Nearly every team in the SEC is 10 games into their season, and we have a pretty good idea of where most teams stand. So now that conference play ramps up in less than two weeks who are the best in the SEC? This is how they’re looking so far.
14. Ole Miss
They’ve lost four of their last five and only two wins have been against team with a KenPom rating better than 250. Three overtime losses (to South Dakota State, Virginia Tech, and Illinois State) have really put a damper on the non conference slate.
The offense can score the but the defensive numbers are downright dreadful. Unless they improve on that end of the court they’ll be on the losing end of a lot of high scoring games this year.
They’ve played an absolutely brutal schedule and it hasn’t paid off this year. They’ve played USC, Virginia, Seton Hall, Kansas State, Mid Tennessee, and Arizona State already. Pretty solid out of conference scheduling, doesn’t help if you lose all of those games though.
11. Miss State
They’ve been the opposite of Vandy, they haven’t played anyone with a pulse besides Cincinnati (who beat them by 15.) But at least they’re winning? Hard to put together a good case for the Bulldogs win their best win is...Jacksonville State? Stephen F. Austin?
Yante Maten is still great. Plus they have wins over Marquette and Saint Mary’s. That’s enough to put them ahead of the lowest pack in the conference. They’re not going to strike fear in the top half of the conference though.
9. South Carolina
It’s a rebuilding year for the Gamecocks, who have done their jobs aside from a couple slip ups away from home. They’re not nearly as talented as last year but Frank Martin will always have them playing hard.
They haven’t faced a murderers row of teams, but are 9-1 and have looked impressive thus far. The Tigers aren’t afraid to launch it from deep, they’ve made the second most threes in the SEC. That will give you some upset potential in a lot of games.
Missouri has fared pretty well without Michael Porter Jr. with wins over Iowa State and St. Johns. They’ve also done their job in most of their buy games, save for the outlier against Emporia State. The Tigers have been one of the most efficient teams in the league thus far.
No Houston isn’t a bad team, but for right now that loss is going to hurt the Hogs’ perception for a little bit. Aside from that game an 8-2 record and swarming defense are things to really get excited about. Teams are going to have one hell of a time trying to get a win in Bud Walton this year.
Collin Sexton has been every bit as good as advertised, and he has a handful of really talented players around him in Dazon Ingram, Donta Hall, and John Petty. This is one of the best teams Tuscaloosa has seen in a while.
I don’t know what happened to the Gators in Portland. After an outstanding showing where they beat Gonzaga and nearly beat Duke, they’ve looked dreadful. The Gators have lost four of their last five, including a head scratcher against Loyola-Chicago. Maybe a couple of buy games will get them back on track before conference play.
The surprise thus far of the SEC, Tennessee has really put together an impressive non conference resume. They beat Purdue and NC State on a neutral court, won at Georgia Tech, and gave both Villanova and North Carolina all they could handle. The Volunteers are deep and playing excellent defense.
After an uninspiring first three games, the young Wildcats are starting to string together some better performances. The team has been constantly improving and will be extremely tough once conference play starts. We’ll see how much they’ve improved against UCLA and Louisville coming up.
1. Texas A&M
The Aggies have looked the clear favorite in the SEC so far. Their only loss is to Arizona in Phoenix. Their wins have been very impressive as well, 23 points over West Virginia, 17 points over Oklahoma State, 16 points at USC. Beat good teams that badly and you get noticed.