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SEC Basketball Power Rankings - Week 5

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NCAA Basketball: ESPN Events Invitational-Drake vs Alabama Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Power Rankings – Week 5

The first Saturday with SEC football since August provided a lot of great SEC basketball games. Props to the teams of the conference for giving us a great slate of games that day.

Unfortunately, the teams didn’t perform well. The SEC took some punches to the faces and as a result there

#1 – Alabama (Last Week: #4)

Record: 8-1
KenPom Rating: #11

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #5 Houston at home (83-82)

The Tide are legit, folks. Yes, they lost to Iona, but they have now beaten Gonzaga and Houston. They show up for the big games. My pick would be them or Auburn to win the conference right now.

They get another big game this week, but this time on the road. Memphis has been very disappointing, but the game still has a lot of potential.

This week’s games: |
Tuesday, Dec. 14 - KP #39 Memphis on the road
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #149 Jacksonville St. at home

#2 – LSU (Last Week: #3)

Record: 9-0
KenPom Rating: #13

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #96 Georgia Tech at a neutral site (69-53)

Tari Eason earned SEC Player of the Week as LSU beat Georgia Tech with ease. The Tigers keep rolling and there is little reason to see why they won’t be 11-0 after this week.

The way this LSU team plays is so different than Will Wade’s past teams. They don’t score in bunches, but play great defense. It’s weird to see them built this way. Their schedule has been pretty lite so far so it will be interesting to see how they play once SEC begins. Their SEC schedule is a gauntlet to begin.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 14 - KP #334 Northwestern St. at home
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #86 Louisiana Tech at a neutral site

#3 – Auburn (Last Week: #5)

Record: 8-1
KenPom Rating: #12

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #127 Nebraska at a neutral site (98-68)

Auburn dominated a bad Nebraska team on Saturday. It’s what you want to see when you have high aspirations and you are facing a weaker P5 team. Jabari Smith could be the best player in the conference. He’s averaging 17.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 14 - KP #299 North Alabama at home
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #82 St. Louis on the road

#4 – Tennessee (Last Week: #1)

Record: 7-2
KenPom Rating: #10

Last week’s games:
Lost to KP #14 Texas Tech at a neutral site (57-52 OT
Defeated KP #195 UNC-Greensboro at home (76-36)

Tennessee lost what may have been the ugliest game of college basketball I have ever seen. We all know how Texas Tech always wants to slow the pace, but this was painful as neither team could make a bucket. The teams shot a combined 10-64 from 3. It was awful.

Tennessee bounced back with a dominating win and have a big matchup with in-state rival Memphis on Saturday.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 14 - KP #332 USC Upstate at home
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #39 Memphis at a neutral site

#5 – Kentucky (Last Week: #2)

Record: 7-2
KenPom Rating: #21

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #288 Southern at home (76-64)
Lost to KP #51 Notre Dame on the road (66-62)

I’m not sure what to think of this Wildcat team right now. Oscar Tshiebwe is great, but there seems to be a lot of inconsistency around this roster.

They have yet to beat anyone, but did hang close with Duke in the opener. Things don’t get easier for UK as they’ll play a solid Ohio State team next.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #15 Ohio St. at a neutral site

#6 – Arkansas (Last Week: #6)

Record: 9-1
KenPom Rating: #34

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #223 Charlotte at home (86-66)
Lost to KP #36 Oklahoma at a neutral site (88-66)

Arkansas just isn’t good right now. There is no way around it. I have felt it for a while. The offense is too stagnant at times. The defense isn’t what we are used to seeing from a Musselman coached team. The point guard play is subpar to put it kindly.

The beginning of the season will always look rough for Musselman and Arkansas with so much roster turnover, but this year feels different. I won’t lie. I am worried.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #144 Hofstra at a neutral site

#7 – Florida (Last Week: #7)

Record: 7-3
KenPom Rating: #29

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #286 North Florida at home (85-55)
Lost to KP #52 Maryland at a neutral site (70-68)

Has any team been as high and low as Florida this year? Wins over Ohio State and Florida State, but now they lost 3 out of 4. Including a loss to winless Texas Southern.

The Gators don’t shoot well and they have not rebounded well. They’ll have to shore that up in SEC play.

There’s always the possibility that Keyontae Johnson could come back at some point, but no one knows.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #235 South Florida at a neutral site

#8 – Texas A&M (Last Week: #9)
Record: 7-2
KenPom Rating: #64

Last week’s game:
Lost to KP #66 TCU at a neutral site (68-64)

A&M lost, but they move up because Mississippi State and Ole Miss have been so disappointing. The Aggies have better wins than both of those teams. So even though, they lost to TCU, they move up.

