Most people have assumed that power in the SEC West has shifted from the Alabama Crimson Tide to the Ole Miss Rebels after the Rebels defeated the tenth ranked and SEC title contending Missouri Tigers 64 to 49. It hasn’t.
Missouri cannot win games without Laurence Bowers. He may be out for only one or two more games, but his absence could lead to another loss. Alex Oriakhi does not produce for the extended minutes he plays, and Missouri cannot win games with only a perimeter game. Sure, Phil Pressey can pass, but when everyone is guarded so closely they can’t shoot, it doesn’t help the team. The Tigers are a better team than Ole Miss, but their lack of depth and the injury to Bowers hindered them. Ole Miss got Missouri at a lucky time in the season.
Alabama has the capabilities to shut down Murphy Holloway, just look what the Crimson Tide did to the Tennessee Volunteers’ Jarnell Stokes – only allowing him six points. Alabama will be preparing for the match-up with the Rebels for the rest of the season, because more than likely the top seed in the West for the SEC tournament will be on the line – and in the SEC, how well a team does in the SEC tournament usually determines whether they go to the NCAA or the NIT.
Give all credit to Ole Miss – The Rebels will make it to the NCAA tournament. But until you judge whether or not Ole Miss is the best team in the SEC West, wait until March 5th. When the also NCAA tournament bound Crimson Tide will demolish Ole Miss in Oxford.