SEC Basketball Power Rankings - Volume 2

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

SEC Basketball Power Rankings - Volume 2

NCAA Basketball: Florida at Auburn
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we’re fully into SEC play, it’s time for an update!

So serious question: did anything happen last night?

No, I thought so.

Since nothing was going on last night, I figured we were way past due for a SEC Basketball Power Rankings since we can finally move away from College Football and on to more important matters.

Right before the season, I came out with my preseason SEC picks for teams this season and while some have been solid picks, others (looking directly at you Arkansas), haven’t exactly gone the way we thought they would.

With every team playing at least 2 SEC games now, it’s time to take a look at where the teams in this league stand now.

#1 - Auburn (14-1, 3-0)

Preseason Projection: 3rd

Last Week: Won at South Carolina 81-66, Won vs Florida 85-73

This Week: Tonight at Alabama, Saturday at Ole Miss

At the moment, Auburn is the best team in the SEC. Other than a double OT loss to Connecticut in the Bahamas, the Tigers have ran the table winning all 3 of their SEC games by double digits and featuring the #1 potential pick in this year’s NBA Draft in Jabari Smith. In Auburn’s 11 game winning streak, only 2 games have been decided by single digits. Auburn’s depth has won them a lot of games so far and will likely do so as SEC play marches forward. Walker Kessler has been terrific in the paint this season and Allen Flanigan has played just 3 games and will continue to get better the more he plays. This team has the makeup to make a deep run in March, but we still have a long way to go and with two tough road games this week, the country will get a chance to see how legit Auburn truly is.

#2 - LSU (14-1, 2-1)

Preseason Projection: 7th

Last Week: Won vs Kentucky 65-60, Won vs Tennessee 79-67

This Week: Tomorrow at Florida, Saturday vs Arkansas

LSU, not known for its defense over the course of the Will Wade era has flipped a switch this season and the Bayou Bengals have become one of the top defenses in the country. After falling from the ranks of the unbeaten in Auburn Arena, LSU bounced back holding serve at home against Kentucky and Tennessee. Tari Eason has played a pivotal part in that turnaround averaging 16.2 PPG and 7.6 RPG so far this season after transferring in from Cincinnati.

#3 - Kentucky (12-3, 2-1)

Preseason Projection: 1st

Last Week: Lost at LSU 65-60, Won vs Georgia 92-77

This Week: Tonight at Vanderbilt, Saturday vs Tennessee

After a down year in Lexington, it appears the Cats are mostly back on track thanks to a monster season from West Virginia Oscar Tshiebwe. Oscar is averaging 16.1 PPG and an astounding 15.2 RPG. He’s had 4 games with at least 20 rebounds including a 28 rebound game against Western Kentucky. Auburn will see Kentucky next weekend and the battle of the bigs between Tshiebwe and Walker Kessler will be one of the best battles in the SEC this season.

#4 - Alabama (11-4, 2-1)

Preseason Projection: 4th

Last Week: Won at Florida 83-70, Lost at Missouri 92-86

This Week: Tonight vs Auburn, Saturday at Mississippi State

Alabama has played a tough scheduled so far this season and has played up (and down) to the level of their competition so far this season. While they have defeated Gonzaga, Houston and Miami, they have losses to Iona, Memphis, Davidson and at Missouri in their last outing. Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly have led the way so far for the Tide on a team full of excellent guards.

#5 - Texas A&M (13-2, 2-0)

Preseason Projection: 13th

Last Week: Won at Georgia 81-79, Won vs Arkansas 86-81

This Week: Tonight vs Ole Miss, Saturday at Missouri

The only other team in the SEC undefeated right now? That would be Texas A&M. The Aggies have flown under the radar so far this season but their only losses this year are to Wisconsin and TCU. Quenton Jackson leads the way for the Aggies averaging 13.5 PPG.

#6 - Tennessee (10-4, 1-2)

Preseason Projection: 5th

Last Week: Won vs Ole Miss 66-60 (OT), Lost at LSU 79-67

This Week: Tonight vs South Carolina, Saturday at Kentucky

Tennessee has a great win over Arizona in non-conference play, but this team has continued to struggle on the offensive end at times this season. Tennessee had just 2 points in the first 11 minutes against Ole Miss before getting going and pulling out an OT win over Ole Miss. Freshmen PG Kennedy Chandler leads the way for Tennessee averaging 13.8 PPG and 5.2 APG.

