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SEC Blog: Don't Call Me Al

Player of the Week

Jon Horford - Florida

Jon HorfordJon HorfordHorford may not be the "sexy" pick for POW honors especially since his Gator team has started the season 2-1 with a heartbreaking loss to Miami last Monday, but his contributions to a Florida team that has struggled to find an identity on both sides of the ball so far are definitely worthy. Horford, a 5th year transfer from Michigan, wasn't supposed to be a guy that Billy Donovan was going to rely on. He was going to be a "glue guy" and a guy that did all the little things that helped this team win. Early on he looks like a completely different player than he did during his time with the Wolverines and his improvement and increased aggressiveness early on will pay dividends late in the season as his confidence will continue to rise. He was Florida's best all around player against Miami and without his contributions, it would have been ugly. They still ended up losing on Angel Hernandez's heroics late in the game but I'm sure Donovan will take the loss if it ends up being a breakout game for Horford.

Who's Hot

Dakari Johnson - Kentucky

Four. The number of games that Johnson scored in double figures last season. One. The number of games Johnson hauled in double figure rebounds last season. Through just five games this season, he has tied and surpassed both of those numbers from last season. He's scored in double figures in four of five, has two double digit rebound games and should have had at least one more double digit rebounding game had it not been for a 50+ point blowout to Montana State on Sunday where he played a season low 17 minutes. He looks so much more comfortable when he's on the floor this season. He's trimmed down and is so much more active on both sides of the ball. His numbers wont' jump out at you as he's only average 10.8 points and 8.4 rebounds but considering all of the talent around him and his lack of consistent minutes due to the strange platoon system implemented by Coach Cal, he's definitely an early season candidate for All-SEC honors. Johnson should be the go-to guy in Kentucky's second unit and he'll push Cauley-Stein for minutes with the first unit.

Jarell Martin - LSU

To be blunt, LSU's success is completely dependent on Martin being in the conversation for SEC POY. The Tigers have some other nice pieces but none with the skill set and overall game of Martin. He said before the season that he knew that he had to become this team's leader and he's playing like it through the first five games of the season. He has an inside outside game and can score the ball with ease in the lane. He's got good footwork in the post and has an NBA body but he lacks the range that you want from a four man and still needs to work on his jump shot and ball handling before he can get into that elite category. He's well on his way and now with [Player: Johnny O'Bryant] gone, he will be this team's go-to player. He has responded early on but he's playing a lot of minutes against teams with lesser talent which isn't a good sign as his team hasn't been able to put teams away early.

Who's Not

Demetrius Henry - South Carolina

Henry has really struggled for the Gamecocks this season and the team has struggled right along with him. He can't seem to stay on the floor long enough to get into any sort of rhythm. He's in foul trouble early and often which is something that he struggled with a season ago. He's averaging four fouls per game through his first five and has only registered double figures in one of those games. He's on a guard oriented team and will often have to defer to the likes of Sindarious Thornwell, Tyrone Johnson and Michael Carrera but he needs to assert himself more while also defending without fouling which is something that young bigs struggle to do. He's still a sophomore and has plenty of room to grow but this team, to be successful, needs him to be more of a force in the paint. And to do that, he has to stay on the floor.

Top 5 PG's


1. Tyler Ulis - Kentucky

Quick point guard with an ability to get into the lane and make plays for himself and others. He's undersized but makes up for it with his quickness and ability to stay in front of defenders. He's got a good jump shot and is great with the ball in his hands. Don't be surprised if Coach Cal chooses to go to Ulis over the Harrison twins when it comes to bringing the ball up late in close games.

2. Andrew Harrison - Kentucky

Andrew played well down the stretch last season and his decision to come back to school was a good one. He's just not ready for the next level just yet. He still doesn't have the consistent jump shot needed for a point guard at the next level but he's got the length, ball handling and defensive ability to handle the position once he puts his mind to it.

3. Kasey Hill - Florida

Hill has really struggled so far this season but there's no doubt he has what it takes to become an elite PG in the SEC. He seems to be pressing after taking over for Scottie Wilbekin who was an unbelievable floor general for the Gators the past two seasons. Hill needs to take a step back and play his game. He's forcing shots, forcing passes and just really doesn't look good thus far.

4. Alex Robinson - Texas A&M

Robinson is a freshman who will have to show out for the Aggies to be good this season. He's going to take his lumps early, as most freshmen point guards do, but it will pay off down the road. He's physically gifted and has outstanding ball skills. He still needs to work on his jump shot as he just doesn't have a consistent stroke at this point but as he grows and matures the sky is the limit.

