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 COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF "2019" GAMECOCK FOOTBALL

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  1. MBB: SEC Men's Basketball Summer Teleconference, June 27Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019Order of Appearance (All Times Central):10:00 a.m. Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilt 10:07 a.m. Michael White, Florida 10:14 a.m. Frank Martin, South Carolina 10:21 a.m. Tom Crean, Georgia10:28 a.m. Will Wade, LSU10:35 a.m. John Calipari, Kentucky10:42 a.m. Rick Barnes, Tennessee10:49 a.m. Eric Musselman, Arkansas10:56 a.m. Nate Oats, Alabama11:03 a.m. Bruce Pearl, Auburn11:10 a.m. Kermit Davis, Ole Miss11:17 a.m. Ben Howland, Mississippi State11:24 a.m. Cuonzo Martin, Missouri11:31 a.m. Buzz Williams, Texas A&M
  2. SEC power poll: Where the Gamecocks rank early in conference play January 08, 2018 Forty-eight hours before its main sport gets the nation’s full attention, Southeastern Conference basketball proved it’s not bad, either. Hold up, Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, allow Chris Chizzola and Tremont Waters to get their shine first. Chizzola’s steal and buzzer-beating layup gave Florida a wild win at Missouri. Just over an hour later, Waters was LSU’s hero in College State with his 35-footer that lifted the Tigers over Texas A&M. Saturday was capped with Tennessee’s upset of Kentucky. These are good, highly competitive times on the SEC hardwood. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had eight SEC teams among the 68 he put in his latest NCAA bracket projection. Six SEC teams are ranked among Ken Pomeroy’s top 40. There are seven SEC teams with a top 40 RPI. On the brink of Week 2 in league play, here’s our attempt at ranking the SEC: 1. Florida (11-4, 3-0 SEC) Last week: 2-0 (Won at Texas A&M, at Missouri) | This week: Mississippi State (home), Ole Miss (away) After a 6-4 start, the Gators have reeled off five straight wins, looking more like the Final Four contender some saw in the preseason. 2. Auburn (14-1, 2-0) Last week: 2-0 (Won at Tennessee, beat Arkansas at home) | This week: Ole Miss (home), Mississippi State (away) Twelve straight wins for the Tigers, including two over-ranked opponents last week. Bruce Pearl has done wonders with Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley is still sidelined after the FBI probe. 3. Kentucky (12-3, 2-1) Last week: 1-1 (Won at LSU, lost at Tennessee) | This week: Texas A&M (home), Vanderbilt (away) The Wildcats were outscored by 19 in the second half in Knoxville. John Calipari afterward: “They just threw us around. It was embarrassing." 4. Tennessee (10-4, 1-2) Last week: 1-1 (Lost to Auburn at home, beat Kentucky at home) | This week: Vanderbilt (away), Texas A&M (home) Few teams in the country as battle-tested as the Vols. They’ve already faced Purdue, Villanova, N.C. State, North Carolina and Kentucky. 5. Missouri (11-4, 1-1) Last week: 1-1 (Won at South Carolina, lost to Florida at home) | This week: Georgia (home), Arkansas (away) Cuonzo Martin is an early favorite for SEC Coach of the Year. Despite no Michael Porter Jr., the Tigers are still capable of making the Big Dance. 6. Texas A&M (11-4, 0-3) Last week: 0-2 (Lost to Florida and LSU at home) | This week: Kentucky (away), Tennessee (away) The Aggies entered last week ranked 11th nationally. They’re plenty talented, but injuries and suspensions have started to add up. Billy Kennedy’s crew must at least earn a split with upcoming trips to Lexington and Knoxville 7. Georgia (11-3, 2-1) Last week: 2-0 (Beat Ole Miss and Alabama at home) | This week: Missouri (away), South Carolina (home) Yante Maten, who torched the Tide for 26 points and 11 rebounds Saturday, is going to make the Bulldogs a tough matchup for any league member. 8. Mississippi State (13-2, 1-1) Last week: 1-1 (Beat Arkansas at home, lost at Ole Miss) | This week: Florida (home), Auburn (away) The Bulldogs didn’t play away from Starkville this season until Dec. 12. They’re 0-2 on the road with losses to Cincinnati and the Rebels. 