clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SEC Basketball Power Rankings - Week 4

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

SEC Power Rankings – Week 4

This week’s featured some great games among SEC teams. The SEC Football Championship grabbed the nation’s attention on Saturday, but there was some great hoops action.

I am a day late this week and it is good thing that I am. Florida’s inexplicable loss to winless Texas Southern on Monday has shaken up the rankings drastically.

Let’s review what went down this week.

#1 – Tennessee (Last Week: #3)

Record: 6-1
KenPom Rating: #10

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #265 Presbyterian at home (86-44)
Defeated KP #66 Colorado on the road (69-54)

Tennessee continues to roll after their impressive win on the road at Colorado. And not just a win, a win by 15. Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi lead the Vols in scoring.

The surprise for the UT has been Victor Bailey. He is their leading rerturning scoring, but has really struggled this year while playing just 17 minutes a game.

This week’s game:
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - KP #19 Texas Tech at a neutral site
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #177 UNC-Greensboro at home

#2 – Kentucky (Last Week: #2)

Record: 6-1
KenPom Rating: #17

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #326 Central Michigan at home (85-57)

Another quiet week for UK just like it had been for 3 weeks. The Cats opened with Duke and have had it easy ever since. That’s about to change. After Tuesday night’s game with Southern, UK will play 3 straight games against Top 50 KenPom rated teams.

This UK team is built to win. Tons of talent, athleticism, and a good mixture of youth and experience. Freshman PG TyTy Washington has been as advertised with big man Oscar Tshiebwe anchoring the post. He’s averaging 16.0 rebounds per game.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - KP #304 Southern at home
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #50 Notre Dame on the road

#3 – LSU (Last Week: #4)

Record: 8-0
KenPom Rating: #16

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #105 Ohio at home (66-51)

LSU has played 8 games so it is safe to say that their defense is legit. It’s not a fluke while playing weaker competition. These guys can really defend. They are ranked 5th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Who would have ever thought we would see Will Wade winning games 66 to 51 or 68 to 63? Never. It’s been a nice change of pace.

As a whole, this team isn’t as good offensively as Wade’s past teams, but that’s okay if you defend the way they do.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #88 Georgia Tech at a neutral site

#4 – Alabama (Last Week: #6)

Record: 7-1
KenPom Rating: #9

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #1 Gonzaga at a neutral site (91-82)

Alabama looked incredible Saturday night. The best we have seen them under Nate Oats and that is saying something. The offense was awesome, but their ability to sputter Gonzaga offensively was the most surprising.

Sure, Alabama may live and die by the 3, but when you make 10 a game that’s okay.

Jaden Shackelford is a early contender for SEC Player of the Year. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 6.8 rebounds.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #4 Houston at home

#5 – Auburn (Last Week: #7)

Record: 7-1
KenPom Rating: #15

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #55 UCF at home (85-68)
Defeated KP #141 Yale at home (86-64)

Auburn had some shaky starts early then the 2OT thriller loss to UCONN, but they are starting to round into form. 4 straight impressive wins. They’ll have another opportunity for one this weekend.

But the best news is that Allen Flanigan has returned to practice for Bruce Pearl. Because Jabari Smith and KD Johnson have been so good, they can ease Flanigan back.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #102 Nebraska at a neutral site

#6 – Arkansas (Last Week: #5)

Record: 8-0
KenPom Rating: #24

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #340 Central Arkansas at home (97-60)
Defeated KP #300 Little Rock at home (93-78)

Arkansas continues to win, but in ways that leave you asking for more. The Hogs built a 15 point lead against Little Rock at halftime and looked poised to push it to 25-30 in the 2nd half. They didn’t. The game got down to single digits.

This team just hasn’t played a full game and it’s concerning. Yes, they beat UCA by 37, but the Hogs were only ahead by 6 at half.

Saturday will be a huge litmus test for Arkansas.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - KP #231 Charlotte at home
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #41 Oklahoma at a neutral site

#7 – Florida (Last Week: #1)

Record: 6-2
KenPom Rating: #27

Last week’s games:
Lost to KP #41 Oklahoma on the road (74-67)
Lost to KP #193 Texas Southern at home (69-54)

Florida had a tough loss to OU on Saturday against a well-coached team. There’s not a whole lot to take away from that, but what happened on Monday night was unbelievable. They were dominated by winless Texas Southern for 40 minutes. TSU is better than their record shows, but that’s no excuse to be ran out of your own gym by a SWAC school.

