What Happened Last Night
The conference went 9-3 on the whole, though two of the losses were against power-conference competition (and the third was somewhat expected), but there were a couple of games that were closer than they probably should have been. On the other hand, Auburn looked impressive and Kentucky and Texas A&M did about what you’d expect them to do against weaker competition.
- Marquette 95, Vanderbilt 71: Yeah, you’re not going to win too many games when you turn the ball over on a quarter of your possessions and the other team shoots 13-of-31 from three. Luke Kornet had 15 points and 5 boards for the Commodores.
- South Carolina 85, Louisiana Tech 76: The early returns suggest that the Gamecocks will go as far as Sindarius Thornwell (18 points, 7 boards, 6 assists) will take them. It’s a little telling that, with both of Carolina’s starting bigs in foul trouble, walk-on Jarrell Holliman got 14 minutes of action. That could be an ongoing issue for this team.
- Clemson 74, Georgia 64: Yante Maten went for 19 points and 12 boards, but Georgia’s probably in trouble when J.J. Frazier shoots 5-for-13 with 4 turnovers. Maten and Frazier were the only Bulldogs to score in double figures.
- Kentucky 87, Stephen F. Austin 64: Kentucky won pretty easily and had five players in double figures, while forcing 28 turnovers. But you know John Calipari isn’t going to be happy with Stephen F. Austin rebounding 45 percent of their own misses. This is a solid opening win but there are still some kinks to work out.
- Chattanooga 82, Tennessee 69: Aside from the embarrassment of losing to an in-state mid-major, Chattanooga’s pretty good so this isn’t too embarrassing; and yet, Tennessee might have kept this close if they’d shot better than 1-of-16 from three. Freshman Jordan Bone had 21 points in his debut for the Vols.
- Ole Miss 86, Tennessee-Martin 83: UT-Martin shot 37 percent from the floor and still nearly knocked off the Rebels, thanks to (a) the Skyhawks pulling down 43 percent of their own misses and (b) Ole Miss committing 24 turnovers. A win’s a win, but this isn’t exactly a good look. Deandre Burnett had 23 in his debut for the Rebels, and Terence Davis had a career-high 19 off the bench.
- Florida 80, Florida Gulf Coast 59: FGCU kept this competitive for a while before a 15-0 Gator run in the second half put the game out of reach. Four Gators scored in double figures, and Kevarrius Hayes had 5 blocks in 14 minutes off the bench.
- Arkansas 92, Fort Wayne 83: Yeah, Arkansas is going to have some games where an inferior team takes care of the ball (Fort Wayne committed 12 turnovers) and the refs decide to call the Razorbacks for a bunch of touch fouls (29 fouls, to be exact), which explains how Fort Wayne kept this close. Dusty Hannahs led the way with 23 points; preseason SEC Player of the Year Moses Kingsley had 9 points, 9 boards and 7 blocks.
- Mississippi State 78, Norfolk State 74: Yeah, Mississippi State shouldn’t be beating a MEAC team by 4 when they’re shooting the ball pretty well. Quinndary Weatherspoon had 22 points for the Bulldogs; Aric Holman had 11 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.
- Texas A&M 72, Northwestern State 44: Holding the opponent to 0.69 points per possession is impressive regardless of who you’re playing. Northwestern State shot 28 percent from the floor and committed 18 turnovers; freshman Robert Williams had 5 blocks in his debut. Tyler Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
- Alabama 70, Coastal Carolina 53: Alabama ended the game on a 18-5 run to put away what had been a competitive game. Coastal shot just 27 percent from the floor but managed to hang around thanks largely to a superb rebounding effort. Corban Collins led the way for Alabama with 15 points.
- Auburn 83, North Florida 66: This game wasn’t as close as the final makes it look; Auburn led by 30 early in the second half before North Florida came back to make the final look respectable. Auburn shot 13-of-32 from three and forced 27 turnovers; Bryce Brown led four players in double figures with 19 points.
Yesterday: 2-5 ATS
Wofford at LSU (-8), 2:00 PM ET, SEC Network+, WatchESPN: There won’t be a ton of Saturday games until football season’s over (for obvious reasons), but LSU opens its basketball season at home on Saturday. I like the value on LSU (who, after all, is the more talented team) since the line’s dropped all the way from -11 to -8.