9. Arkansas (11-4, 1-2) Last week: 0-2 (Lost at Mississippi State, lost at Auburn) | This week: LSU (home), Missouri (home) Consecutive roadies in this league can make for a difficult week, as the Razorbacks just found out. They can regroup this week without having to leave Fayetteville. 10. LSU (10-4, 1-1) Last week: 1-1 (Lost to Kentucky at home, won at Texas A&M) | This week: Arkansas (home), Alabama (away) After dropping 18 on Kentucky, Waters had 21 and the game-winning against the Aggies. The freshman is a near-future star in this league. 11. Ole Miss (9-6, 2-1) Last week: 1-1 (Lost at Georgia, beat Mississippi State at home) | This week: Auburn (road), Florida (home) After a 5-5 start, the Rebels are 4-1 in their last five, including a close win over the Gamecocks. 12. Alabama (9-6, 1-2) Last week: 0-2 (Lost at Vanderbilt and at Georgia) | This week: South Carolina (home), LSU (away) Collin Sexton is electric, but the freshman needs help. He scored half of the Tide’s points in Athens. 13. South Carolina (10-5, 1-2) Last week: 1-1 (Lost to Missouri at home, beat Vanderbilt at home) | This week: Alabama (road), Georgia (road) When Chris Silva stays out of foul trouble, the Gamecocks can compete with most of the league. When he’s on the bench, USC will struggle. 14. Vanderbilt (6-9, 1-2) Last week: 1-1 (Beat Alabama at home, lost at South Carolina) | This week: Tennessee (home), Kentucky (home) Vandy got beat up in the non-conference and the struggle’s continued since the calendar’s flipped to SEC season.
  3. Why the SEC is buzzing about basketball – in October October 21, 2017 Kevin Puryear has played in 63 college basketball games. In 2016, he was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team. A year later, he capped a 30-point performance at the SEC tournament with a buzzer-beating 3 to beat Auburn. But on Wednesday at SEC media day in Nashville, Puryear was, by far, the less popular Missouri Tiger. His assigned high-top table drew just a handful of reporters while Michael Porter Jr., a 19-year-old who’s spent four months on Mizzou’s campus, was crowded by nearly every recorder and camera in the room. In the middle of football season, SEC basketball generated some buzz this week. Its goal is to keep the conversation going through the end of March. The league has the pieces in place to make it happen. There’s Porter Jr., perhaps the nation’s most talented freshman. There’s South Carolina coming off a Final Four run. And, of course, there’s Kentucky. Andy Kennedy, entering his 12th season at Mississippi, is the dean of SEC coaches. He’s seen the league struggle just to get three teams to the NCAA tournament three times in the past five years. But last year, he saw when USC, Florida and Kentucky were left standing in the Elite Eight. He also spotted this past offseason where a nation’s best 26 of ESPN’s top 100 recruits signed to SEC programs. “I think top to bottom, the league may be as good as it’s been in my 12 years,” Kennedy said. “And that’s not just coach-speak. The reason being … the top has always been good, we’ve had national champions come out of this league for a long time. The middle of the league has always been strong because we’ve been on both sides, where a bad weekend can take you from third to seventh. “The biggest difference this year is teams that have typically been playing on Wednesday night in the SEC tournament, meaning the bottom four, have improved. And as a result, I believe the league top to bottom is going to be outstanding.” Missouri finished in the SEC cellar each of the past three seasons. On Wednesday, the Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the league. This is what happens when your new coach – Cuonzo Martin – lands a top-five recruiting class. Porter Jr. is a 6-foot-10, 215-pounder who draws Kevin Durant comparisons for his combination of size and skill. His younger brother, Jontay Porter, reclassified in August and now will bring his 6-11, 240-pound frame to SEC courts this season, too. Jontay is also a five-star prospect. Puryear, a 6-7 junior forward, said he’s not “mad or jealous” by the attention the Porters have brought to the program. The Tigers are 18-45 since Puryear came to Missouri. “It’s been a pleasure being with the freshmen,” Puryear said. “We’re glad. I mean, we didn’t get it done last year, so we needed to make