Rock M Nation is handing out postseason hardware. Today, we reveal our picks for All-SEC teams, and we’ll pass along our choices for individual awards on Tuesday and Coach of the Year on Wednesday.
Tremont Waters, LSU
Point Guard, So., 5-11, 175 pounds
Disregard for a moment the controversy surrounding LSU and the scandal swirling around its suspended head coach Will Wade, and look at the play of a first placed team and conference champion. The Tigers are a deep and talented group of players, but nobody stirs the drink for them more than their Floor General Tremont Waters. Waters is a multi-faceted guard who can score as well as he can pass the ball. He was LSU’s leading scorer, leading assist man and was 8th and 3rd in the conference in each category.
Waters was also as crucial of a defender as there was on the LSU roster because of his ability to disrupt the half court offense by seemingly appearing out of nowhere for a steal before leading the Tigers into transition. Waters was garnering some consideration for Player of the Year before an illness derailed him for a couple games and gave others the edge.
Bryce Brown, Auburn
Combo Guard, Sr., 6-3, 198 pounds
Bryce Brown is the flame that lights the Auburn Tigers’ fire. He’s a combustible guard who’s an excellent defender but a lethal shooter. Brown was the Tigers’ leading scorer this year while shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc, a percentage even more impressive when you consider he also led the SEC in attempts. Brown was the key and finisher during many Auburn runs this season and his ability to influence the game on both ends of the floor warranted a spot on the first team
Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State
Wing, Sr., 6-4, 205 pounds
It feels like Quinndary Weatherspoon has been at Mississippi State for about seven years or so. That’s in large part because he’s been the key cog for the Bulldogs since his freshman season. Q was always tough attacking the basket but this season took a step forward with his 3-point shooting, knocking down 40.2 percent of his attempts, improvement that made him and his team a much more dangerous matchup. Weatherspoon was the conference’s third-leading scorer and did so while holding a 116.0 offensive rating and taking up a quarter of the Bulldogs possessions. I’m sure most coaches in the league will be happy he’s finally out of eligibility.
Grant Williams, Tennessee
Combo Forward, Jr., 6-7, 236 pounds
I’m honestly not sure what more can be said about Grant Williams. As reigning Player of the year in the SEC, the expectations were high for Williams this season and he — at worst — met all of them. Williams led the conference in scoring, ranked fifth in rebounding and was sixth nationally in offensive rating. KenPom also tracks MVP on a game-by-game basis. Williams had the third-highest tally and led all his power-conference peers. He has a 126.6 offensive rating, while his fouls-drawn rate (7.2 per 40 minutes) is seventh in the country. Williams is so valuable to arguably the best team in the league, there’s no way he was going to be kept off the first team.
PJ Washington, Kentucky
Post, So., 6-8, 228 pounds
When John Calipari put together his 2017 class, my favorite prospect of the group was P.J. Washington. He was a physical forward with long arms capable of being a double-double type of player from the get-go. He struggled offensively as the Wildcats were just okay last year, but came back and you can tell he’s worked on his game. He’s shooting over 40% from 3-point range, snatching rebounds on both ends at a high rate, and blocking shots. Kentucky always has talent, and most of the year we seem to sit around and wait for them to figure things out. This year Kentucky getting hot seemed to coincide with a renewed effort to make Washington a primary focus of the offense.
All-SEC Second Team
- Breein Tyree, Ole Miss: The Rebels are headed back to the NCAA tournament, and the biggest reason for that is the play of Tyree, who was just shy of making our first team.
- Keldon Johnson, Kentucky: All season long the Wildcats relied upon Johnson’s versatility on both ends of the court.
- Skylar Mays, LSU: As important as Waters is to LSU, Mays might actually be the heart and soul of the team.
- Admiral Schofield, Tennessee: It’s hard to separate the importance of Williams to the success of the Vols without bringing up Schofield.
- Chris Silva, South Carolina: The Gamecocks exceeded their conference expectations because of the consistent play of Silva, who draws fouls at an elite rate.
- Jordan Bone, Tennessee: Bone turned himself in a pro in the last year and is a big reason why Tennessee is a threat to win a National title.
- Nicolas Claxton, Georgia: The versatile big was one of the few bright spots in a long ugly first season under Tom Crean.
- Terence Davis, Ole Miss: Along with Tyree, Davis formed a fearsome backcourt and reclaimed his sophomore season spark.
- Daniel Gafford, Arkansas: Gafford’s presence alone helped the Razorbacks young squad to a few more wins than expected.
- Jordan Geist, Missouri: Sometimes it seemed like Geist willed the Tigers to being competitive for the bulk of the conference slate.
- Hassani Gravett, South Carolina: Gravett came off the bench to provide leadership and a scoring spark for the Gamecocks.
- Jared Harper, Auburn: Very easily could have been on the first or second team as Harper was just as valuable to Auburn as Bryce Brown.
- Tyler Herro, Kentucky: Herro got better as the year went on and now might be the Wildcats second-best player.
- Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama: The Tide had an uneven rough season but Lewis, a reclassified point guard, led the team in scoring and should be even better next year.