Sidelines with John Clay

SEC men’s basketball: Tennessee trucking, Kentucky rising, Auburn slipping

SEC basketball roundup after Saturday’s games:

Tennessee (6-0): The top-ranked Volunteers keep on trucking. They beat struggling West Virginia 83-66 on Saturday to go 18-1 on the season. Lamont Turner scored 23 points and made five assists. After going 23-of-23 at the foul line at Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Grant Williams was 9-of-12 at the line Saturday. Tennessee has a pair of road games this week. UT is at South Carolina on Tuesday, then Texas A&M on Saturday.

LSU (6-0): Will Wade’s Tigers rallied from a 14-point deficit to win 86-80 in overtime at Missouri on Saturday to run their league record to 6-0. Skylar Mays led the way with 24 points. Tremont Waters dished nine assists. LSU plays at Texas A&M on Wednesday before returning to Baton Rouge to face Arkansas on Saturday. (The Tigers don’t face UK until Feb. 12.)

Kentucky (5-1): The Wildcats recorded their sixth straight win with Saturday’s 71-63 win over No. 9 Kansas. PJ Washington (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Reid Travis (18 points, 12 rebounds) led the way. A pair of road trips await John Calipari’s team this week. The Cats visit Vanderbilt on Tuesday. They are at Florida on Saturday.

South Carolina (5-1): The Gamecocks just can’t win non-conference games. Most of them, anyway. Frank Martin’s club is 5-1 in the SEC and 4-8 outside the SEC after Saturday’s 74-70 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater. South Carolina shot just 38.8 percent. Chris Silva did have 15 points and nine rebounds. South Carolina faces visiting Tennessee on Tuesday in a key conference clash. The Gamecocks are at Georgia on Saturday.

Ole Miss (4-2): Kermit Davis’ club is in a slump, having lost two straight and three of its last four. The Rebels were run out of their own gym in Saturday’s 87-73 loss to Iowa State. Ole Miss shot just 36.2 percent. It will try and get back on track Wednesday at Florida. Archrival Mississippi State visits Oxford on Saturday.

Mississippi State (3-3): The Bulldogs bounced back nicely from Tuesday’s 21-point loss at Kentucky, beating Auburn 92-82 in Starkville. Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 27 points. Freshman Reggie Perry grabbed 11 rebounds. Lamont Peters made 10 assists. It’s road trip week for Ben Howland. State is at Alabama on Tuesday, then Ole Miss on Saturday.

Florida (3-3): Florida’s offensive problems resurfaced in its 55-50 loss at TCU. After scoring 82 points against Georgia on Tuesday, the Gators shot just 30.6 percent against the Horned Frogs. Only Kevaughn Allen was in double figures. He scored 11. Mike White has two home games this week. Ole Miss visits Gainesville on Wednesday. Red-hot Kentucky comes to the Sunshine State on Saturday.

SEC men’s basketball game-by-game results and schedule in a Google doc

Alabama (3-3): Despite shooting 50.9 percent from the field, the Crimson Tide lost 73-68 at Baylor on Saturday. John Petty, who had played well as of late off the bench for Bama, was held to two points. He missed all five of his three-point attempts. Tough week upcoming for Avery Johnson’s club. Mississippi State visits Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, then Alabama travels to arch-rival Auburn on Saturday.

Auburn (2-4): The Tigers have hit the skids. Still without center Austin Wiley (leg injury), Bruce Pearl’s squad dropped its third straight, falling 92-84 at Mississippi State on Saturday. Auburn shot 53.1 percent. It made 21 of 23 free throws. And it wasn’t enough.

Arkansas (2-4): The Razorbacks couldn’t quite pull it out at No. 14 Texas Tech, losing 67-64 in Lubbock. Mike Anderson’s team made just four of 19 three-point attempts. Arkansas plays host to Georgia on Tuesday before visiting LSU on Saturday. LSU is still unbeaten in conference play.

Texas A&M (1-5): Not sure we saw this one coming. Texas A&M upset Kansas State 65-53 on Saturday in College Station. Wendell Mitchell is playing well. The transfer guard scored 25 points at Florida. He scored 22 in the win over K-State. Billy Kennedy’s club is at home this week. LSU visits on Wednesday. Tennessee plays the Aggies on Saturday.

Georgia (1-5): Tom Crean has at least found a way for his Bulldogs to get the ball in the basket. After scoring just 49 points against Kentucky and 52 against Florida, the Bulldogs lost 92-82 to LSU, then took down Texas 98-88 in Athens on Saturday. Tyree Crump scored 21 points in the win. Now 10-9 on the year, Georgia visits Arkansas on Tuesday. South Carolina comes to Athens on Saturday.

Missouri (1-5): The Tigers had to be devastated by losing a 14-point lead and falling at home to LSU 86-80 in overtime on Saturday. Mizzou senior guard Jordan Geist scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. It wasn’t enough. Missouri is at Auburn on Wednesday before Vanderbilt comes to Columbia in a meeting of the league’s have-nots on Saturday.

Vanderbilt (0-6): Things aren’t getting any better for Bryce Drew, whose Commodores were blitzed 86-55 at Oklahoma. Maybe it was the hangover from Wednesday’s tough overtime loss to Tennessee. Oklahoma shot 55.4 percent on Saturday. Now on a seven-game losing streak, Vandy has the task of playing Kentucky in Nashville on Tuesday. The ‘Dores travel to Missouri on Saturday.

SEC men’s basketball this week

Tuesday, Jan. 29

  • 6:30 - Tennessee at South Carolina (SEC)

  • 7:00 - Georgia at Arkansas (ESPNU)

  • 8:30 - Mississippi State at Alabama (SEC)

  • 9:00 - Kentucky at Vanderbilt (ESPN)

Wednesday, Jan. 30

  • 6:30 - Ole Miss at Florida (SEC)

  • 8:30 - Missouri at Auburn (SEC)

  • 9:00 - LSU at Texas A&M (ESPN2)

Saturday, Feb. 2

  • 1:00 - South Carolina at Georgia (SEC)

  • 3:30 - Mississippi State at Ole Miss (SEC)

  • 4:00 - Kentucky at Florida (ESPN)

  • 6:00 - Arkansas at LSU (SEC)

  • 8:00 - Tennessee at Texas A&M (ESPN)

  • 8:00 - Alabama at Auburn (ESPN2)

  • 8:30 - Vanderbilt at Missouri (SEC)

SEC men’s basketball standings

S Carolina5-110-9
Ole Miss4-214-5
Miss State3-315-4
Texas A&M1-58-10
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