Tuesday was awfully eventful in the world of SEC hoops. So, let’s take a step back and look at what went down.
The Kentucky Wildcats stood out with an eye-popping 87-52 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Wildcats have now won seven in a row and 10 of their last 11 with that victory under their belt. They once again got a stellar contribution from PJ Washington. Washington scored 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double. Nick Richards chipped in 14 off the bench, Tyler Herro scored 12 and Keldon Johnson chipped in 11 of his own. Simi Shittu, meanwhile, was held to without a single point despite playing 29 minutes. Saben Lee put up 15 points, Aaron Nesmith added 14 and Matt Ryan put up 12, but that was far from enough.
Elsewhere, the Tennessee Volunteers ended the South Carolina Gamecocks’ winning ways with a 92-70 beatdown. The Vols got 24 and 9 from Admiral Schofield, 23 and 9 from Grant Williams and 19 points and nine assists from Jordan Bone. Lamonte Turner had 13 points of his own and was 3-for-6 from 3-point land. Chris Silva’s double-double of 28 and 10 was a noteworthy performance, but not enough to get them in the win column. Tennessee has now won 15 in a row dating back to November 28, and at this point, it’s a wonder when they’re going to lose again.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs continue to slide, as they lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide 83-79 in Tuscaloosa. It’s State’s second loss in their last three and fourth in their last seven games, as they’re 3-4 to start SEC play. This seems to be a recurring theme in the Ben Howland era, as they’ve only been above .500 in league play once in the last four years through this point in the season under Howland. For ‘Bama, it keeps up the trend of win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win, as they continue to alternate back and forth. Donta Hall had 19 points and seven rebounds with two blocks and a steal to boot in the win.
Finally, the Arkansas Razorbacks got into the win column with a 70-60 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. The two teams jostled back and forth a bit, but Arkansas remained in command and managed to pull off the win. They killed Georgia inside, going 20-for-40 on 2-point tries while holding UGA to 12-for-41 on 2-point tries. Mason Jones stood out with a 23-point performance, adding six boards and four assists to that line. Nicolas Claxton and Derek Ogbeide put up 14 each for UGA in the losing effort.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
Ole Miss vs. Florida
This should be a fun one in Gainesville. Kermit Davis has the Rebels out to a 4-2 start in SEC play and has already surpassed last year’s season win total with 14. Led by SEC second-leading scorer Breein Tyree (17.3 PPG), The Rebels have their work cut out for them if they want to pick up their first win in Gainesville since 2015.
While the Gators sit at 11-8, and 3-3 in conference play, they’re still not to be taken lightly, especially at the O’Connell Center. Florida has been stingy defensively this season, as they have every year under Mike White. Ke’Vaughn Allen has led Florida this year with 12.7 points per game, as the offense has taken a step back with the departures they suffered this offseason.
For the Gators to come out victorious, they will likely have to force turnovers. They’re the second best team in the nation at forcing turnovers, while Ole Miss is right at the national average of turnovers per game.
Time: 6:30 ET
TV: SEC Network
Missouri vs. Auburn
Despite leading LSU by 14 points with two minutes to go at Mizzou Arena on Saturday night, Mizzou found a way to lose the game in overtime to fall to 1-5 in SEC play. While this season was always going to be a transitional year after Jontay Porter tore his ACL in the preseason, but this has been particularly rough. Jordan Geist has been a bright spot for Mizzou at 13.9 points per game in his senior season, but he hasn’t been enough for a Missouri offense that is dead last in the SEC in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.
After starting the season 11-2, Auburn has struggled so far in SEC play. They come into this game at 2-4 in conference games, and have lost three in a row. Despite this, Bryce Brown (16.9 PPG) and Jared Harper (15.3 PPG) will be the two best players on the court in this game, and Auburn has home court advantage. So they should be able to break their dry spell.
Time: 8:30 ET
TV: SEC Network
LSU vs. Texas A&M
As mentioned above, LSU was on the other end of that crazy Mizzou game over the weekend. As a result, the Tigers are a perfect 6-0 in conference play and up to #19 in this week’s AP Poll. Tremont Waters (14.2 PPG and 6.2 APG) has been a force this season, Skylar Mays (13.8 PPG) has taken a step forward and the addition of top recruit Naz Reid (13.2 PPG, fourth among SEC freshman) have given the Tigers a potent scoring punch that currently sits at third in the SEC in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency behind just Tennessee and Auburn. LSU’s 83.2 points per game is also third in the conference behind those two teams.
Texas A&M, meanwhile, has been bad this season. They’re currently one of two teams in the SEC under .500 on the season at 8-10, and they have just one conference win to speak of. While the game is at home, it’s likely that LSU will be too much for Billy Kennedy’s squad to overcome.