The SEC is starting to garner a little bit of respect. On KenPom’s conference rankings, the SEC is above what was thought of as the mighty Big 10.
Thanks to surprises like Texas A&M and Tennessee, the conference is filled with young teams trying to make a run toward the NCAA Tournament. However, the conference play is just halfway over, and there is plenty of time for change.
For the meantime, these are the current SEC power rankings.
- Missouri 7-13, 1-6; KenPom – 161
Missouri is as bad as its game against Kentucky on Thursday night was. A whopping 51 fouls combined in a game with five players fouling out isn’t basketball. Rant over.
- Mississippi State 9-11, 2-5; KenPom – 195
Well, Mississippi State is playing competitive basketball, but the Bulldogs still aren’t winning. Opening the SEC with three-straight losses, Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt and Auburn but lost to Georgia and Ole Miss in the last week. The Bulldogs only have one player averaging at least 10 points per game.
- Auburn 10-10, 2-5; KenPom – 152
Maybe the expectations were too high with the hiring of Bruce Pearl and transfer of Antoine Mason, but this season feels like a massive letdown for Auburn. The Tigers have a chance to play spoiler the rest of the season, though, as they will be playing superior teams in all but one remaining game.
- South Carolina 10-9, 1-6; KenPom – 51
Not much good has happened since South Carolina upset Iowa State in Brooklyn just 27 days ago. The Gamecocks are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, which could easily extend to six with games against Georgia and Arkansas up next. Duane Notice needs to find his scoring touch again for this team to be successful.
- Vanderbilt 11-9, 1-6; KenPom – 58
This is going to be one of the better teams in the conference next season as long as Damian Jones comes back to school. Jones and Riley LaChance provide a great inside-outside threat that few can duplicate in the conference. The Commodores have lost their last five games, but the biggest deficit has been 12 points.
- Alabama 13-7, 3-4; KenPom – 45
Three of the four losses by Alabama in the SEC were by two points. The other was Kentucky. The Crimson Tide are trending the wrong way with leading scorer Ricky Tarrant not playing in tomorrow’s game at Rupp Arena. It’s looking like the end of the road for Anthony Grant in Tuscaloosa.
- Tennessee 12-7, 4-3; KenPom – 85
Tennessee desperately needs Donnie Tyndall to avoid any trouble for his work at Southern Miss. He has Tennessee playing competitive basketball, something I thought would be impossible heading into the season. Josh Richardson is Mr. Do-it-all for the Vols, averaging 15.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
- Ole Miss 13-7, 4-3; KenPom – 38
Sure, Marshall Henderson was fun and could score. But, this team is better off without him. The Rebels have nice wins against Florida, at Arkansas and against South Carolina while pushing toward an NCAA Tournament bid. Transfer Stefan Moody has blended perfectly with Jarvis Summers and Ladarius White.
- Florida 11-9, 4-3; KenPom – 35
Billy Donovan has to be waiting for next season. Sitting at 11-9 with a team that was ranked as high as no. 7 in the preseason, things don’t get any easier. Two of the next three games come against Arkansas and Kentucky. At least it’s at home though?
- Texas A&M 14-5, 5-2; KenPom – 47
Here’s the biggest surprise in the SEC. Thanks to transfers Jalen Jones and Danuel House, Texas A&M is a legitimate NCAA Tournament team. On top of that, the double-overtime loss to Kentucky might make more sense in showing how talented the Aggies are considering Jones didn’t play in that game.
- LSU 16-4, 5-2; KenPom – 33
The two losses LSU has in conference play are unbelievably confusing. The Tigers lost the first game of SEC play to Missouri, which isn’t good. The second loss was at home against Texas A&M where LSU blew a double-digit lead in the second half. It does have the best duo in the SEC though in Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey.
- Georgia 14-5, 5-2; KenPom – 28
Would you believe the Bulldogs started conference play 0-2? All they have done since then is win five in a row with only one of those victoies coming by double digits. That win came against Florida.
- Arkansas 16-4, 5-2; KenPom – 43
Arkansas has one of the best offenses in the country at 22nd in KenPom’s rankings. Thanks to the duo of Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls, the Razorbacks keep winning games, even if they are close.
- Kentucky 20-0, 7-0; KenPom – 1
Still undefeated. Yawn.