#7 - Florida (9-5, 0-2)

Preseason Projection: 8th

Last Week: Lost vs Alabama 83-70, Lost at Auburn 85-73

This Week: Wednesday vs LSU, Saturday at South Carolina

Auburn fans just saw the Gators on Saturday night and played well against the Tigers but Auburn just had too much firepower. Colin Castleton is averaging close to a double-double (15.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG) and had 22 points and 10 rebounds Saturday night. The Gators are desperate for a SEC win and things don’t get any easier with LSU coming to Gainesville on Wednesday.

#8 - Ole Miss (9-5, 1-1)

Preseason Projection: 9th

Last Week: Lost at Tennessee 66-60 (OT), Won vs Mississippi State 82-72

This Week: Tonight at Texas A&M, Saturday vs Auburn

I went with Ole Miss over Mississippi State here based off the head to head matchup Saturday night. Ole Miss had a golden opportunity to win in Knoxville last week and be 2-0 in league play but let it slip away. Jarkel Joiner leads the way with 13.6 PPG and Matthew Murrell’s career-high 31 points led the way for Ole Miss in their win over their in-state rival Saturday night.

#9 - Mississippi State (10-4, 1-1)

Preseason Projection: 6th

Last Week: Game at Missouri PPD, Lost at Ole Miss 82-72

This Week: Wednesday vs Georgia, Saturday vs Alabama

I picked this team as my sleeper team before the season and think they can still be that. Iverson Molinar leads the way averaging 16.8 PPG this season but the Bulldogs need some big wins in SEC play because their non-conference resume isn’t too good.

#10 - Vanderbilt (9-5, 1-1)

Preseason Projection: 10th

Last Week: Won at Arkansas 75-74, Lost vs South Carolina 72-70

This Week: Tonight vs Kentucky, Saturday at Georgia

Oh Vandy..... they go to Hawaii and knock off BYU and win in Fayetteville and seem to be putting things together and then lose at home to South Carolina. Scotty Pippen Jr. has been as good as advertised this season averaging 18.3 PPG this season. They will play for all intents and purposes a road game tonight with Kentucky preparing to take over Memorial Gym.

#11 - Arkansas (10-5, 0-3)

Preseason Projection: 2nd

Last Week: Lost vs Vanderbilt 75-74, Lost at Texas A&M 86-81

This Week: Wednesday vs Missouri, Saturday at LSU

Arkansas may be one of the biggest disappointments so far in College Basketball. Expectations for Year 3 on the Muss Bus were extremely high but the Razorbacks just haven’t seemed to click just yet. I still think there’s time to turn this around but Arkansas has got to win tomorrow night against Missouri to give them some momentum. JD Notae has had an excellent season so far leading the Hogs averaging 18.8 PPG.

#12 - South Carolina (10-4, 1-1)

Preseason Projection: 12th

Last Week: Lost vs Auburn 81-66, Won at Vanderbilt 72-70

This Week: Tonight at Tennessee, Saturday vs Florida

South Carolina has had injuries up and down the lineup but after a tough loss to Auburn on Tuesday, Frank Martin’s crew put it together and walked out of Nashville with a 2-point win. Erik Stevenson had a monster night scoring 25 points against Auburn and is now the team’s leading scorer at 11.8 PPG.

#13 - Missouri (7-7, 1-1)

Preseason Projection: 11th

Last Week: Game vs Mississippi State PPD, Won vs Alabama 92-86

This Week: Wednesday at Arkansas, Saturday vs Texas A&M

For most of the season for Missouri, it has been a struggle. And then Saturday happened. Missouri played their best Game of the Year and pulled what has to be the upset of the year so far in SEC play knocking off Alabama. Kobe Brown put on a show against his home state team going off for 30 points and 13 rebounds. Perhaps it’s something to build on for Cuonzo Martin’s team that’s experienced a tough year so far.

#14 - Georgia (5-10, 0-2)

Preseason Projection: 14th

Last Week: Lost vs Texas A&M 81-79, Lost at Kentucky 92-77

This Week: Wednesday at Mississippi State, Saturday vs Vanderbilt

It’s gone about how most expected on the court so far for Georgia this season although I’m sure many could care less at this point in time. Georgia lost so many players to the transfer portal and have dealt with injuries to some of their key transfers into the program this year. Guard Kario Oquendo has begun to emerge for the Dawgs as he’s scored 20+ in both SEC games and leads the team averaging 12.9 PPG.

Well there you have it, let me know what you think and we’ll try doing this again sometime soon. War Eagle!

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