SEC Basketball: A statistical look at the teams and players

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I realize it's still early in the year, but most SEC teams have played eight to ten games, so I thought this was a good time to see where UK stands within the conference.  And also, how Kentucky stacks up against their upcoming opponents. 

We begin with a look at the SEC team rankings, followed by player rankings, and finally, a synopsis of each team's year so far.

SEC Team Rankings

SCORING OFFENSE

1. Tennessee - 85.2                     7. Mississippi - 76.7                                                       

2.  LSU - 82.0                                 8. Miss. State - 76.1

3. South Carolina - 81.6               9. Alabama - 70.8                         

4. Arkansas - 79.9                        10. Auburn - 70.6                 

5. Kentucky - 78.1                        11. Vanderbilt - 68.0

6. Florida - 78.0                             12. Georgia - 62.8

SCORING DEFENSE

1. LSU - 55.6                                     t6. Florida - 64.3 

2. Georgia - 60.3                              8.  Auburn - 64.8

3. Vanderbilt - 61.2                          9. Kentucky - 65.5

4. Alabama - 62.8                            10. Arkansas - 68.1

5. Miss. State - 63.1                        11. Mississippi - 72.0

t6. South Carolina - 64.3                12. Tennessee - 73.4

FIELD GOAL %

1. Kentucky - 50.3                            7. Miss. State - 45.6

2. Florida - 47.9                                 8. Mississippi - 44.9

3. LSU - 47.7                                      9. Auburn - 44.0

4. Tennessee - 47.1                        10. Vanderbilt - 43.9

5. South Carolina - 46.2                  11. Alabama - 41.7 

6. Arkansas - 46.1                            12. Georgia - 41.3

FIELD GOAL % DEFENSE

1. LSU - 32.5                                        7. Auburn - 40.8

2. Miss. State - 35.4                            8. Georgia - 41.1

3. Vanderbilt - 36.6                              9. Arkansas - 41.8

4. Alabama - 36.9                               10. Mississippi - 42.8

5. Kentucky - 37.1                              11. Tennessee - 43.8

6. South Carolina - 38.7                    12. Florida - 44.8

THREE-POINT FG %

1. LSU - 42.4                                          7. Tennessee - 34.0

2. South Carolina - 40.3                       8. Vanderbilt - 32.5

3. Mississippi - 39.1                             9. Georgia - 31.7

t4. Miss. State - 36.5                            10. Auburn - 31.6 

t4. Arkansas - 36.5                               11. Kentucky - 30.7

6. Florida - 35.3                                     12. Alabama - 28.3

THREE-POINT % DEFENSE

1. Alabama - 26.5                                    t5. Kentucky - 32.0

2. LSU - 27.5                                            8. Miss. State - 32.3

3. South Carolina - 29.0                         9. Arkansas - 34.1

4. Georgia - 29.7                                     10. Auburn - 37.1

t5. Tennessee - 32.0                              11. Florida - 38.0 

t5. Mississippi - 32.0                              12. Vanderbilt - 38.8

REBOUNDING MARGIN 

1. LSU - +15.4                                             7. Alabama - +3.4

2. Arkansas - +12.0                                    8. Georgia - +3.1

3. Tennessee - +11.0                                9. Vanderbilt - +2.6

4. Kentucky - +8.2                                     10. Florida - +1.4

5. South Carolina - +6.7                           11. Mississippi - -2.6

6. Miss. State - +5.4                                   12. Auburn - -2.6

TURNOVER MARGIN

1. Florida - +5.8                                             7. LSU- +.6

2. South Carolina - +5.0                               8. Arkansas - -1.4

3. Auburn - +4.0                                             9. Tennessee - -.5

4. Georgia - +2.8                                          10. Vanderbilt - -2.0

5. Alabama - +1.8                                         11. Miss. State - -2.3

6. Mississippi - +1.1                                     12. Kentucky - -4.2

SEC Player Rankings

SCORING PER GAME

1. Jodie Meeks (UK) - 21.9

2. David Huertas (UM) - 20.6

3. Chris Warren (UM) - 20.2

4. Devan Downey (USC) - 19.6

5. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 17.6

When was the last time UK ended the season with two of the top five scorers in the SEC?  Arkansas freshmen, and former UK targets Courtney Fortson and Rotnei Clarke are averaging 15.4 and 14.3 points per game, respectively.

