Jerry Tipton sizes up the SEC

jtipton@herald-leader.comNovember 7, 2012 

Tennessee Volunteers forward Jarnell Stokes (5) pulled in a rebound over Kentucky Wildcats forward Anthony Davis (23) as #1 Kentucky defeatedTennessee 69-44 on Tuesday January 31, 2012 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Predicted finish

Note that in the expanded 14-team Southeastern Conference, there are no divisions in basketball this season.

1. Kentucky

2. Tennessee

3. Missouri

4. Florida

5. Alabama

6. Arkansas

7. Mississippi

8. Auburn

9. Georgia

10. LSU

11. Vanderbilt

12. Texas A&M

13. South Carolina

14. Mississippi State

Player of the year

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky

coachof the year

John Calipari, Kentucky

Pre-season All-SEC Squads

First team

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky

Phil Pressey, Missouri

Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

B.J. Young, Arkansas

second team

Ryan Harrow, Kentucky

Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee

Alex Oriakhi, Missouri

Elston Turner, Texas A&M

Will Yeguette, Florida

Third team

Reginald Buckner, Mississippi

Johnny O'Bryant III, LSU

Marshawn Powell, Arkansas

Kyle Wiltjer, Kentucky

Patric Young, Florida

All-SEC Freshmen

First team

Kevin Bright, Vanderbilt

Archie Goodwin, Kentucky

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky

Devonta Parker, Alabama

Alex Poythress, Kentucky

Second team

Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

Kenny Gaines, Georgia

Brian Greene Jr., Auburn

Charles Mann, Georgia

Braxton Ogbueze, Florida

All-SEC Newcomers

non-freshmen

Keion Bell, Missouri

Shavon Coleman, LSU

Marshall Henderson, Mississippi

Alex Oriakhi, Missouri

LaShay Page, South Carolina

Superlatives & Observations

Comeback Players

Laurence Bowers, Missouri

Josh Henderson, Vanderbilt

Jon Hood, Kentucky

Marshawn Powell, Arkansas

Marcus Thornton, Georgia

Best shooter

Mardracus Wade, Arkansas

Mr. Versatility

Elston Turner, Texas A&M

Fastest from Point A to B

Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

Best Hustler

Will Yeguette, Florida

All-Man/Child

Johnny O'Bryant, LSU

Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

Patric Young, Florida

All Under-rated

Rob Chubb, Auburn

Nick Jacobs, Alabama

Trevor Releford, Alabama

Jarvis Summers, Mississippi

Ray Turner, Texas A&M

Been around forever

Eddie Ludwig, LSU

Frankie Sullivan, Auburn

Best Foreign born

Nemanja Djurisic, Georgia

Catchy statistics

■ Florida lost 11-point second-half leads in Elite Eight games during the last two NCAA tournaments.

■ Georgia hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 1996, and that victory (over Murray State) was later vacated.

■ Mississippi State will look for offense from senior Wendell Lewis, who averaged a career-high 3.8 points last season.

■ Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes wears size 20 shoes.

■ Texas A&M, no one's idea of a basketball school, had a streak of six straight NCAA Tournament appearances snapped last March. The only other SEC program that played in the NCAA Tournament from 2006 through 2011? Tennessee.

Question marks

■ Will Florida's Patric Young blossom as a dominating big man?

■ Was Arkansas freshman Michael Qualls telling the truth when he said he had a 45-inch vertical leap?

Where are they now?

■ Erving Walker: From Florida to playing professionally in Italy.

■ Gerald Robinson: From Georgia to playing professionally in Belgium.

■ Malcolm White: From LSU to playing professionally in Japan.

■ Renardo Sidney: From Mississippi State to working out on his own in Southern California.

■ Rodney Hood: From Mississippi State to Duke.

Coach on the hottest seat

Andy Kennedy, Mississippi: With no league record worse than 7-9, his previous six Ole Miss teams were consistently competitive (no little achievement). But the lack of NCAA Tournament bids during that period breeds uncertainty.

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