In & around SEC basketball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Auburn week 2 recap

The Auburn men’s team split a pair of road games last week, winning over South Carolina and losing to Arkansas. The Tigers are 2-1 in SEC play and they will host Kentucky and visit Vanderbilt this week.

Coach Williams-Flournoy and the Auburn women’s team defeated Ole Miss at home but lost to Texas A&M on the road last week. The Tigers are 13-4 overall and 2-2 in league play. Auburn travels to Kentucky on Sunday (Jan. 20) for a huge matchup with the Wildcats, who currently are ranked fifth in the nation. The Tigers will travel to Tuscaloosa next Thursday (Jan. 24) to take on rival Alabama.

Alabama week 2 recap

The Bama men picked up two much-needed victories last week over Tennessee and Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide now are 2-1 in conference play and have an opportunity to win two big SEC games this week as Texas A&M and Kentucky visit Tuscaloosa.

After losing to Georgia in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide women’s team defeated Ole Miss on the road to improve to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in SEC play. Alabama will travel to Knoxville on Sunday (Jan. 20) to take on the Tennessee Volunteers, who currently are in the top 10 in the nation. Coach Wendell Hudson and the Crimson Tide will face archrival Auburn next Thursday (Jan. 24) in Tuscaloosa.

SEC men’s rankings

1. Florida (12-2, 2-0)
2. Ole Miss (14-2, 3-0)
3. Missouri (13-3, 2-1)
4. Texas A&M (12-3, 2-0)
5. Kentucky (11-5, 2-1)
6. Arkansas (11-5, 2-1)
7. Alabama (10-6, 2-1)
8. Auburn (8-8, 2-1)
9. So. Carolina (11-5, 1-2)
10. LSU (9-5, 0-3)
11. Tennessee (8-7, 0-3)
12. Miss. State (7-8, 2-1)
13. Vanderbilt (6-9, 0-3)
14. Georgia (6-10, 0-3)

Week 3 Preview and Predictions
(Week 2: 11-3; season: 14-6)

Thursday, January 17
Florida 74, TEXAS A&M 68

Saturday, January 19

Arkansas at Ole Miss. The Rebels, who currently are one of the hottest teams in the SEC and in the country, look to stay perfect in league play as the Razorbacks come to town. Arkansas has struggled on the road this season and Ole Miss is undefeated at home. Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson leads the SEC in scoring at 19.1 points per game, and forward Murphy Holloway is pulling down over 10 re-bounds per game, which also leads the conference. If the Rebels can stay hot from behind the arc, they should defeat Arkansas and improve to 4-0 in SEC play. Ole Miss 79, Arkansas 67.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina. South Carolina head coach Frank Martin picked up his first win in the SEC over LSU. The Gamecocks look to build on that success as the Commodores visit Columbia. Vandy lost in overtime to Ole Miss, and the Commodores are still searching for their first conference win of the year. South Carolina 63, Vanderbilt 56.

Mississippi State at Tennessee. Tennessee has stumbled to 0-3 to start SEC play, but the Vols have a chance to pick up a much-needed win at home this weekend. Mississippi State is coming off of an embarrassing 75-44 loss to Alabama in Starkville, and the Bulldogs must play much better if they are going to be competitive against the Volunteers. Tennessee 67, Mississippi State 53.

Texas A&M at Alabama. The Aggies have made the most of their first season in the SEC. In football, Texas A&M knocked off defending national champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa behind a legendary performance from Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel. In basketball, the Aggies defeated defending national champion Kentucky in Lexington behind a 40-point game from Elston Turner. Alabama has won two straight. If the Crimson Tide can stay healthy, they might be able to get back into the tournament picture this week. Alabama 64, Texas A&M 62.

LSU at Georgia. Both LSU and Georgia remain winless in SEC play and both teams desperately need to win this game. The Tigers lost a heartbreaker at home in overtime to South Carolina, and the Bulldogs were easily defeated by Missouri on the road. Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is fifth in the league in scoring, averaging just less than 17 points per game. LSU guard Anthony Hickey is first in the SEC in steals with 3.5 steals per game. LSU 54, Georgia 50.

Kentucky at Auburn. Unlike last season, the Wildcats have struggled in SEC play thus far this year. Auburn has been tough at home, and head coach Tony Barbee has a good opportunity to defeat his mentor John Calipari in Auburn this weekend. The Tigers will need a big game from senior guard Frankie Sullivan, who is second in the SEC in scoring with over 17 points per game. The Wildcats have the advantage in the post, as freshman Nerlens Noel has dominated down low this season. Kentucky 74, Auburn 67.

Game of the Week

Missouri at Florida. The Gators have yet to be challenged thus far in SEC play but face a tough test as the Tigers visit Gainesville. Missouri lost on the road to Ole Miss last Saturday (Jan. 12) but rebounded with a home victory over Georgia on Wednesday (Jan. 16). Missouri needs a great game from senior guard Phil Pressey, who leads the SEC in assists with over seven per game. Florida is one of the best shooting teams in the country, and if the Gators are hitting their 3s, they’re nearly impossible to defeat. Florida 76, Missouri 70.

Tuesday, January 22
MISSOURI 81, South Carolina 70
Kentucky 71, ALABAMA 67

Wednesday, January 23
Florida 76, GEORGIA 65
Texas A&M 72, LSU 68
Auburn 64, VANDERBILT 60
ARKANSAS 77, Mississippi State 64

Thursday, January 24
OLE MISS 84, Tennessee 70

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