SEC Tournament Preview: Round 1: No. 13 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks
The SEC Tournament has finally arrived and the first game on Wednesday in Nashville will be between the No. 12 seeded South Carolina Gamecocks and the No. 13 seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs. These teams have split their two regular season match-ups.
South Carolina has a new coach and some major problems. Frank Martin’s coaching has led to the Gamecocks winning a few games they shouldn’t (LSU and Ole Miss), but South Carolina really doesn’t have a prolific player down-low. The Gamecocks need to find a big man for next season if they want to improve because the shooting talent is there for South Carolina, but you can’t win games if you can’t score in the paint.
Mississippi State has been hampered with injury after injury, none as devastating as the early season wrist injury to Jalen Steele, who has now torn his ACL for his second season-ending knee injury in two years. Steele was this team’s best player and the Bulldogs have lost to team after team all season long without a clear leader in his stead. Mississippi State’s lack of potential was evident in the 46-point early season loss to North Carolina. Hopefully Rick Ray’s team can stay healthy next year and make a few strides in the SEC.
Both these teams are struggling, but the Bulldogs have only six scholarship players and is probably the worst team in the SEC at this point. The Gamecocks are not a very good team, but Martin is a great coach and should lead South Carolina to the next round to face the Tennessee Volunteers.