TEAM OF THE WEEK: Georgia
The Bulldogs had a rough start to conference play by dropping a close one to Arkansas and going down in overtime to LSU. UGA reversed those results in the second week. Mark Fox's crew began by edging out Vanderbilt on the road 70-67, but the main reason they got team of the week was Saturday's 73-61 win over Florida. It not only gave the Gators their first SEC loss since March of 2013, but it gave the Bulldogs a nice win for a potential bubble run in March of 2015. There's a lot of hoops to be played between now and then, but this was a good week for the Red and Black.
NOT TEAM OF THE WEEK: Arkansas
After we heaped praise on the Hogs in Week 1, they flushed the goodwill down the toilet in Week 2. They allowed Tennessee to shoot an alarmingly high percentage for much of their first game, a 74-69 loss where a late game comeback fell short. On Saturday—stop me if you've heard this before—they allowed Ole Miss to shoot an alarmingly high percentage in a 96-82 home loss to the Rebels. The Razorbacks are usually good enough to keep both teams in any game, but this week, they couldn't keep themselves in it enough.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Armani Moore, Tennessee
There were a few other good candidates this week—Danuel House of Texas A&M scored a lot in both of the week's Aggie wins, while Marcus Thornton and Kenny Gaines kind of split the Georgia vote. I'm going with Moore, though, as he stuffed the stat sheet in the Vols' pair of wins. He had 14 points, eight boards, and four steals in UT's upset win over Arkansas on Tuesday. He followed it up by leading the way with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Vols' 59-51 win over Missouri. The junior forward showed some versatility, and that's worth a shout out.
KENTUCKY UNDEFEATED WATCH: It got better
After a pair of harrowing overtime wins in Week 1, we got the Wildcats we were expecting to see. They throttled poor Missouri 87-36 and wiped the floor with Alabama to the tune of 70-48. The second half against Bama was the only one of the four halves of ball that UK played in which it allowed more than 20 points. Both wins were balanced efforts where three Wildcats found double figures and everyone contributed something positive. John Calipari must have got his team's attention, because it looked nothing like it did through the first two games of conference play.
MISSISSIPPI STATE WINLESS WATCH: Toast
The Bulldogs are the conference's worst team by a fair margin, presently clocking in at 220 in the KenPom ratings. The league's next-lowest team is Missouri at 165. I mean, this team lost to No. 270 McNeese State by 19. MSU won't end winless in conference play, though, as they managed to squeak by Vandy 57-54 on Saturday. I can't say I caught any of what must have been an ugly game, but snapping a 16-game conference losing streak surely was a beautiful thing for State.
If Ole Miss wants to follow up its big win over Arkansas with a statement that's it's an SEC runner up contender, then it has a great chance to do so. The high scoring Rebels will hit Athens on Tuesday before hosting Florida at week's end. Winning both of those games will lock them in as team of the week for Week 3 for sure.
Meanwhile, LSU has been maddeningly inconsistent in conference play so far. The Tigers lost to Mizzou but then beat Georgia. They beat Ole Miss and then lost to Texas A&M. If they can beat a vulnerable Florida team on Tuesday, they'll have a real shot at putting together some solid momentum—or taking another frustrating step backward—at Vanderbilt on Saturday.
And speaking of Vandy, they get to follow up their embarrassing lost to Mississippi State by traveling to Lexington on Tuesday. Woof. The Cats should blow through that game, but I've got a feeling their game in Columbia on Saturday could be far more interesting than it should be. Stay tuned.
|Kentucky||17-0 (4-0)||Vanderbilt, Tues.||at South Carolina|
|Tennessee||11-5 (3-1)||at South Carolina, Tues.||Texas A&M|
|Florida||10-7 (3-1)||LSU, Tues.||at Ole Miss|
|Arkansas||13-4 (2-2)||Alabama, Thurs.||at Missouri|
|LSU||13-4 (2-2)||at Florida, Tues.||at Vanderbilt|
|Alabama||12-5 (2-2)||at Arkansas, Thurs.||Auburn|
|Georgia||11-5 (2-2)||Ole Miss, Tues.||at Mississippi State|
|Texas A&M||11-5 (2-2)||Missouri, Weds.||at Tennessee|
|Ole Miss||11-6 (2-2)||at Georgia, Tues.||Florida|
|Auburn||10-7 (2-2)||Mississippi State, Weds.||at Alabama|
|Vanderbilt||11-6 (1-3)||at Kentucky, Tues.||LSU|
|South Carolina||10-6 (1-3)||Tennessee, Tues.||Kentucky|
|Mississippi State||8-9 (1-3)||at Auburn, Weds.||Georgia|
|Missouri||7-10 (1-3)||at Texas A&M, Weds.||Arkansas|