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SEC Basketball Rankings: Volume 1

SEC Play starts tonight, let’s see how everyone is faring so far!

NCAA Basketball: Nicholls State at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

As 2020 comes to a close (Thank God), it’s time for Conference play to tip-off in the SEC. Games begin this Tuesday and Wednesday and if you’ve been reading here for the last few years, I have done a Weekly SEC Power Rankings. Now that we have a decent sample size of most teams, it’s time to relaunch the Power Rankings!

Keep in mind, this is NOT where I think these teams will finish the season but this is based off what we have seen so far this season.

#1 Tennessee (6-0)

  • The Vols are head and shoulders above everyone else in the league right now, despite starting their season 2 weeks after the rest of the league due to COVID. Tennessee can beat you on both sides of the floor, particularly on defense and have tons of depth. Victor Bailey leads the way averaging 13.2 PPG. It will be interesting to see this team outside of Knoxville for the first time tomorrow evening.
  • This Week: Tomorrow at #12 Missouri, Saturday vs Alabama

#2 Missouri (6-0)

  • One of the pleasant surprises of the young season but when you look at Missouri’s roster, they remind me of Auburn’s roster the past 2 seasons. Mizzou has gotten old and their experience is paying off. They start 3 seniors, a junior and a sophomore. They have one of the best non-conference wins in the league, knocking off Illinois a few weeks ago. 3 players average 13+ PPG, headlined by 14.3 PPG from Xavier Pinson, to lead the way and they have a huge matchup with Tennessee at home tomorrow night.
  • This Week: Tomorrow vs #7 Tennessee, Saturday at Arkansas

#3 LSU (5-1)

  • LSU has been an offensive juggernaut so far this season averaging close to 90 PPG. They also have 2 of the top 3 scorers in the league so far this year. Cam Thomas leads the SEC averaging 22.8 points a game as a freshman. Trendon Watford is averaging 19.4 PPG so far this year. Their lone loss came in a true road game at Saint Louis.
  • This Week: Tonight vs Texas A&M, Saturday at Florida

#4 Arkansas (8-0)

  • The Razorbacks have the most wins in the league but have yet to leave Fayetteville for any games so far. That changes this week when they arrive on the Plains. Moses Moody has one and done potential averaging over 16 PPG so far this season.
  • This Week: Tomorrow at Auburn, Saturday vs #12 Missouri

#5 Florida (3-1)

  • The Gators haven’t played since December 12th and we certainly continue to wish for nothing but the best for Keyontae Johnson. It sounds like he is getting better daily and that is great news for him as well as the Gators program. Florida cancelled their remaining non-conference games and we’ll see how they respond when they return to the court this week. With Johnson’s season over, sophomores Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis will certainly be asked to take on more of the scoring role going forward.
  • This Week: Tomorrow at Vanderbilt, Saturday vs LSU

#6 Auburn (6-2)

  • All things considered, I really like this Auburn team. The Gonzaga game was to be expected (have you seen how good the Zags are) and the UCF game was really disappointing. But the Tigers have won 5 straight since that dismal shooting night in Orlando and beat a really talented Memphis team along the way. Imagine if this team gets Sharife Cooper eligible and pair him with Justin Powell in the backcourt and Auburn would be in business. Powell and Allen Flanigan have been revelations this season with both players stepping into the PG role which was supposed to held by Cooper. Powell is shooting 51.4% from 3 and is averaging 13.9 PPG along with 6.4 RPG and almost 5 assists per game. Right behind him in scoring is Flanigan, averaging 13.8 PPG. The more this team gets to play together, the better they will be come the end of January/February but we’re going to learn a lot tomorrow when they host the undefeated Razorbacks.
  • This Week: Tomorrow vs Arkansas, Saturday at Texas A&M

#7 Georgia (7-0)

  • Quietly, the Bulldogs have gone through their non-conference schedule undefeated, with Cincinnati being their biggest win so far. Georgia has 5 players in double figures and the SEC leader in assists per game with Sophomore Sahvir Wheeler averaging 13.7 PPG to go along with 7.4 assists per game. Justin Kier, a grad transfer Auburn looked at before he committed to Georgia, is shooting 41.4% from 3 this season.
  • This Week: Tomorrow vs Mississippi State

#8 Ole Miss (5-1)

  • Like Tennessee, Ole Miss started their season late due to COVID and their lone loss came at Dayton. Senior Devontae Shuler leads the way averaging about 15 PPG. Arizona State grad transfer Romello White has been a huge addition to the Ole Miss frontcourt averaging 11.5 PPG and close to 7 rebounds per game.
  • This Week: Tonight at Alabama, Saturday vs Wichita State

#9 Texas A&M (5-1)

  • The Aggies have a blowout loss against TCU but has taken care of business on their home court. Sophomore Emanuel Miller is nearly averaging a double-double to lead the way, averaging 18 PPG along with 9.4 Rebounds per game. He will be a handful for Auburn on Saturday when the Tigers head to College Station.
  • This Week: Tonight at LSU, Saturday vs Auburn

#10 Alabama (5-3)

  • Every year, this team gets hyped up to be great and every year, they drop a couple of games in the non-con schedule that just make you shake your head. This team has a lot of talent and could still potentially be really good but they have struggled at times during non-conference play, losing games to Stanford, Clemson and Western Kentucky. Sophomore Jaden Shackelford leads the way averaging 14 PPG and is shooting about 40% from 3 this year.
  • This Week: Tonight vs Ole Miss, Saturday at #7 Tennessee

#11 Kentucky (1-6)

  • 1911 is the last time Kentucky started a year 1-6. This season, another talented crop of young freshmen descended upon Lexington this year but all recruiting classes are not made equal. But there’s one thing people are forgetting when it comes to Kentucky’s roster this year: they got NOT one, NOT two, BUT three favorable rulings on waivers from the NCAA this offseason. And while Cal has made many excuses regarding the schedule he created or calling out his players publicly, this team doesn’t have a capable shooter on the roster so far. Creighton transfer Davion Mintz has been one of Kentucky’s more consistent players and is shoot 35% from 3 on a team that is currently shooting 25% from 3 this season. Still, it’s Kentucky and surely at some point they’ll get this thing figured out. Maybe.
  • This Week: Saturday at Mississippi State

#12 Mississippi State (5-3)

  • The Bulldogs lost so much off of last year’s roster that I didn’t expect too much from the Bulldogs this season. I haven’t watched much of Mississippi State this year but the game I did was the one they were held to 42 points against Clemson in their opener. Liberty and Dayton also have wins over the Bulldogs as well this season. Sophomore D.J. Stewart has stepped up this season and is 4th in the SEC at 18 PPG.
  • This Week: Tomorrow at Georgia, Saturday vs Kentucky

#13 South Carolina (1-2)

  • The Gamecocks haven’t played since December 5th when they lost at Houston. Their SEC opener with Kentucky has already been postponed as well. In their 3 games, sophomore Jermaine Couisnard leads the way with 13.3 PPG but hopefully they will be able to get on the court this weekend.
  • This Week: Saturday vs Florida A&M

#14 Vanderbilt (3-2)

  • Vandy has dealt with a lot of COVID issues and Scotty Pippen Jr. is having a monster season averaging 22 PPG, 2nd in the SEC. Fortunately for the Dores, they do not face another Atlantic 10 opponent this year as their losses came against Richmond and Davidson, both A-10 teams.
  • This Week: Tomorrow vs Florida