Sunday, January 13, 2008

A basketball post!

Yes, I know I should blog more. So sue me. It has been a tough couple of months. I promise to try to do better.

So, here we are in SEC basketball season. Time for SEC teams to start doing the work, because they certainly didn't do much work in the non-conference season (I'm looking at you, Kentucky, LSU, and South Carolina).

From, here are the current SEC standings as of today:

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East-5South Carolina020880.5
West-1Mississippi State2011150.688

The SEC clearly needs to do some work in it's non-conference schedule, as having the tenth toughest is not at all what I would like to see. When the MAC, the MVC and the WCC all have stronger out of conference schedules than the SEC, I can't blame a soul for claiming that the SEC is scheduling cupcakes. Yeah, we do have a pretty good record against them, but we surely could do better, collectively.

This year, Tennessee looks like the class of the conference, although Vanderbilt has been making a lot of noise with a 16-0 run. The 'Dores did trip up yesterday against my Wildcats, and that was a game I am proud to win. Take nothing away from Vandy, though -- Rupp Arena is a tough place to win, and Kentucky badly needed a victory, whereas the Commodores may be getting a little overconfident. While it is easy to take UK for granted this year, Vandy just showed why you don't want to do that.

At this particular moment, Alabama is really struggling. They are 11-5 overall, but a young Florida team came into Coleman Coliseum Tuesday and spanked them. Even thought the final margin was only seven, the game wasn't that close. The Alabama Basketball Blog wonders what happened to Richard Hendrix's free-throw shooting. My response to him is that Hendrix's best season has been a whopping 62%. He shot 59% Tuesday. That's close enough for me.

What are we to make of Ole Miss this year? Andy Kennedy has just done a bang-up job in his second season getting these guys to play ball, and they nearly came into Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday and handed the mighty Vols their hind parts. World Class Glass says, "Don't blame the refs:"
Some will blame the referees on this game, however that is not why
we lost. The referees let alot of calls go both ways. Yeah they missed
a call at the end, but that was not the reason. As Kennedy said in post
game, "We aren't going to get any calls"
Officiating is something we all gripe about, but it is part of the game. When you are the visiting team, you have to expect to overcome officiating in order to win. What hurt Ole Miss was their relatively poor field goal percentage, fully 5% down from their season average. But you have to give the Rebs credit -- only ten turnovers against the UT pressure is exactly the kind of ballhandling presence you need to have any chance at all to beat the Vols at home.

Ghostofneyland at Third Saturday in Blogtober found some high comedy in one of Tom Hammond's comments about Bruce Pearl:

“Bruce Pearl already over there jacket off. He usually doesn’t do that until the second half.”

I nearly spit out my Diet Dr. Pepper. I looked at my dad, whose eyes
widened and jaw slacked open. “What did he just say??” my dad asked,
bumfuzzled. Surely Bruce wasn’t over on the sideline in front of 21,000
people doing what my dad and I (and we’re not dirty-minded people)
thought Hammond said he was doing.

Heh. That's funny right there, I don't care who you are. I think the pics of Bruce with young blonde hotties over the summer must have had more of a ... ahem ... subliminal impact than many might think.

Well, that's all for now.


mlmintampa said...

I think the conference collectively has taken a knee this season. UF and UK are in transition, Alabama clearly is not as good as first thought, and Arkansas is in the first year of a new coach. I think the SEC can get five or six teams in the tournament because UF and UK can get in on history, and that leaves Ole Miss, UT, and Vandy. That's not bad for a down year.

BestofSEC said...

True. I really think that the loss of so many great players last year has put the SEC into a bit of a rebuilding mode.

We'll know more fairly shortly.