SEC Basketball: Top Six Players

October 26th, 2008
The SEC welcomed a bumper crop of talented freshman last season to its ranks.  Luckily a few of them actually hung around for a second-go-round the league, and three of them find themselves on this list.



Pick Six: SEC

Throughout the week, check back for articles highlighting the Top 6 players in each BCS league. Then next week we’ll be rolling out the Top 6 at each position.


1. Tyler Smith – Tennessee – Junior


The Vols’ Mr. Do-It-All will have to do even more this season with all the roster departures on the team.  That will mean playing in the post and on the wing again, defending, scoring, playmaking and rebounding.  Shouldn’t be a problem for a guy who averaged 13.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.4 apg and 1.4 spg last season.


Stats: 13.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.4 apg


2. Andrew “A.J.” Ogilvy – Vanderbilt – Sophomore


While A.J. Ogilvy might not be the second coming of fellow Australian Andrew Bogut, he is still a stud player.  Despite not being the Commodores’ primary offensive option last season, he still went off for 17ppg and 6.7rpg.  With Shan Foster graduated, Ogilvy will be the top dog this season in Nashville and maybe in the whole conference.


Stats: 17.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 apg


3. Patrick Patterson – Kentucky – Sophomore


Billy Gillispie must have breathed a sigh of relief when big man Patrick Patterson decided to return to Lexington for another season.  An explosive, powerful post player, his 7-foot wingspan helps him play bigger than his 6’8” height.  Look for him to battle with Ogilvy for big man supremacy in the SEC.


Stats: 16.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.7 apg


4. Devan Downey – South Carolina – Junior


It is common practice in the world of sport fighting to call a guy “the best pound-for-pound” performer.  Well in college basketball, you definitely could make the case that Devan Downey is the best “pound-for-pound” baller.  The 5’9” 175lber put up ridiculous numbers last year.


Stats: 18.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.4 apg


5. Nick Calathes – Florida – Sophomore


Another SEC super sophomore is Florida’s combo guard/small forward Nick Calathes.  Billy Donovan’s crew was in full rebuilding mode last season and lucky for him he had a perfect piece to build around in Calathes.  In addition to playing multiple positions, he also posted impressive numbers in multiple categories.


Stats: 15.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 6.1 apg


6. Marcus Thornton – LSU – Senior


JUCO transfer Marcus Thornton brought some much needed offense onto the Tigers roster last season.  His 19.6 ppg were second best in the conference and he topped the 20 point mark 17 times and 30 points three times.  He did a lot of his damage from long-range as his 90 three-pointers were second most made in a season in the history of LSU.


Stats: 19.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.4 apg


Next in line:  Scotty Hopson, Tennessee; Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State; Chris Warren, Mississippi; Alonzo Gee, Alabama.


Tomorrow: Top Six Non-BCS Players