) basketball article!!! Can’t get enough basketball talk in early-August! Keep up the good work, boys!

  13. cornbreadmafiacook
    6:55 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    agree wholeheartedly w/ vandy….bums put a hurting on my bracket the past couple of years

    i tend to believe florida’s being oversold just a bit and bama’s being undersold a tad. i believe the tide will probably be 2nd best sec team. if i had confidence miss. state’s big kid wouldn’t be a team cancer, i’d nudge them ahead of fla. also: UK, au, vu, ms, fla. since i lack that confidence, my official prediction is same except fla. and ms are flipped.

  14. tdogg4033011
    7:00 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    9) LOL …. no problem man, maybe a little TMI but its all good !!!

  15. The Real Hambone
    7:01 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    hey #12…until we get a coach that wont kick on 4th down with the game on the line (aka, at Knoxville last yr.), bet your butt basketball will be preeminent.

  16. Kentuckygentleman
    7:03 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Surprised to see Miss State on that list, even with Sidney, I don’t see it. Doesn’t matter who is no. 1 right now. Cats will be after they beat the Heels and hopefully at the end of the year 🙂

  17. tdogg4033011
    7:08 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    16) I can see MSU in the top 25. Sidney & Bost have potential to be a decent 1-2 punch. Its
    all for shits & giggels though …. UK will dominate

  18. tdogg4033011
    7:15 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    anyone have extra tickets to the Aug 15th game for sale??

  19. Holden McGroin
    7:18 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    who cares? rankings this time of year are a joke. look at last years august rankings and see how many exited the tournament in their first game. it’s a joke till the season gets underway. But it’s also a plus to see Cal’s Cats right up there even thought it doesn’t mean squat at this time. Go Cats.

  20. catcrawler
    7:24 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Vandy is definitely a sweet 16 team, probably elite 8. They will also give us trouble in both games.

  21. boyd crowder's bible
    7:27 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    10-calm down, champ. i was talking about on day 1 of the season. even wall, cousins & patterson needed a game winner to beat miami oh & OT vs stanford early on. & uconn killed us early on last year. the freshmen could have some struggles. its not impossible.

  22. BigAlSharpton
    7:29 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink


  23. Ben
    7:35 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    It’s more fun to beat the #1 team in the nation!

  24. NKY_UK_fan
    7:36 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Dee Bost is still at Miss St???? Isn’t he like 34 years old now?

  25. catfan
    8:54 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    #24 LOL I think he is eligible of SS.

  26. catfan
    8:55 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink


  27. Poco Chang
    10:33 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Why does everybody think OSU will be so good? Lighty was their best player last year. They have nobody that can create.

  28. bob
    10:46 pm August 1, 2011 Permalink

    Gators # 10? No way.

  29. UKstudentKev
    6:50 am August 2, 2011 Permalink

    Will Dee Bost ever graduate?? Maybe it’s just me but it seems like he has been at MSU forever.