SEC Hoops Rundown

The Commodores look improved over last season and hope to improve in the SEC as well. Here's a quick look around the SEC with projections on how many league games each school will win.

Alabama (4-6) RTRPI-135 Pom-59
Best win: Texas Tech, 76-64. Worst loss: South Florida, 66-64.
NOTES: Bama's Trevor Releford is the SEC's active career scoring leader (1,469 points). The Tide returns five of the top seven scorers from last season's team that just missed the NCAA.
SEC PROJECTION: 9-12 wins.

Auburn (6-3) RTRPI-181 Pom-195
Best win: Boston College, 77-67. Worst loss: Northwestern St., 111-92.
NOTES: Scoring duo of KT Harrell and Chris Denson averaging over 35 combined points per game. Tigers have defeated two ACC opponents (BC and Clemson) and look improved.

Arkansas (9-2) RTRPI-61 Pom-49
Best win: Minnesota, 87-73. Worst loss: California, 85-77.
NOTES: Razorbacks look solid and are leading the SEC in scoring offense (85.5 ppg). The ‘backs have a ton a players back from last year's 10-8 SEC squad.
SEC PROJECTION: 9-12 wins.

Florida (9-2) RTRPI-24 Pom-10
Best win: Kansas, 67-61. Worst loss: Connecticut, 65-64.
NOTES: The Gators look solid. Casey Prather is leading the SEC in field goal percentage (62.4%). Five star 6-foot-10 forward Chris Walker was recently admitted to Florida for the spring semester. Next hurdle is the NCAA clearinghouse to make him eligible to play in games. No word on when that when that will happen.
SEC PROJECTION: 12-16 wins.

Georgia (6-4) RTRPI-293 Pom-150
Best win: Wofford, 72-52. Worst loss: Georgia Tech, 80-71.
NOTES: Georgia needed a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the game to beat Western Carolina. Georgia's four losses have been to high majors but the Bulldogs weren't blown out. UGA visits a ranked Colorado team tonight and we'll get a better picture of how good (or bad) this team is.

Kentucky (9-3) RTRPI-25 Pom-12
Best win: Boise St., 70-55. Worst loss: North Carolina, 82-77.
NOTES: UK has reloaded with one and dones again. Frosh Aaron Harrison was recently named SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring 23 points in a comeback win over Belmont. Julius Randle, another freshman, already has nine double doubles this season. The Wildcats haven't been able to notch a win over a top 25 team but have been competitive. They get another chance against No. 6 Louisville tonight. Willie Cauley-Stein blocked nine shots against Providence on Dec. 1.
SEC PROJECTION: 10-14 wins.

LSU (8-2) RTRPI-17 Pom-56
Best win: Butler, 70-68. Worst loss: Memphis, 76-69.
NOTES: The Tiger's Anthony Hickey leads the SEC in assist to turnover ratio (3.36). The Bayou Bengals have three starters back from last year's team that won 19 games.
SEC PROJECTION: 9-12 wins.

Mississippi State (9-3) RTRPI-165 Pom-190
Best win: Jackson St., 58-56. Worst loss: TCU, 71-61.
NOTES: State seems improved this season. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in steals per game averaging 9.9. Sophomore Craig Sword is the Bulldog's go-to guy this season (15.3 ppg).

Missouri (10-1) RTRPI-32 Pom-47
Best win: UCLA, 80-71. Worst loss: Illinois, 65-64.
NOTES: Tigers have the nation's longest home court win streak and Vandy will play there on Feb. 19. Jordan Clarkson (19.9 ppg) leads the SEC in scoring. Jabari Brown (18.2 ppg) isn't far behind at No. 7.
SEC PROJECTION: 12-15 wins.

Ole Miss (8-3) RTRPI-84 Pom-80
Best win: Penn State, 79-76. Worst loss: Kansas State, 61-58.
NOTES: Rebs lead the conference (3rd nationally) in blocked shots per game (7.7). Marshall Henderson is averaging only 37.6 percent from 3-point range. How long will it be before his behavior gives OM another black eye? Ole Miss owns the two highs for points scored/allowed this season in the SEC. They scored 111 in a win over Mississippi Valley and allowed 115 in a loss to Oregon.
SEC PROJECTION: 6-10 wins.

South Carolina (4-6) RTRPI-90 Pom-140
Best win: St. Mary's, 78-71. Worst loss: South Carolina-Upstate, 74-68.
NOTES: Manhattan made 34 free throws in an 86-68 win over the Gamecocks on Dec. 17. Sindarius Thornwell leads USC in scoring at 12.1 points per contest.

Tennessee (7-4) RTRPI-79 Pom-40
Best win: Xavier, 64-49. Worst loss: UTEP, 78-70.
NOTES: UT leads the league in offensive rebounds at 16.0 per game. Let's hope that's because they are missing a lot of shots. Indeed, the Vols are 12th in the conference in field goal percentage at 44 percent and 13th in the SEC in 3-point FGs at 36.6 percent. Jarnell Stokes leads the SEC in rebounding with 11.3 a game. UT had three players on the preseason All-SEC team.
SEC PROJECTION: 12-15 wins.

Texas A&M (8-3) RTRPI-167 Pom-103
Best win: Sam Houston St., 79-62. Worst loss: Missouri State, 73-67.
NOTES: Statistically the Aggies have the SEC's stingiest field goal defense, limiting opponents to just 37.2 percent. Vandy is allowing 41.1 percent.

Vanderbilt (7-3) RTRPI-57 Pom-93
Best win: Georgia Tech, 76-63. Worst loss: Providence, 67-60.
NOTES: Rod Odom leads the SEC in 3-point FG percentage (45.9%). The Dores are third in the SEC in 3-point FG defense (28.4%) and 29th nationally. Vandy is down to eight scholarship players. One more injury could send things into a tailspin.
SEC PROJECTION: 6-10 wins.

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