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Top 25 Players in the SEC

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If you will remember, last week the SEC Media folks presented their list of the First and Second Preseason All-SEC teams…..and it was ridiculous. Well a random blogger (but a good one) from collegehoops.net has taken the task of listing the 25 best players in the SEC, regardless of position. The list, while not perfect, seems to me to be better than what the media did. Not nearly as much silly praise of Stephen Hill, and some recognition of the talent on UK’s roster (although I might have flipped Bradley and Crawford and moved Meeks up a bit). The only thing I can quibble with is putting 5 Tennessee guys in the Top 15, but hey….we all make mistakes.

1. Chris Lofton, SG, Tennessee – Scorers this good don’t usually last four years in college
2. Jamont Gordon. G/F, Mississippi State – The hype surrounding Gordon grows as he piles up triple-crown numbers
3. Patrick Beverley, G, Arkansas – As good as Beverley was a freshman, he probably deserves even more respect
4. Richard Hendrix, PF, Alabama – No reason junior big man shouldn’t make All-SEC team
5. Shan Foster, G/F, Tennessee – Vandy’s best player must improve on his 3-pt %
6. Tasmin Mitchell, SF, LSU – With Davis gone, Mitchell becomes LSU’s go-to guy
7. Joe Crawford, SG, Kentucky – Crawford’s always been solid, but Gillispie needs even more from the senior
8. JaJuan Smith, G, Tennessee – Perfect second-fiddle alongside Lofton
9. Sundiata Gaines, PG, Georgia – The only thing that holds Gaines back is his inability to hit jumpers
10. Ramel Bradley, PG, Kentucky – Like Crawford above, needs to improve his shot-selection
11. Tyler Smith, SF, Tennessee – Smith brings his pro-ready body to the Vols
12. Charles Rhodes, PF, Mississippi State – Senior is trying to play his way into the NBA’s second round
13. Ramar Smith, PG, Tennessee – This time next year, Smith could be Top 5 in the conference
14. Sonny Weems, SF, Arkansas – No reason Weems only averaged 12 ppg last year
15. Devan Downey, PG, South Carolina – Cincy transfer is brightspot on last-place team
16. Alonzo Gee, SF, Alabama – Gee has the talent to be top 10, but he never seems to put it all together
17. Mike Mercer, SG, Georgia – With Brown dismissed, Mercer will have to score even more than he has in the past
18. Dwayne Curtis, PF, Ole Miss – Curtis will once again put up numbers, but no one will notice
19. Nick Calathes, G, Florida – Out of all the new Gators, Calathes has the best chance to shine
20. Josh Dollard, PF, Auburn – The firs of the Tigers 3-man frontline to make the list
21. Jodie Meeks, SG, Kentucky – After a good rookie season, Meeks should jump to 12-15 ppg
22. Walter Hodge, SG, Florida – Quality shooter should be given a shot to play 30 minutes per game
23. Quan Prowell, F, Auburn – Former Furman transfer can score from inside or out
24. Marreese Speights, PF, Florida – Sophomore has a chance to be the SEC’s Most-Improved player
25. Kovortney Barber, PF, Auburn – Former Top 50 prospect improved substantially last year

Next In Line
Wayne Chism, PF, Tennessee – It was hard to keep quality sophomore out of the Top 25
Gary Ervin, PG, Arkansas – Not the best PG you’ll ever see, but might end up leading the SEC in assists
Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky – Cats needs freshman to play like a man from day one
Anthony Randolph, PF, LSU – Dynamic athlete would probably be my pick for SEC freshman of the year
Mykal Riley, G/F, Alabama – His 13 ppg is the highest scoring average not to make one of these rankings

Article written by Matt Jones