The SEC Media days started today and Missouri took part. At the beginning the media was polled on the upcoming season and here’s how they felt the teams would finish.
Missouri has been picked last, and they’re going to be picked last again and again. So prepare yourselves. SBN site TeamSpeedKills Tom Stephensen started his previews with Missouri because he’s also picking them last. Then, CBSSports Matt Norlander released his power rankings of the entirety of Division 1 and I went though and pulled out the SEC teams for intrigue:
Ignore for a second I forgot to swap Arkansas and Alabama in there, and you’ll see that while the SEC isn’t going to be very good again, Missouri is still being picked to finish last. Starting on Monday I’ll be releasing my SEC Team Previews and we’ll be starting with the team I’m picking to finish last in the SEC... the Missouri Tigers. I’ll explain more in the piece, but for now I’ll say there are legitimate reasons to feel optimistic about this group more so than years passed, but the one glaring problem is the amount of youth on the roster.
A few other quick thoughts:
- I’m surprised by the lack of faith in Andy Kennedy at this point. I thought I was being hard on Ole Miss and I’ve even got them at 9-9 in the league. We’ve just seen too often the Rebels outplaying their expectations, so I’ve started adjusting my expectations.
- There’s a lot of LSU hate going on, and there’s a lot of criticism over Johnny Jones, but the truth is LSU has never finished worse than 9-9 under Jones, and they’ve still got a LOT of talent on the roster. Antonio Blakeney and Craig Victor are legit, and there’s enough talent around them to question the idea of LSU being a bottom dweller this season.
- I also think South Carolina could build on what they did last season. If Perry Dozier improves, they could change their approach to be smaller and faster and put a lot of defensive pressure on teams.
- Overall I said a few weeks ago I felt the SEC was still a season away from being a good basketball league, but I also think they’re better than some of these rankings. There isn’t a clear second best team, but there are six teams outside of Kentucky who have a real NCAA chance.
With all that said, Monday we’ll start to really get into previewing the season. And we’re just a few short weeks away from actual NCAA basketball action.