Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SEC Basketball Round Table Q&A

The SEC Basketball Power Poll has decided to do a round table as we wind down the regular season. Below are my answers. The results will be compiled and posted next week.

1. What teams are locks, probables and bubble teams for the NCAA tournament? Why?
Locks: Kentucky mostly because they are Kentucky; Florida because they will likely win the much tougher East Division; Alabama because they will have at least 20 wins; Vanderbilt because they will be above .500 in the better than given credit for East Division

Probables: Georgia because of their play against top competition like Notre Dame, Temple, and Xavier as well as wins against Kentucky and Tennessee; Tennessee simply because of the tough schedule they have played and a road win at Pitt

Bubble: None

2. What is your story of the year for the conference?
The story of the year is how bad the West Division is. Sorry to be negative, but the West has two very bad teams that could go down as two of the worst ever in LSU and Auburn. The West is symbol of the fall of college basketball - the teams are not good and nobody seems to really care.

3. Who is your player of the year? Why?
My player of the year is Vanderbilt's John Jenkins averaging nearly 20 points per game. Jenkins is second in the conference in free throw shooting and sixth in three point shooting at 41.5%. My runner up is Ole Miss' Chris Warren.

4. Who is the coach of the year? Why?
My coach of the year is Anthony Grant. He has taken care of business in the West and been very competitive against the East too in just his second season. He has made Alabama Basketball relevant again which makes Nick Saban happy too because it gives him another recruiting tool as we saw this past weekend.

5. What SEC team will go furthest in the NCAA tournament? In one of the other post season tourneys?
I think Florida will go the furthest because they are the best team and they have a coach with proven NCAA Tournament success. I don't see Kentucky going very far (i.e. past Sweet 16) considering how they only got to the Elite 8 last year and the talent is far less this season.

Miss State has a chance to go far in the NIT if they can get Renardo Sidney to start playing hard...nevermind, I don't see anybody else winning the NIT.

Bonus question: Does any team not currently in your NCAA tournament discussion have a team that could win the SEC tournament?
I could see Mississippi State winning the SEC Tournament because of the talent level they have and past success in the SEC Tournament.

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