SEC Basketball: High-Low Preview

    
October 9th, 2009

Everybody loves a prediction. People that claim to hate sports predictions are just jealous that no one cares what they have to say or that their predictions are never right. But sometimes when making predictions, certain teams or groups of teams are truly to close to call. On CHN or in preview mags, we do our best to slot teams into specific spots, but sometimes you just want to say honestly, teams A, B, and C are virtually the same and luck will determine how they finish. You can't say that in a Top 144 ranking, but I'm saying it here in a series of High-Low predictions. Instead of plugging teams into specific spots, I'll give a range for each team's finish and a few reasons why.

 

(How about the high production values with that picture?..)

 

 

SEC HIGH-LOW

The SEC should return to prominence this year due to an influx of talent at UK along with big-time teams like Tennessee & Mississippi State returning entire squads.

* my projected finish in yellow

 

 

 

 

EAST
KENTUCKY

1

2

3

4

5

6

As great as the freshmen will be, it was the return of Patrick Patterson that really solidified UK's grasp on the SEC. With that said, Tennessee is no joke and it may take time for the Cats to come together.

 

 

TENNESSEE

1

2

3

4

5

6

The Vols return everybody from a team that won 21 games last year, but underachieved. There's little reason to expect less than at least the program's 3rd Sweet Sixteen in the last 4 years.

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

1

2

3

4

5

6

Potential SEC POY Devan Downey returns to lead a team heavy on experience. South Carolina should finally get over the NIT hump this year and make the Big Dance.

 

VANDERBILT

1

2

3

4

5

6

With a proven commodity in AJ Ogilvy and two emerging sophomores in Beal & Taylor, Vandy has all the pieces to return to the NCAA's after a year break. Some mags see Vandy as a Sweet 16/Elite 8 type team, though I'm not going that far.

 

FLORIDA

1

2

3

4

5

6

5 out of 6 looks bad, but I actually like this group of Gators, who should win 20+ games even without Calathes. Boynton should score 15+ from the get-go and last year's young forwards will only get better. Could easily top both USC & Vandy.

 

GEORGIA

1

2

3

4

5

6

In an otherwise loaded SEC East, Georgia simply has inferior talent. The lone exception is Howard Thompkins, capable of putting up 18 & 10 type numbers.

 

WEST
MISSISSIPPI STATE

1

2

3

4

5

6

Rick Stansbury's teams have rarely met expectations (often unfair ones I should note). However, if this year's squad doesn't win 25+ games and get past the 2nd round, it would have to be considered a disappointment once again.

 

OLE MISS

1

2

3

4

5

6

While David Huertas (18 ppg) graduates, the key is the healthy return of Chris Warren. If one of the freshmen bigs step up and contribute on the boards & on D, Ole Miss has the pieces to finally get back to the Tourney.

 

ARKANSAS

1

2

3

4

5

6

Expect this year's team to be somewhat between the one that shocked the world early on and then collapsed late. Something around 8-8 or 7-9 would put the Hogs in the NIT.

 

ALABAMA

1

2

3

4

5

6

Alabama hasn't finished .500 or better in the SEC since 2006. That trend should continue this year, although the West is wide enough open where Bama could surprise.

 

AUBURN

1

2

3

4

5

6

Auburn has a lot of intriguing pieces, I just don't see how it all fits together into a winning puzzle. 5 league wins would be a good +/- number.

 

LSU

1

2

3

4

5

6

Only two player on the roster averaged 10+ mpg last year, at least those two (Spencer & Mitchell) are solid. I actually think the Tigers will be more competitive then people expect and could easily push Auburn for 5th.

 

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>> Big 12: High-Low Preview

>> Big Ten: High-Low Preview

>> Pac-10: High-Low Preview

 

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