some changes. Adding the freshman class that we did is great. They’re extremely talented and great people as well. “Even though we haven’t won as many games, (the veteran players) still have experience with game atmospheres and have been in tough games and stuff like that. So we can pass it down to them. They’re very teachable when it comes to that. They’re very good listeners.” South Carolina, which was picked by media members to finish 11th in the SEC, opens the home portion of its league schedule by hosting Missouri on Jan. 3. Less than a week later, it travels to Alabama, a recent middle-of-the-pack finisher that’s now pegged for a four-seed in the SEC tournament. After Porter, the preseason co-player of the year, the Crimson Tide’s Collin Sexton might be the league’s next best rookie. The 6-3 guard is a preseason second team All-SEC selection. “I’ve got unbelievable respect for the coaches in this league,” said USC coach Frank Martin. “I will not be surprised if us or another team in this league makes a run like we did last year, because this league prepares you for it. This league is so well coached, the players are so good, it’s a shame everyone outside the players and coaches don’t realize how good this league is. Five years ago, I couldn’t say that. But the last three years, this league’s gotten real good. “At the end of the year, I might be sitting here, happy that we finished in 11th place.” The SEC hasn’t gotten more than five teams to the Big Dance since 2008 when it got six. Florida coach Mike White said Wednesday there’s potential for eight NCAA tournament teams this season. “That wouldn’t be shocking,” White said. “I think we have more that are capable. Obviously we’re all going to beat each other up in league play. But the biggest factor will be, in my opinion, just stating the obvious here, how well we do in the nonconference, taking care of home court and winning some neutral site games against some other leagues. “But from a capability standpoint, I think we have several.” Buzzing all the way through March? The SEC again likes its chances. “I think the national narrative is going to change,” Kennedy said. THE STATE
  4. These 3 SEC basketball teams can be next South Carolina March 31, 2017 South Carolina is a basketball school now? Maybe not, but the Gamecocks shocked the world in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks earned a spot in the Final Four for the first time in program history, and coach Frank Martin is the national media darling. Building a competitive basketball program doesn’t necessarily follow a set model, but other teams can learn from South Carolina. When the Gamecocks hired Martin, they did not come with much historical success or national cache. Martin used a couple of keys to beat the established system: Strong identity: The Gamecocks run an aggressive defensive system predicated on length and athleticism, which makes recruiting players for the system more efficient. Recruiting grounds: Football and basketball recruiting are different. It’s not necessarily about total number of recruits, but more about opportunity to lock down top guys from your area. Leadership: Martin has been able to maintain a relationship with athletic administration as his program went through a rebuilding process. Winning over fans and administrators is a must for any rebuilding project. Getting all those factors in place is a Herculean effort. Even with everything working right, it took a massive stroke of luck for South Carolina to even make the tourney. A run was still surprising, even for those watching all year long. However, these three SEC basketball schools have the best chance to replicate the success. Missouri Tigers If there is one team invested in a quick rebuild, it’s the Missouri Tigers. After seeing their football and basketball programs fall apart in recent years, the Tigers went all-in on new coach Cuonzo Martin. He immediately delivered who many consider the No. 1 recruit in the nation: forward Michael Porter Jr. Several more top recruits could soon be on the way. Martin fits two of these three criteria especially well. Less than two weeks after being named coach, he already has the entire fan base on his side. Missouri should also