SEC Update: Kentucky Leads the Way
As we are a week away from the halfway point of the SEC Schedule, the usual suspects are rising to the top. #1 ranked Kentucky is on top. They were the pre-season pick by most to win the SEC. They have not disappointed. The Kats are currently 7-0 in SEC play and do not appear to be in any danger of losing soon. They rolled on the road this week at Georgia and at LSU. Last year they went 2-6 on the road in the SEC and made it all the way to the Final Four. This year, 4-0 already.
Florida picked up a couple of nice wins this week also at Ole Miss and at home against Mississippi State. Since the Gators dropped the SEC opener at Tennessee, they’ve been perfect in conference play, wining five straight. It might have been easy to drop one or maybe even both of those games this week, but the Gators showed some toughness. In Oxford, Ole Miss started the game red hot sprinting out to a 20-4 lead. They were hitting everything in sight. But UF hung in and cut the lead to 11 by halftime. In the second half, they chipped away and came away with a 64-60 win. Then against Mississippi State they were playing on a short turnaround against a tough team. A bit leg weary and not getting points from their experienced back court tandem of Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, the Gators again gutted out a win with tough defense and scoring from Patric Young, Eric Murphy and Brad Beal.
Vanderbilt is also at 5-1 in SEC play. They ran rival Tennessee out of Memorial Gym, at one point going up 54-27. Jeffery Taylor scored 23 points and John Jenkins added 16 as the ‘Dores blew away a Tennessee team that was coming off a win against UConn. Vandy was coming off a tough overtime loss at home to Mississippi State so this looked like it might be a tough one for the home team. It wasn’t. From the start Vandy shut Tennessee’s offense down, leading at the half 40-21.
Mississippi State is next at 4-3. They’ve had a tough schedule lately and managed to come out in good shape. After a road game win at Vanderbilt last Saturday, the Bulldogs then beat a scrappy LSU team at home 76-71. Arnett Moultrie scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Bulldog win. Then it was off to Gainesville for another tough road game where they hung tough for most of the way. Not until the game was deep into the second half did Florida extend their lead into double digits.
Ole Miss is tied with the Bulldogs at 4-3 after beating South Carolina on Saturday. After a tough Thursday to Saturday turnaround, the Rebels got a tough 4 point win against the Gamecocks 66-62 behind Terrence Henry’s 16 points.
Arkansas dropped to 3-3 after losing to Alabama on Saturday 72-66. Earlier in the week the Hogs got a 66-63 win over Auburn that was in doubt util an Auburn three pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Some key games in the SEC this week are:
Tuesday- Vanderbilt at Arkansas; Tennessee at Kentucky
Wednesday- Georgia at Auburn
Thursday- South Carolina at Florida
Saturday- Vanderbilt at Florida; Auburn at Mississippi State; Kentucky at South Carolina; Ole Miss at Alabama