As predicted, the first week of conference play opened up a window on the best and brightest the SEC has to offer this season. While some names on this list will draft back to the pack, others not on this page will emerge. For now, we got plenty to work with.
The league MVP must, of course, be a combination of great play and winning results. That could hurt the Bam Doynes and Jamont Gordons, while helping the Joe Crawfords or Taurean Greens. Thus far, only LSU of the league's power teams is without a conference win, having lost to an angry Bama team only days after the Tigers' star, Glen Davis, was involved in a two-car accident, bruising his ribs, among other things. And still he posted a double-double.
For now, a pair of familiar schools lead the SEc with two wins, Kentucky and Florida. Both of these teams feature round-table production, and it's highly likely that neither will feature the SEC POY by the time the ballots are in come March.
Not much movement at the top from last week's rankings. A young star on a forgotten SEC team enters this week's list. Here's out take for the week ending Wednesday, Jan. 10.
SEC Player of the Year Rankings(1.) Chris Lofton, Jr., Tennessee: The sharp-shooting Lofton did nothing to tarnish his image as the SEC's most valuable scorer this week, nearly hitting the 30-point mark again. While his 29 points (on 6-of-7 shooting from deep) weren't enough to keep the Vols from losing a squeaker at Vandy.
Numbers: 22.6 ppg (25 ppg SEC), 3.5 rpg, 52 FG%, 82% FT, 48% 3FG
(2.) Glen Davis, Jr., LSU: Despite playing through sore ribs and a creaky right knee, the results of a two-car accident only hours after last week's win over Connecticut, Big Baby posted 24 points and 17 rebounds in a loss to Alabama. As I've noted, the MVP will be graded on his team's wins, but like Lofton above, you can't blame LSU's loss at Bama on Davis.
Numbers: 19.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 52% FG, 74% FT
(3.) Randolph Morris, Jr., Kentucky: In the last two season, about the only things stopping Morris from dominating on the court were his own lack of focus and the refs' whistles. After a strong opening to the season, Morris' scoring dipped in his first two league games, especially in a win over Auburn, where fouls limited Randy to just 23 minutes. Still, he's posted 13 points, 8 boards and 2 blocks per league outing.
Numbers: 16.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg
(4.) Jamont Gordon, So., Miss. St.: The Bulldogs star is a triple-double threat each and every night. Despite a quiet night in a win over Ole Miss (8 points, 2 boards), the multi-talented Gordon is a matchup nightmare, and the defensive attention he garners freed up teammate Charles Rhodes to shoot 70% from the floor in the first two SEC games.
Numbers: 15.5 ppg (16.5 SEC), 4.8 apg, 7.5 rpg
(5.) Taurean Green, Jr., Florida: A poor shooting night in the Gators' SEC opener against Georgia should not be enough to remove Green from this list. Not yet, at least. Florida's go-to scorer may not have the NBA potential, but he's the gutsiest Gator, and his shooting can break the back of opponents. Just ask Arkansas, who watched Green torch the nets for 17 points in UF's win Tuesday.
Numbers: 13.8 ppg, 3.9 apg, 43% 3FG, team ranked #2.
Others on the cusp: Joakim Noah (Florida), Ronald Steele (Alabama), Tre Kelley (S. Carolina), Richard Hendrix (Bama), Ramel Bradley (Kentucky)