Around the SEC: Week 11 (Basketball)

Story posted February 4, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Adam Sheetz

The SEC is one of the best conferences in basketball, and this year might be the most competitive the conference has been in a very long time.

The leader in the SEC this season is No. 10 Alabama. Alabama has dominated its SEC competition this season, starting the year 10-0 in conference play. The Crimson Tide’s latest win was a dominating one over LSU; the Tide rolled to a 78-60 win.

Alabama has been relying on team play to win its games, as four players average more than 11 points per game this season. The ability to have multiple scorers has allowed the Tide to average 79.8 points per game, making them one of the top offenses in all of college basketball.

A team that has been very impressive this season has been No. 18 Missouri. The Tigers are sitting in second place in the SEC with a 12-3 overall record. The Tigers have been led by some great guard play from junior Xavier Pinson, who leads the team with 15.1 points per game.

Pinson has also gotten some help from backcourt teammate Dru Smith. The senior guard is averaging 13.9 points per game while shooting an impressive 39.6% from 3. Smith was very important in the Tigers win over Kentucky; he scored 26 points to lead his team to a 75-70 win.

The most disappointing team in the SEC this season has been Kentucky. The Wildcats were ranked in the preseason and had national title hopes in 2021, but they’ve struggled to turn around their slow start to the season, now sitting at 5-11.

The Wildcats do not lack talent, possessing star freshmen like BJ Boston and Isaiah Jackson leading the way. This year maybe has shown cracks in Kentucky’s “one-and-done” philosophy and could force coach John Calipari to change the way he runs his program in Lexington.

The SEC’s most inconsistent team has to be No. 11 Tennessee. The Volunteers rose all the way to No. 10 in the polls before dropping two straight games to Florida and Missouri in January. Then, after they knocked off No. 15 Kansas, the Vols lost their next game to unranked Ole Miss.

Tennessee has struggled to find a go-to scorer this year; no one on the team averages more than 12 points per game. Tennessee is a very talented team, but it will need to find a scorer if it wants to make a run at a national title this season.

The SEC is one of the premier conferences in all of college basketball, and this year is extremely competitive. Alabama might be running away with the conference title, but the standings are extremely close after that and could lead to some dramatic and fun basketball to watch for the rest of the year.

 

Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email ads360@psu.edu.