2009/10 SEC Predictions

Here are my very, very early SEC predictions. Individual team profiles will come later.

SEC East:

Kentucky

Tennessee

Vandy

South Carolina

Florida

Georgia

SEC West:

Mississippi State

LSU

Arkansas

Ole Miss

Alabama

Auburn

Overall SEC:

Kentucky

Mississippi State

Tennessee

LSU

Vandy

South Carolina

Arkansas

Florida

Ole Miss

Alabama

Auburn

Georgia

Kentucky and Mississippi State are obviously the two front-runners this year. Both have legitimate shots at deep runs in March. Kentucky has gotten the most media attention this off-season, but if things click for the Bulldogs then they can be just as legitimate of Final Four contenders as the Wildcats. It isn’t often that talk of the nations best frontcourt begins and ends in the same conference, but between Patterson/Orton/Cousins and Varnado/Riek/Sidney no other team in the country is going to have the same talent under the rim as UK or MSU. (And that is leaving out both teams reserves like Perry Stevenson from UK and Romero Osby from MSU- both of whom were four-star players coming out of high school.)

Tennessee checks in next. They basically return the same super athletic team that was a bit of a let down for Vol fans this past season. If you look at the Volunteers 13 losses last year as a bolt of lightning, then I’m betting lightning won’t strike the same team twice.

Not far behind UT is LSU. LSU doesn’t have the same firepower a lot of the SEC teams, including several other West teams; but what LSU does have is coach Trent Johnson and small forward Tasmin Mitchell. Both of those guys are the real deal. I’m not sure if they are just that good, or just that lucky, but when you put one of them on the sidelines and the other on the floor they are going to beat good teams going away.

I have LSU picked to finish fourth in the league, but nipping on their heels—and probably with more media attention—is Vanderbilt. Kevin Stallings may look like Bill Kirchenbauer from “Just The Ten Of Us” but he coaches at times like Red Auerbach. With returning experience and incoming talent (most notably shooting talent) Vandy is a team that should stay in the polls all year.

South Carolina is an X-factor type of team. They have the talent in the backcourt to be a great team, but the question is can they produce the wins consistently enough? Even with a season similar to last season they will receive a bit more national respect simply because the perception of the conference is up.

Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, and Auburn are the logjam of the conference. I personally thing Arkansas and Florida will rise above the rest and be bubble teams at the end of the year. That said I honestly couldn’t pick Ole Miss, Alabama or Auburn to have bad seasons. Ole Miss might have the best guard duo on the conference. Alabama has a solid talent base and a coach who could work magic. Even perennial last place pick Auburn had success last year under Jeff Lebo.

Georgia sits solidly in last place. As a team without much talent and a new coach they will have to win games with heart and effort. Mark Fox should spend most of the year simply recruiting. With the recruiting hotbeds of Atlanta and Birmingham right at his doorstep a quick turnaround isn’t out of the question for Fox, but this year is going to be pretty rough.

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11 Responses to 2009/10 SEC Predictions

  1. Great breakdown! Although I disagree about how high LSU will finish.

    We should trade links…this is Dawg From SECF!

  2. boxvic says:

    I just have a feeling about LSU. I mean yeah I could be wrong about it, but every time I think they are in for a down year they beat my expectations.

  3. It was just one year, and they lose 59% of their scoring and 63% of their rebounding…

    If they make the tournament or second in the West I think Johnson should be nominated for National Coach of the Year.

  4. boxvic says:

    Well, I agree he should be COY of the year if they have a good season.

    I do think Vandy and USC have ability to jump LSU in the overall standings. Vandy and USC are poised to make waves. I’m just not confident in Arkansas, Ole Miss, or Alabama being able to win more in conference games than LSU.

  5. kentubbybasketball says:

    box, I think this blog will be insightful and informative. I think you’ve got more basketball knowledge than anybody I’ve come across, and I’m glad you’ve set up this blog to spread that wealth of knowledge. Let me know if I can do anything to help you (like get the word out about this blog). You’re one of the best posters at SEC Fanatics, and I hope those guys will support this blog, as you endeavor to provide the best coverage of SEC hoops on the ‘Net.

  6. Mark says:

    good stuff Box.
    Mark… OffthePorch

  7. Weegeman says:

    Good work Box. Kentubby told me about your blog and then I saw the posts on SECF. I’d be glad to do a link exchange with you if it will help you out.

  8. SkyAntoine says:

    Is it possible to contribute monetarily to this site?

    I’m not going to…but just wondering. 🙂

    Great blog, Box.

  9. […] 2009-10 SEC West Predictions […]

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