be able to lock down St. Louis. In recent years, that metropolitan area produced Jayson Tatum, Ben McLemore and Bradley Beal. Keeping some of those talented players home will drastically expedite the process. The one knock against Martin is that he is known as more of a recruiter than basketball coach at this point. Identifying a coaching identity will be key. However, with the talent Martin should bring in, it will give him immediate leeway. LSU Tigers Surprisingly, 34-year-old Will Wade never played college basketball. Instead, he earned his way into a head coaching position from being a student manager and grad assistant at Clemson, his alma mater. He was an assistant for Tommy Amaker at Harvard and Shaka Smart at VCU before getting his first head coaching job at 30. Simply put, Wade has the coaching chops and personality to win people over. He even told Ed Orgeron that he thinks they could be the two highest-energy coaches in the country. It remains to be seen whether he will bring the guard-centric “havoc” defense from VCU, but it would instantly give the Tigers a new identity. Louisiana certainly has the talent. The state produced seven Power 5 basketball players in 2016 alone. LSU signed the fifth and eighth highest-rated players in the state that year. Compete for the better players, and LSU might just have something here. The resources are there — it’s up to Wade to capitalize. Alabama Crimson Tide While it might not have been in college basketball, Avery Johnson is one of the most accomplished coaches in the conference. Johnson led the Dallas Mavericks to the 2006 Western Conference title and was NBA coach of the year. He took over at Alabama at 2015. Playing for a former NBA coach will be appealing for hoops prospects. Like his NBA teams, Johnson’s Alabama system starts on defense. The Crimson Tide boasted the No. 10 adjusted defense in the nation. Johnson would like to build on an NBA pick-and-roll offense but needs an elite point guard to do it. It appears that Johnson found him. Collin Sexton is the first 5-star player ‘Bama has recruited since 2012. Ranked No. 7 in the nation, he’s the highest-rated player to come to Alabama in the 247Sports composite database. With two more top-100 players coming to campus, the Crimson Tide boast the No. 4 class in the nation. After making the NIT in 2017, Alabama is further along than either LSU or Mizzou. SECCOUNTRY
  5. Bracketology: 4 SEC teams crack way-too-early NCAA tournament projections July 07, 2016 Can’t find a cure for your college hoops fever? Can you never have enough NCAA basketball in your life no matter the month? Well, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has your fix. The network’s bracketology expert released an early, early set of projections for next year’s NCAA tournament, and four SEC teams made the cut. Those programs are: Kentucky — No. 1 seed, South Texas A&M — No. 7 seed, Midwest Vanderbilt — No. 11 seed, West Florida — No. 12 seed, Midwest (play-in game) So you have the three SEC teams that made the field of 68 last year — the Wildcats are unsurprisingly expected to regain a No. 1 slotting after being a 4-seed this past spring — plus the Gators, who finished the 2015-16 season with a 19-14 overall record and an RPI ranking of 55 after grinding through the nation’s 18th-toughest schedule. What do you think of Palm’s predictions, SEC fans? Is there a conference team outside of the above four that has a legitimate shot to go dancing next March?
  6. 2016 Standings SEC CONF OVERALL HOME ROAD NEUTRAL PF PA STRK Kentucky 10-4 20-7 15-0 3-6 2-1 2127 1822 L-1 South Carolina 9-5 22-5 14-1 4-4 4-0 2075 1882 W1 Texas A&M 9-5 20-7 15-1 3-5 2-1 2052 1777 W2 LSU 9-5 16-11 13-3 3-6 0-2 2162 2056 L-2 Florida 8-6 17-10 12-2 3-7 2-1 1969 1787 L-1 Vanderbilt 8-6 16-11 12-2 2-8 2-1 2077 1807 W1 Ole Miss 7-7 17-10 10-2 6-6 1-2 2012 1931 W1 Alabama 7-7 16-10 9-3 5-5 2-2 1757 1745 L-1 Georgia 7-7 14-11 12-4 2-7 0-0 1714 1697 L-2 Tennessee 6-8 13-14 12-2 1-9 0-3 2063 2020 W1 Arkansas 6-8 13-14 12-3 1-8 0-3 2157 2055 W1 Mississippi State 5-9 12-14 8-5 2-7 2-2 1963 1899 W2 Auburn 4-10 10-16 7-6 2-9 1-1 1863 2018 L-1 Missouri 3-11 10-17 10-5 0-9 0-3 1838 1931 L-1
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