5. Wes Clark - Missouri

The Tigers aren't going to have a lot of expectations this season and that will bode well for their young roster, including Clark. He's taking over for the departed Jordan Clarkson who is now with the Lakers and will have to be every bit as good as Clarkson was if the Tigers want to get back to the NCAAT. He spaces the floor well and sets up teammates but he's still young and is prone to mistakes in decision making.

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GBee
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kasey hill has what it takes?

kasey hill has what it takes? what does he have? he can push the ball in transition and that's about it. he doesn't run an offense well. he's tiny, doesn't finish well. can't shoot. what is this based off of? maybe you should start somewhere other than HS rankings. he's also old as hell for his class. only a soph and will be of drinking age in a week or so.

vandy has a couple of frosh PGs who already look better than him in shelton mitchell and wade baldwin. mitchell looks like another kendall marshall. lefty with good size, a high iq and very good vision. baldwin's more of a combo but is playing some point. his potential is a very high if he stays at the point. athletic, great size, strong build, long arms, high iq. both of these guys show a better feel for running an offense than kasey hill and they're like 3 years younger.

gopack10
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Why yes, he does.

Hill definitely has what it takes. He's smart, he handles the ball well, he's quick and he's athletic. Those are things that it takes to become an elite SEC point guard as I mentioned. I don't seem to remember where I gave him some ringing endorsement. I said he has looked bad and struggled this year. That doesn't mean he doesn't have what it takes to improve and be elite in terms of an SEC point guard.

And since when is a 6'1 point guard "tiny"? Does he need to put some weight on? Sure, but so do most college sophomores. Tyler Ulis is tiny for a point guard. Early Boykins was as well but he seemed to have a decent NBA career.

And maybe you should start looking somewhere other than high school rankings. You bring up Mitchell and Baldwin but combined those two guys have played a total of 6 games. Against the likes of Lipscomb, Tennessee State and Trevecca Nazarene. Where are you basing your assessment of the two and their ability to run an offense? Off of their lengthy college career or what happened in high school? And Mitchell has struggled in two of those three games. He looked better against Tennessee State but still not enough to crack this list. I've seen Hill play against the best competition for a full season. I'll reserve putting Mitchell above Hill until I see more of him at the college level.

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first of all, no, he's not

first of all, no, he's not smart which is why he struggles running an offense and makes poor decisions. not sure where you're getting that from. part of the reason why he's sucking right now is because he's not good at picking his spots. that's decision making. if i were him, i'd be watching out for chiozza who's just a frosh, but is a better shooter and has a better feel for the game as well.

yeah, you said he sucked this yr, yet he's number #2 on your list for no reason.

6 foot nothing with a small frame, 170lbs and avg wing span is tiny. that's why despite being athletic he sucks at finishing. he can't absorb contact. so basically what you have is a small, tentative, slashing PG who doesn't shoot it well so defenders give him space, play him for the drive, but doesn't finish well when he actually does drive.

ulis is tiny too and he'll have the same problems as far as finishing, but fortunately for him, unlike hill, he actually is smart, runs a team well and can shoot it too.

yes, those guys have played a combine 6 games and they both look better at running an offense and distributing than kasey hill. forget the comp, watch how they make plays, move the ball, read and manipulate the defense. i saw all 3 in HS. mitchell kinda fell off in the rankings because of injury and got lost in the mix at oak hill, but his floor game and vision have always been top notch. baldwin was visible because of his teammate KAT at st joe's, but his all-around game and athleticism were on full display too if you tuned in, even just to watch KAT. both these kids have mature games beyond their years. both having a better handle for smart point play than hill, who even at montverde never looked that great in terms of running the show.

gopack10
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Have you ever met Kasey Hill?

Have you ever met Kasey Hill? Ever talked to him? Did you watch him last season? He is smart and he does know how to run an offense. He's struggling right now because he's pressing. He's taking poor shots and trying to do too much.

He's not #2 for no reason. He's #2 because all of a weak overall PG class in the SEC this season.

He measured at 6'1 and he's closer to 180 at the moment. And you, yourself said he has average wing span. Go look up the word "tiny" in the dictionary. Put that definition into the context of a point guard and you'll see that he's not "tiny". He needs to add weight yes, but like I said before, so do most sophomores. If Hill is "tiny" then what does that make Ulis who is four inches shorter? Miniscule?

