VAUGHT: SEC's best point guard? Rajon Rondo

Perhaps it is easy to debate who will be the Southeastern Conference's best point guard this year. College basketball analyst Dick Vitale makes no secret of his pick as he selected Kentucky's Rajon Rondo as his preseason conference player of the year.

But others could make a point for Alabama's Ronald Steele, who was called an "emerging star" by South Carolina coach Dave Odom during Wednesday's SEC Media Day, or even Vanderbilt's Mario Moore.

"Rondo is so long (with his arms) and has great anticipation," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "He can make it miserable for you with his defense. He's just a tad better defensively than Steele, but then Rondo is better than most guys in the country. If he gets his jumper going, he's going to be a pro."

That's the big debate. Steele and Moore are both better outside shooters than Rondo, who shot only 30 percent from 3-point range last year. However, Rondo has insisted he's fixing that problem. He made 300 jump shots daily during the summer and worked on his shot while playing for USA Basketball.

Odom still remembers Rondo hitting two keys shot when Kentucky rallied to beat South Carolina at Rupp Arena last year. He also says it would not surprise him in Rondo has improved his 3-point shooting.

"If a player is willing to work to improve, he can improve," Odom said. "I don't know Rondo personally, but just by watching him play you can tell he has the type of personality to improve.

"He just looks like he enjoys the game and enjoys winning. He looks like the kind of player you want to coach. And that type of player wants to improve not just for himself, but also because he understands it will make his team better."

So until Rondo shows me he is a 3-point liability, he still gets my vote as the SEC's best point guard because of his defense, quickness and ability to get inside to score and/or pass.


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