Monday, January 30th, 2012

SEC Power Rankings Teams 7-12 : College Basketball preview

Published on October 25, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

Before you know it college basketball will be right around the corner. I thought it would be a good idea to start my college basketball preview. In the following weeks and months I will be breaking down the teams in each conference as well as the top players, freshman, coaches and much more.

Today I look at the SEC; here are my power rankings for teams 7-12 in the SEC for the 2011-12-college basketball season.

7. Arkansas Starters Returning (2) Marshawn Powell, Julysses Nobles

Welcome back, Mike Anderson now takes over the Razorbacks program. He was an assistant head coach under Nolan Richardson. Arkansas does lose 2 of the top 3 scorers from last season, but they do bring in a top 10 recruiting class. Marshawn Powell (10.8 ppg) is Arkansas best returning player at power forward. Foot problems slowed him last year,so look for him to put up more points this season. Michael Sanchez (3.5 ppg) will likely start at center, but look for freshman Hunter Mickelson to challenge him. Marvell Waithe (3.6 ppg) and freshman DeVonta Abron will supply solid depth at power forward. In the backcourt Julysses Nobles (8.4 ppg); he shoots the ball very well. Joining him in the backcourt is the very highly touted freshman B.J. Young. Young is a flat out scorer. Providing the depth here are Rickey Scott (3.3 ppg) and Mardracus Wade (4 ppg). Rashad Madden is also a highly thought of freshman that will get some time at the 3. Wade could start at the 3 if they wanted to go small.

8. LSU Starters Returning (4): Ralston Turner, Andre Stringer, Storm Warren, Malcolm White

In Trent Johnson’s first two seasons at LSU they have finished last in the SEC West, but they were young, and now he has his most experienced team with his top 4 scorers coming back. There is no question that the strength of the Tigers is their backcourt. Wing Ralston Turner (12.3 ppg) and point guard Andre Stringer (11.2 ppg) lead the backcourt. Both are great athletes that can get to the rim, and both make a fair amount of threes but need to make better percentages. The backups here are Chris Bass (1.8 ppg) and freshman Anthony Hickey and John Isaac. Leading the way in the frontcourt for the Tigers at small forward is Storm Warren (7.7 ppg). He led the team in rebounds, steals, and assists last season. Malcolm White (7.6 ppg) also returns inside; he is also a good rebounder. Look for either highly touted freshman Johnny O’Bryant or Iowa State transfer Justin Hamilton to be the other starter up front. Eddie Ludwig (3.8 ppg) and Jalen Courtney (1.8 ppg) will both provide depth in the frontcourt.

9. Georgia Starters Returning (2) Dustin Ware, Gerald Robinson

The Bulldogs played well late to reach the NCAA tournament, but now 3 of their top 4 scorers are gone. The Bulldogs best returning player is versatile guard Gerald Robinson (12.2 ppg). He knows how to get assists and he can attack the basket. Joining him in the backcourt is point guard Dustin Ware (8 ppg). He has led the SEC in assist turnover ratio the last two seasons. The primary backups here will be Sherrard Brantley (2.9ppg) and Vincent Williams (.7 ppg). Starting at the three for the Bulldogs will be highly touted Kentavious Caldwell. He is a very deadly shooter. Backing him up will be Connor Nolte (1.7 ppg). Georgia does not have a lot of experience returning upfront. Marcus Thornton (1.5 ppg) will have to score more at power forward. The starting center spot is up for grabs. The options are Donte’ Williams (.8 ppg), JUCO transfer John Florveus and freshman John Cannon and Tim Dixon. Fellow freshman Nemanja Djurisic will get some minutes at small forward.

10. Auburn Starters Returning (3): Allen Payne, Josh Wallace, Adrian Forbes

Auburn would have been a lot higher on this list but their top 2 returning leading scorers and leading rebounder decided to transfer elsewhere. The Tigers best returning player is power forward Kenny Gabriel (10.3 ppg). Gabriel is a strong rebounder and can even shoot the three. Rob Chubb (7.6 ppg) will start at center, and he is a very hard worker inside. The Tigers have a lot of depth inside led by Josh Langford (4.6 ppg), Adrian Forbes (3.6 ppg) and true freshman Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena. Look for Kouassi to get a lot of quality minutes. Allen Payne (5.6 ppg) will get most of the minutes at the 3. Leading the way in the backcourt for the Tigers is Frankie Sullivan (8.2 ppg), who took a medical redshirt last season. He is a very dynamic player. Also in the backcourt is Texas transfer Varez Ward. The Tigers also have three quality back ups here in Josh Wallace (5.7 ppg), Chris Denson (5.9 ppg), Tony Neysmith (2.4 ppg). Cedrick McAfee, a freshman should also get some playing time. Clemson transfer Noel Johnson may also help out.

11. Tennessee Starters Returning (1) Cameron Tatum

Gone is head coach Bruce Pearl, although he got them to 6 NCAA tournaments in a row he could not stop from committing NCAA violations. In comes Cuonzo Martin, I like this hire but it will take some time. Gone for the Vols are 5 of their top 6 scorers from last season. Their best returning player is Cameron Tatum (8.8 ppg). Tatum will play at the 3 and will be called upon to score a lot more; he is very athletic. Trae Golden (3 ppg) will be at thepoint guard; he put up good assists numbers last year as a back up. Skylar McBee (3 ppg) will start at shooting guard; he is capable of being a deadly shooter. The back up at all these positions are Jordan McRae (1.8 ppg) and freshman shooting guards Quinton Chievous and Josh Richardson and point guard Wes Washpun. Jeronne Maymon (2.6 ppg) will start at power forward and Kenny Hall (2.0 ppg) will start at center. Renaldo Woolridge (1.6 ppg) will be the primary back up at both positions. Also providing depth are Pitt transfer Dwight Miller and project Yemi Makanjuola.

12. South Carolina Starters Returning: (3) Bruce Ellington, Lakeem Jackson, Brian Richardson

The Gamecocks were having a pretty good season last year until they lost 9 of their last 10 games. They also lose 2 double-digit scorers and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Making matters worse for the Gamecocks their returning scorer and assist man from last year Bruce Ellington (12.8 ppg) is playing football this fall. Ellington won’t join the team until sometime in December or January. Look for true freshman shooting guard Damien Leonard to start; he is a very good shooter. Providing depth in the backcourt is the very athletic Brian Richardson (5.9 ppg), JUCO transfer Brenton Williams, and point guard Eric Smith(2.4ppg). South Carolina is small up front but they get the job done. Malik Cooke (9.4 ppg) is the leader in the frontcourt; he is an excellent rebounder for his size. Lakeem Jackson (7.8 ppg) is a versatile player at small forward. Look for Damontre Harris (3.7 ppg) to start at center he played well last year in limited minutes. The depth will come from highly touted freshman Anthony Gill, R.J. Slawson(2.3ppg) and the biggest player on their roster redshirt freshman Carlton Geathers

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