SEC Basketball: Mid-Conference Play All-SEC Team
SEC Basketball: Mid-Conference Play All-Conference Team
As a majority of the SEC has only eight of their 16 conference games remaining, it’s crunch time for 2014 NCAA Tournament hopes. The Florida Gators and Kentucky Wildcats are considered locks for the tournament, but the Arkansas Razorbacks, Tennessee Volunteers, Missouri Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels and the LSU Tigers all have the type of records that can lead to 2014 NCAA Tournament berths. The SEC will only have three or four berths in the tournament, so every upcoming game becomes a must-win for these teams.
With that being said, the SEC has not panned out the way anyone would have imagined to start the season. Two of the teams predicted to finish near the bottom of the SEC, the Georgia Bulldogs and Texas A&M Aggies, actually were in the top half of the conference for a few weeks. The Vanderbilt Commodores are 4-4 after losing most of their best players from last season. The SEC is not as simple as many predicted it to be.
A large part of that is due to the players on these teams and the depth of talent that the SEC possesses. This isn’t a list of the best future NBA players, although there is a future first-round draft pick or two. This isn’t a list of just the players that get talked about all the time by the media, although some of those players make the list. This is a list of the eight best players in the SEC based on their statistics and how well the team would have fared without them – exactly how all-conference teams should be selected.
8. Andrew Harrison - G Kentucky Wildcats
Andrew Harrison has big games when he has to for the Wildcats. His 26 points saved Kentucky at Rupp against the Tennessee Volunteers, and he's averaging 11 points and nearly four assists per game on the year. One all-conference spot is reserved for one of the Harrison twins. Which one will win at the end of the season? I have no idea.
7. KT Harrell - G Auburn Tigers
KT Harrell is one of the more underrated scorers in the conference. Imagine what Auburn would have been if their five and four-star recruits from the previous year hadn’t transferred and been dismissed. Auburn would have zero wins if Harrell wasn’t scoring, but Chris Denson would be averaging 30+ points a game.
6. Jarvis Summers - G Ole Miss Rebels
If it seems odd that Summers is on this list and Marshall Henderson is not, just look at their stats. Summers is over 50 percent from three and leads the SEC in three-point percentage. He’s also third in assists, and he’s the reason the Rebels are still in the 2014 NCAA Tournament hunt.
5. Jabari Brown - G Missouri Tigers
All Brown does is score, score and score. It doesn’t matter how strong the defense he plays is; he seems to always break 20 points.
4. Johnny O'Bryant III - F LSU Tigers
O’Bryant III would be a household name if it wasn’t for Jarnell Stokes. No one in the SEC is better down low defensively.
3. Scottie Wilbekin - G Florida Gators
Wilbekin is one of the most underrated players in the country, and in my opinion he's the toughest player defensively in all of college basketball. He changes games with his effort and defense -- two things that don’t show up on a stat sheet. I believe he is the second best point guard in the country behind only Shabazz Napier.
2. Jarnell Stokes - F Tennessee Volunteers
Averaging a double-double isn’t easy -- at least not unless you’re 6-foot-8 and 260-pounds. Stokes leads the SEC in rebounding and, more importantly, in offensive rebounding. If Tennessee can start consistently scoring, he could break out on a national stage in March.
1. Julius Randle - F Kentucky Wildcats
This choice was a given. His rebounding and scoring is what makes him dangerous. He, along with Stokes, is one of the only two players in the SEC averaging a double-double. He gets better the more games he plays and will be a top-five NBA draft pick.