REBOUNDS PER GAME

1. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 10.5

2. Michael Washington (ARK) - 10.4

3. Mike Holmes (USC) - 9.3

4. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 9.1

5. Chris Johnson (LSU) - 8.1

Arkansas freshman, and former UK target Michael Sanchez is eighth in the SEC in rebounding with a 7.9 average. 

FIELD GOAL %

1. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 71.4

2. Alex Tyus (LSU) - 61.0

3. Korvotney Barber (AUB) - 58.2

4. Jeffery Taylor (VU) - 52.9

5. David Huertas (UM) - 52.8

Arkansas freshman Courtney Fortson is sixth in the SEC in field goal percentage at 51.4%.

ASSISTS PER GAME

1. Nick Calathes (UF) - 6.7

2. Courtney Fortson (ARK) - 6.4

3. Bobby Maze (UT) - 4.9

4. Tyler Smith (UT) - 4.63

5. Dee Bost (MSU) - 4.6 

Fortson and Bost are both freshman.

THREE-POINT FIELD GOAL %

1. David Huertas (UM) - 46.8

2. Rotnei Clarke (ARK) - 45.7

3. Brad Tinsley (VU) - 41.1

4. Jodie Meeks (UK) - 36.0

5. Tay Walker (AUB) - 34.3

Clarke and Tinsley are both freshman.

BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME

1. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 6.2

2. Chris Johnson (LSU) - 2.6

3. Perry Stevenson (UK) - 2.5

t4. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 2.0

t4. A.J. Ogilvy (VU)- 2.0

Do you think Gillispie will have his guards drive the lane against Varnado like he did last year?

ASSIST/TURNOVER RATIO

1. Bobby Maze (UT) - 3.9

2. Branden Conrad (USC) - 3.0

3. DeWayne Reed (AUB) - 2.7

t4. Nick Calathes (UF) - 2.1

t4. Garrett Temple (LSU) - 2.1

Maze is a former UK target out of Hutchinson (KS) Junior College.

TEAM NOTES

Alabama - The Tide sit at 6-3 ... they only have one semi-quality win, and that was against St. Josephs (4-5) ... they have losses to 6-3 Mercer (72-69), 4-5 Oregon (92-69), and 8-1 Texas A&M (86-78) ... one-time UK target JaMychal Green (6'9", 225 lb forward) is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.3 points per game (he averages 22.6 minutes per game) ... Green also averages 7.0 rebounds per game.

Arkansas - John Pelphrey's squad have gotten off to a pretty good start at 6-1 ... their one loss was to (5-3) Missouri St. (62-57) ... their best win is versus (6-4) South Alabama (79-77) who happen to be Pelphrey's former employer ... three of Arkansas' top five scorers are freshmen guards: Courtney Fortson (5.4) Rotnei Clarke (14.3), and forward Michael Sanchez (8.7) ... Fortson and Clarke are both playing 30+ minutes per game ... we'll soon know what the Hogs have; they play #4 Oklahoma and #5 Texas before their SEC slate begins.

Auburn - The Tigers have started slowly, which was expected ... they sit at 4-4 ... most of their losses have been close though - 78-74 to (6-3) Mercer, 60-59 to a good (9-1) Dayton team (they beat then #24 Marquette by 14 points), 81-74 to a very good (9-0) Xavier squad ... they also lost to (5-5) Northern Iowa 105-93 ... their best win is against (5-3) Missouri State 75-60.

Florida - Billy Donovan's Gators have started 7-2 ... both losses have been close and to pretty good teams: 89-83 to (9-2) Syracuse, and 57-55 to (9-1) Florida State ... their highest quality win is against (6-3) Washington, 86-84 ... sophomore forward Alex Tyus is helping fill the void left by the departure of Marreese Speights by averaging 13.2 points per game ... Tyus also averages 6.0 rebounds per game ... he shoots 61% from the field ... Donovan has nine players averaging at least 11 minutes per game. 

