It’s a new year in SEC Basketball, and in a sport that is notorious for its rapid turnover it can be hard to keep up sometime. So before the start of the year, here are some of the more notable new faces in the conference this season. We will go more in depth on the conference as a whole as the season gets closer.
Tom Crean - Georgia
The most meme-able coach in college basketball is set for some #SECBASKETBALLFEVER. He took a season off with ESPN after nearly a decade with Indiana. Georgia has a pretty big rebuild in store with Yante Maten leaving so we might not get too many Crean moments this year.
Kermit Davis - Ole Miss
After 16 seasons with Middle Tennessee, Davis has made the leap to a major conference in his native state. A former Mississippi State Bulldog as a player, he’s crossed over to the other side of the rivalry. He had a very stable program with the Blue Raiders but will have a long way to go to get the Rebels to that level.
New McDonalds All-Americans
Vanderbilt - Darius Garland/Simisola Shittu
The Commodores are bringing in an elite guard in Garland and a big man in Shittu. Garland should be able to drive and score in tight spaces with the best of them this year. For Shittu, it will be interesting to see how he recovers after a torn ACL he suffered in high school.
Mississippi State - Reggie Perry
Hog fans will be familiar with Perry, he was committed to the Hogs for a while before opting to play for the same school his dad did. He’ll be part of a really impressive group of post players coming to the conference this year. There will be plenty of tests for Daniel Gafford in conference play.
LSU - Nazreon Reid
He was ranked 18th by 247Sports and already comes in with a 6-foot-9 and 220 pound NBA ready body. He and Tremont Waters are going to be a really scary duo if they get clicking.
Kentucky - EJ Montgomery/Immanuel Quickley/Keldon Johnson
The annual Kentucky refresh is no different in 2018. After a handful of first round draft picks, a whole new group of McDonalds All-Americans enter. This trio doesn’t include fellow five star Ashton Hagans, which 247Sports ranks as the 12th overall recruit and Kentucky’s second highest commit. The top of the group is Montgomery, a 6-foot-10 power forward who is the odds on favorite to be their highest pick this year. Johnson will play on the wing while both Quickley and Hagans should get some time running the point for the Wildcats this year.
Reid Travis - From Stanford to Kentucky
You thought Kentucky was only bringing in freshman this year? Nope, they’re also getting some help from the big man who transferred from Stanford. He was first team All-Pac 12 twice and nearly averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds last year, an outstanding feat in the college game.
Tre Campbell - From Georgetown to South Carolina
The Gamecocks needed help at point guard when Rakym Felder was dismissed from the team, so enter Campbell. He never put up huge numbers with Georgetown, but will get a shot to run things for Carolina.
Christian Mekowulu - From Tennessee State to Texas A&M
A&M needed immediate help in the post replacing Robert Williams and Tyler Davis. Mekowulu averaged 12 points and 8 rebound at Tennessee State, we’ll see how he does with the step up in competition.
Sat 2017, Eligible This Year
- Tevin Mack - From Texas to Alabama
- Jalen Harris - From New Mexico to Arkansas
- Samir Doughty - From VCU to Auburn
- Kavel Bigby-Williams - From Oregon to LSU
- Yanni Wetzell - From St Marys to Vanderbilt
- Matt Ryan - From Notre Dame to Vanderbilt
- Ronnie Suggs - From Bradley to Missouri
- Josh Nebo - From St Francis to Texas A&M
Mack is the biggest name on this list. After a couple years with the Longhorns, and one where he averaged nearly 15 points per game, he’ll help fill the Collin Sexton sized hole that Avery Johnson has this year. Bigby-Williams didn’t get a ton of time in his one season at Oregon, but he has all the physical tools to be a problem alongside Naz Reid. Auburn lost multiple guards to the draft or transfers so Doughty will be a welcome addition for Bruce Pearl. Nebo is almost the same in terms of stats and size that Mekowulu was, so Billy Kennedy has these two transfers to fill those Davis and Williams roles.
The other four, Harris, Ryan, Suggs, and Wetzell might not be the highest impact guys in the conference, but will certainly get some roles on their squads. Harris is likely to start for the Hogs and set up his teammates. The others will likely see time off the bench.