It’s a shocking development for a team that looked arguably better than any other SEC team so far.

Now the Gators will play their 3rd game in 5 days before a big game against Maryland this weekend.

This week’s games:
Wednesday, Dec. 8 - KP #284 North Florida at home
Sunday, Dec. 12 - KP #53 Maryland at a neutral site

#8 – Ole Miss (Last Week: #10)

Record: 6-2
KenPom Rating: #64

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #289 Rider at home (75-51)
Defeated KP #35 Memphis at home (67-63)

Ole Miss is starting to come together as a team. They took a couple lumps early, but their win over Memphis looks great. Jarkel Joiner is star. The Rebels could use more consistency on the offensive end from other players. That will be key in them pushing for a NCAA bid.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #117 Western Kentucky at a neutral site

#9 – Texas A&M (Last Week: #9)

Record: 7-1
KenPom Rating: #63

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #301 New Orleans at home (85-65)

A&M had an easy week by taking care of business against New Orleans. The Aggies are one of the best teams in the country surrounding the 3-point line. On offense, they are shooting 38.7% from deep which is good for 33rd in the country. On defense, opponents are shooting just 27.6% from range. That ranks 38th in the nation.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #82 TCU at a neutral site

#10 – Mississippi State (Last Week: #8)

Record: 6-2
KenPom Rating: #46

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #287 Lamar at home (75-60)
Lost to KP #90 Minnesota at home (81-76)

MSU suffered a tough loss on Sunday. Minnesota was picked to finish last in the Big 10 by a wide margin. While they may have been slightly underrated, these are the games MSU has to win if they are going to make the NCAA Tournament. They will have to make up for that loss somewhere on the schedule. They’ll have that opportunity on Saturday.

This week’s game:
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #40 Colorado St. at a neutral site

#11 – Georgia (Last Week: #14)

Record: 3-5
KenPom Rating: #164

Last week’s game:
Defeated KP #35 Memphis at home (82-79)

Georgia was the other half of the nightmare week for Memphis in the SEC. What a huge win for a team that has shown little life. Maybe this team can find some momentum.

One thing is for certain, even when Georgia is taking Ls, Kario Oquendo is a lot of fun to watch.

This week’s game:
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - KP #262 Jacksonville at home

#12 – Vanderbilt (Last Week: #11)

Record: 5-2
KenPom Rating: #76

Last week’s games:
Defeated KP #358 Mississippi Valley St. at home (75-36)
Lost to KP #78 SMU on the road (84-72)

I feel bad for Vanderbilt fans. VU has been missing 2 starters all season. With those guys, it would be a pretty good bet that they would be undefeated. If Robbins and Chatham can be back for SEC play then expect VU to be very competitive.

They have a big week ahead with 2 quality opponents coming to Nashville.

This week’s games:
Tuesday Dec. 7 - KP #134 Temple at home
Friday, Dec. 10 - KP #28 Loyola Chicago at home

#13 – Missouri (Last Week: #13)

Record: 4-4
KenPom Rating: #142

Last week’s games:
Defeated Paul Quinn(NAIA) at home (91-59)
Lost to KP #114 Liberty on the road (66-45)

Missouri is bad. There’s really nothing else to say. Getting blown out by Liberty was as bad it gets. Liberty is solid for a mid-major, but losing by 20 is unacceptable.

This week’s games:
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - KP #347 Eastern Illinois at home
Saturday, Dec. 11 - KP #5 Kansas on the road

#14 – South Carolina (Last Week: #12)

Record: 6-2
KenPom Rating: #101

Last week’s games:
Lost to KP #204 Coastal Carolina on the road (80-56)
Defeated KP #118 Georgetown at home (80-67)

South Carolina did what I expected them to do this week. They went 1-1, but not how I would have predicted.

They beat an underwhelming Georgetown team at home, but got demolished by Coastal Carolina on the road. It was embarrassing.

Keyshawn Bryant is still working off the rust since his return from suspension. He’s shooting just 41% from the field.

This week’s game:
Sunday, Dec. 12 - KP #37 Florida St. at a neutral site