Georgia - Dennis Felton's Bulldogs sit at 6-3 ... they have a couple of bad losses: to (5-5) Loyola, IL by a score of 74-53, and 67-63 to WKU (5-3) ... Illinois (9-1) clobbered Georgia, 76-42 ... the 'dawgs have beaten (5-4) Santa Clara, 54-48, (6-4) Virginia Tech, 67-66, and (0-11) Mississippi Valley State, 98-57 ... former Hopkins County Central star Albert Jackson averages 4.1 points per game, and 4.0 rebounds per game.

LSU - New head coach Trent Johnson (out of Nevada and Stanford) has the Tigers sitting at 7-0 ... the aggregate record of the Tiger victims is 18-40 ... Northwestern State (5-4) is the only team with a winning record that LSU has beaten ... we'll find out soon if LSU's record is a facade or not, they play (8-1) Texas A&M on December 20.

Mississippi - Andy Kennedy's club stands at 7-3 ... they've lost to (5-4) Utah, 83-72 ... West Virginia beat the Rebels 80-78, and Steve Alford's (6-4) New Mexico squad "layed the wood" to 'em 103-70 ... Mississippi's best wins are against (6-4) South Alabama 89-71, and (7-2) Arkansas State, 65-62 ... 53% of Ole Miss' scoring comes from two players: Guards, David Huertas (20.6) and Chris Warren (20.2) ... together the duo attempts 14 three-point shots per game ... Ole Miss plays U of L on December 18.

Mississippi State - Rick Stansbury's squad has began the season at 7-3 ... they've lost to (7-3) Washington State, 63-52, (7-2) Texas Tech, 77-73, and (3-6) Charlotte, 70-64 ... the Bulldog's best win is against (5-3) St. Bonaventure, 76-71 ... former UK recruit Romero Osby, a 6'8", 230 lb forward, is averaging 7.4 points per game and 4.0 rebounds ... former Ballard High School star Twany Beckham is playing an average of 11.4 minutes per game ... the 6'5" ,190 lb guard is averaging 4.0 points and 1.6 assists per game ... Dee Bost, a freshman point guard, is averaging 27.2 minutes per game ... Bost averages 9.5 points, and nearly five assists per game ... Stansbury is playing 11 players at least 11 minutes per game ... MSU will be tested versus ((7-2) Cincinnati on December 18, and they play (5-3) Western Kentucky on January 5.

South Carolina - New coach, and former WKU head man Darrin Horn has started out well, posting a 6-1 mark ... SC's only loss is to College of Charleston, 82-80 ... they don't really have a quality win, but they did beat (2-7) Gardner-Webb 85-70, to go along with (2-6) Princeton, 84-58 ... point guard Devan Downey has started strong ... he's averaging 19.6 points per game, nearly five assists per game and 3.0 steals ... the Gamecocks will be tested soon ... they take on #25 Clemson, and travel to Waco to play #24 Baylor.

Tennessee - Bruce Pearl has UT sitting at 8-2 ... the Vols have lost to then #10 (7-1) Gonzaga, 83-74, and at (5-3) Temple, 88-72 ... their best win is versus (7-1) Georgetown, 90-78 ... they've also beaten (4-4) Middle Tennessee, 76-66 ... University Heights star Scotty Hopson has a pretty impressive stat line: 20.6 minutes per game, 9.5 points per game, and he's made 50% of this three-point attempts ... former UK recruit Bobby Maze is also playing well: 26.8 minutes per game, 9.3 points, 4.9 assists, and he's shooting 49% from the field ... UT has #23 Marquette (8-1), @ Kansas (7-2), and (7-1)Gonzaga (again) coming up on their schedule.

Vanderbilt - Vandy comes in at 6-3 ... they've lost to (9-1) Illinois, 69-63 ... (6-2) Illinois-Chicago bested the Commodores 74-5, and (5-2) Georgia Tech beat them 63-51 ... their best victory is over (6-3) Virginia Commonwealth, 71-66 ... they also own wins over (3-7) Morehead State, 74-48, and (4-4) Middle Tennessee, 65-57 ... head coach Kevin Stallings has two freshman contributing: Swedish wing player Jeffery Taylor (6'7") is averaging 28 minutes per game ... he's averaging 13.8 points per game (second on the team), and 6.3 rebounds ... he shoots 53% from the floor ... 6'3" guard Brad Tinsley averages 31.3 minutes per game ... he's averaging 11.2 points per game (third on the team), 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Thanks for reading, and Go 'Cats!

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