SEC Opponents: Week in Review

VandyMania welcome's Michael O'Neill to its staff. This week Mike gives us a look around the SEC and updates us on the opposition.

Tennessee: Love him or hate him, Bruce Pearl has the Vols rolling. Last week they beat MSU on the road by 20 and played host to South Carolina, winning by 16. Chris Lofton had big games, averaging 21 points (up from 16.4 for the season). Jason Asumnu has also had been a big lift off the bench, scoring 11.0 per game in the week. One facet where they may need to improve is three-point shooting – in the past week they've shot just 22% (11-50) from beyond the arc.

Florida: The Gators had an up and down week, losing at South Carolina before beating the ‘Dores at home. Al Horford had big game against Vandy, scoring 16 points after only scoring 6 in Columbia. Florida now has 5 players averaging over ten points per game this season, led by Taurean Green with 14.0 ppg (and shooting 43.2% behind the line).

Kentucky: The SEC West lost a couple close games to the Wildcats, with Auburn and Arkansas being this week's victims. After losing three straight (including home losses to VU and Alabama), UK has quietly put together a four-game winning streak to move to 4-2 in SEC play. Joe Crawford II had a breakout game at Auburn, scoring 23 points behind a 4-6 three-point shooting and 9-11 from the stripe, and the Faxed Wonder Randolph Morris put in 19 points on Saturday.

South Carolina: Is it too early in the season for the Cocks to be considered a spoiler? Their two wins have come against a Vandy team initially poised to be one of the top teams in the East, and a Top 10 team in Florida this past Wednesday. Tarence Kinsey led the ‘Cocks in scoring each game, with Balkman averaging 11 points off the bench. 

Georgia: The Dawgs fell in both their games last week, losing at LSU and giving Auburn their first SEC win this season. Dave Bliss was the only bright spot for Georgia in Baton Rouge, scoring 12 points (versus 4.3 ppg this season), while Levi Stukes and Sundiata Gaines put in 16 and 18 against the Tigers. Georgia has consistently rotated players this season, with ten players averaging over ten minutes each game, and no player above 27.

LSU: The Tigers are the only team unbeaten in SEC play this season following wins against Georgia and at Ole MissDarrel Mitchell has gotten hot, averaging 26 ppg this week, eight more than his season average (shooting 5-7 from 3 makes those kind of scoring nights much more attainable). Glen Davis and Tasmin Mitchell also hit double figures in both games.

Alabama: Bama shared a night off with the Commodores, but won their only game of the week, edging Mississippi State at home. Richard Hendrix had a good game, scoring 22 (better than twice his season average). Bama has survived without Chuck Davis, going 3-1 in their last four, the loss being in Baton Rouge. They face tough challenges this week, though, going to Athens and then hosting LSU.

Ole Miss: After a 3-1 start to the SEC season, the Rebs faltered this week, falling to Arkansas and LSU. Clarence Sanders came off the bench and averaged 13.5 points over the week's games – he was the only Rebel to score in double figures in both games. Ole Miss lost both games despite outrebounding each of their opponents.

Arkansas: The Hogs split their games this week beating Ole Miss and narrowly losing to Kentucky. Arkansas gave up an 18-point lead at Rupp and lost by two despite shooting 9-16 from deep. Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon  Modica pitched in 21.0 and 16.

5 ppg this week respectively, a few points above their season averages.

Auburn: After losing to Kentucky at home, Auburn eeked out its first SEC win of the year when they hosted Georgia and won by one. Tolbert led the Tigers in scoring this week with 12.0 points per game. Auburn only has two players averaging double-digit points this season (Rasheem Barrett and Ronny LeMelle, both with 11.5). 

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are in a rough stretch having lost their fifth and sixth games in a row. Jamont Gordon, Jamall Edmondson, and Charles Rhodes dominated the scoring for MSU in both games, averaging 16.5, 14.0, and 13.5 points) and were the only Bulldogs to score in double figures in either game. Contributing to the losing ways are the Bulldogs' turnover woes – MSU had 32 turnovers and only 19 assists.

Vanderbilt Season To Date

Overall Record: 12-5, 3-3

Road: 3-3

Home: 9-2

RPI: 50 

Record v. RPI Top 50: 2-2

Losses v. RPI 100 or worse: 1 (Georgia Tech)

(all RPI figures from Top Stories