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SEC Basketball Roundup: November 7

Well... that could’ve gone better for Kentucky. But plenty more happened!

State Farm Champions Classic Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The SEC rung in the new college basketball season last night. For some teams it went well. For others... uh, yeah. Anyways.

KENTUCKY, FLORIDA GET ROLLED

John Calipari suffered one of the worst losses of his coaching career last night as the Duke Blue Devils smoked the Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats were no match for the quartet of freshmen Duke trotted out, as R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cameron Reddish and Tre Jones had 83 combined points... while Kentucky, as a team, had 84. It was a thorough domination by Duke, and one that Kentucky will hope to forget about quickly.

The Florida Gators should probably thank Kentucky for stealing the headlines, because the Florida State Seminoles rolled over their in-state adversaries. Florida was no match for PJ Savoy, who scored 20 in an 81-60 rout. Trent Forrest and M.J. Walker added 13 and 10 points respectively in the ‘Noles victory, and held the Gators to a mark of 20-for-54 from the field.

BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR TENNESSEE & AUBURN

The Tennessee Volunteers and Auburn Tigers topped the SEC last season. They certainly looked the part on Tuesday, as Tennessee and Auburn each picked up opening night wins.

Tennessee handled Lenoir Rhyne 86-41 in a game that wasn’t ever particularly close. Five Vols got into double figures, with Jordan Bone leading the way with 18 points. Grant Williams had 13 as did Admiral Schofield, while Kyle Alexander had 16 points and Jordan Bowden added 11.

The Tigers, meanwhile, won 101-58 over the South Alabama Jaguars. Auburn had six players in double figures, as Jared Harper and Chuma Okeke each hit the 20-point plateau. Malik Dunbar had 16 points off the bench and shot 5-for-6 from the field. Bryce Brown had 12, Anfernee McLemore had 14 in his first game back since his terrible injury, and Samir Doughty had 14 points in his first game with the Tigers after transferring from VCU.

DYNAMIC FRESHMEN SHINE FOR LSU, VANDERBILT

The Vanderbilt Commodores and LSU Tigers both brought in stellar freshmen classes this season. On their first day of work, each of them had large amounts of success.

In LSU’s 94-63 win over Southeastern Louisiana, it was Naz Reid who stood out. Naz had 17 points and six rebounds, putting up a mark of 6-for-13 from the field and 5-for-8 inside. Ja’vonte Smart, meanwhile, had 10 points, five rebounds and two assists and Emmitt Williams had 12 points and 10 boards for his first double-double. Darius Days had 11 points off the bench and added five rebounds, as well.

Meanwhile, Darius Garland had 24 points in his debut for Vandy. Galrand had four assists, two blocks and rebounds as well as he shined brightly to say the least. Simi Shittu, meanwhile, recorded his first-ever double-double, putting up 18 points and 10 rebounds.

ALABAMA, MIZZOU AND SOUTH CAROLINA VICTORIOUS

The Alabama Crimson Tide, Missouri Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks each passed their respective opening night tests.

‘Bama won 82-62 over the Southern Jaguars. Donta Hall was excellent, as Hall scored a game-high 20 points on an 8-for-9 night from the field. John Petty wasn’t too far behind, scoring 17 points while going 5-for-8 from downtown.

Down in Columbia, it was Keyshawn Bryant who stole the show, as his 21 points led the way for South Carolina’s 65-52 win over USC Upstate. Bryant’s 21 points came off the bench in 21 minutes, and putting up a point per minute is pretty #good. Chris Silva added 13 points and got to the line for 12 free throw attempts during the game. Pretty solid, eh?

In the other Columbia, Mark Smith stole the show as he put up 19 points and 10 rebounds in Mizzou’s 68-55 win. The Illinois Fighting Illini transfer was 6-for-9 from the field and went 5-for-8 from long range. Jeremiah Tilmon, who many suspected would play with Smith... at Illinois... was good himself, putting up 16 points in the win. His usual foul troubles did not steer him away from this performance, though, as he played 26 minutes in the game and performed well.