A&M shoots 38.6% from 3 as a team. That’s good for 29th in the country. Leading scorer Quenton Jackson is shooting 48.3% on 3.2 attempts per game himself.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #132 Oregon St. on the road

#9 – Mississippi State (Last Week: #10)

Record: 6-3
KenPom Rating: #46

Last week’s game:
Lost to KP #37 Colorado St. at a neutral site (66-63)

Mississippi State fell short again in a big matchup on Saturday. They just can’t beat a good opponent this year. I had hopes they could push for an NCAA Tournament bid, but through 9 games I don’t see it. They would need an incredible run in SEC play and that’s not likely.

They have no depth. The starters are good, but nothing after that. Tolu Smith has been out with injury. When he comes back, MSU should be better.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 14 - KP #122 Georgia St. at home
Friday, Dec. 17 - KP #119 Furman at home

#10 – South Carolina (Last Week: #14)

Record: 7-2
KenPom Rating: #99

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #40 Florida St. at a neutral site (66-65)

SC is a head-scratching team. They don’t make sense. They lost to Princeton at home and then lost to Coastal Carolina by 24 on the road. In the past few weeks, they have wins over Georgetown and now Florida State. They beat FSU without leading scorer Jermaine Couisnard! That makes zero sense. As Jon Rothstein would say, “Anarchy? No, College basketball!”

Keyshawn Bryant hasn’t been his normal self yet after serving a 5-game suspension. If he can get going then SC can push for a NIT bid.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 14 - Allen(D2) at home
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #48 Clemson on the road

#11 – Ole Miss (Last Week: #8)

Record: 6-3
KenPom Rating: #91

Last week’s game:
Lost to KP #108 Western Kentucky at a neutral site (71-48)

To say Ole Miss has been disappointing is an understatement. They beat Memphis, but who isn’t beating Memphis these days? I expected Ole Miss to be an NIT team, but that doesn’t feel concrete right now. I expected them to be a big step above Georgia, Missouri, and South Carolina. We just can’t say that right now.

Ole Miss needs more offensively. They have had a few bad scoring droughts this year.

This week’s games:
Wednesday, Dec. 15 - KP #209 Middle Tennessee St. at home
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #95 Dayton at home

#12 – Georgia (Last Week: #11)

Record: 4-5
KenPom Rating: #164

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #238 Jacksonville at home (69-58)

Georgia is still flying high off their big win over Memphis and took care of business against Jacksonville. They welcome George Mason to town on Saturday who will be no push over. Former Missouri guard and Tennessee assistant Kim English has done some great things in his first year as a head coach.

Unfortunately, Georgia’s starting forward Jailyn Ingram went down with a knee injury and will miss the rest of the season. Georgia isn’t good, but they would be better if Ingram and P.J. Horne hadn’t been injured. Tyron McMillan, Dalen Ridgnal, and Josh Taylor will have to step up.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #151 George Mason at home

#13 – Vanderbilt (Last Week: #12)

Record: 5-4
KenPom Rating: #93

Last week’s games:
Lost to KP #139 Temple at home (72-68 OT)
Lost to KP #23 Loyola Chicago at home (69-58)

I have been selling Vanderbilt since before the season, but they continue to let me down. Yes, they are without 2 potential starters, but they cannot win a big game. Even at home. They have hosted VCU, Temple, and Loyola Chicago. In each of those games, they have failed to score 70 points. They just can’t put the ball in the basket.

Vandy needs something good to happen. Jerry Stackhouse needs something good to happen. This thing could turn sour quick.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #283 Austin Peay at home

#14 – Missouri (Last Week: #13)

Record: 5-5
KenPom Rating: #154

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #348 Eastern Illinois at home (72-44)
Lost to KP #3 Kansas on the road (102-65)

Missouri finally got their Border War with hated rival Kansas and it was ugly. The two schools matched up for the first time in years after having many great battles in the Big 12.

It went about as expected. Total domination by Kansas. Missouri fans seemed to think this team could be on the bubble and push for an NIT bid this year. Considering how the season has gone, they aren’t happy. Cuonzo Martin needs something good to happen.

He’ll have two momentum building opportunities before SEC play begins. Utah at home then Illinois at a neutral site. Missouri has to find a way to win 1 of those.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 18 - KP #72 Utah at home