The Vandy guards have played three games a piece and struggled at times in those games. You can't forget the compeition because that plays a major role in evaluating a player especially at the point guard position. I'll use an average college player for this example. If Cat Barber was playing for a DII school his numbers would be ridiculous. He would lead the nation in points and assists. He would look like an unbelievable floor general as he wouldn't be going up against anyone who could really challenge him. Would that make him a top five pick? No, because he hasn't played against the type of talent that he'll see at the next level.

In one comment you tell me to stop looking at high school rankings but then start using high school stats and examples to try and make your point. You can't have it both ways. Either we use high school as a basis or we don't. I mean Tyler Lewis looked unreal in high school. He was one of the best point guards in high school and was the floor general and ran the offense for the top high school team in the country. When he got to college he struggled mightily so what a player did in high school doesn't tell the whole story.

I've seen Hill play in close to 30+ games at the collegiate level a majority of them against superior competition. The other two, 3 and against inferior competition. When making the comparison on a body of work, I'll stick with the former rather than the latter especially considering the sample size.

Hill has his weaknesses no doubt, in particular his shot and I said as much earlier.

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i don't need to meet him to

i don't need to meet him to know he doesn't run an offense well and struggles with decision making. you say he's smart, but then describe him pressing and taking poor shots. ok.

6' nothing PGs need MORE than an average wingspan for their height to make up for their lack of size. for his height, that's average. for the position that's below average. he has the quickness to turn the corner and he has rise. he's athletic, but struggles to finish because of his size. he is weak in traffic. BOTH he and ulis are tiny, but ulis has better skills and intangibles to make up for his lack of size. kasey doesn't.

struggled at times? their bball IQ's lap kasey hill's and they're years younger than he is. they're way more advanced than kasey was at a similar age, which would be what, kasey's junior year in HS?

i don't care for cat barber either as an NBA pg prospect. as far as IQ goes, i think he and kasey are pretty close to being in the same boat.

what HS stats did i quote? go ahead.

lewis was never a legitimate pro prospect given his athletic and physical qualities. you have to look at the entire package and he's sorely lacking from a physical standpoint.

so you've seen that many of hill's games and you're still high on him enough to rated the #2 PG prospect in the SEC? what body of work? he sucked last yr and has been trash this yr. his college body of work says that he sucks, yet, he's still #2? yep, that makes sense.

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So, basically if a player

So, basically if a player presses during his first few starts and struggles with decision making then he's not smart? I don't know that I've ever watched a player for an extended period of time where that player didn't press at some point and make poor decisions. I've seen Jeff Teague do it in Atlanta. So by your logic he isn't smart. Marcus Paige had multiple game stretches during his freshman season where he looked that way. So he isn't smart either I guess? Players press. They make poor decisions. It happens. Doesn't mean they aren't smart or that they won't work through it.

Again, I'm not arguing that Hill doesn't need to put on weight. I said that earlier. What he is NOT is what you described him as in your first post. To call him "tiny" makes you sound ridiculous. Especially when he's 6'1 and has what we can agree on as average wingspan. His problem with finishing is that he can't take any kind of contact, thus the need to add more weight.

And yes, both Vandy PG's struggled at times during their first few games. And I'd love to know how you can start getting a good feel for their IQ's in only a few games in college. And don't bring up what they did in high school either, which is where you've tried to make your points. You don't me to stop looking at high school so I don't want to know what they did in high school.

This is an excerpt from your first post...

"saw all 3 in HS. mitchell kinda fell off in the rankings because of injury and got lost in the mix at oak hill, but his floor game and vision have always been top notch. baldwin was visible because of his teammate KAT at st joe's, but his all-around game and athleticism were on full display too if you tuned in, even just to watch KAT. both these kids have mature games beyond their years. both having a better handle for smart point play than hill, who even at montverde never looked that great in terms of running the show."

That entire post is about what they did in high school. So there's your example. It's either we use high school information or we don't. Judging by your first post where you told me to stop looking at high school rankings I'll take it as you don't want to. So that makes this entire post mean nothing.

And my examples of Lewis and Barber weren't to get your assessment of their pro prospects. You clearly didn't read what I was saying. My Barber example was to your point of the competition doesn't matter when it really does. My Lewis example was to show you how what player did in high school doesn't always translate. That was in response to your paragraph that I referenced above where all you did was talk about how great they were in high school Go back and read both examples again.

And I really don't want to have to explain my reasoning for having Hill at #2 again but I will. The current crop of SEC point guards is weak. I compared them all based on what I've seen out of them thus far in their college careers. I've seen the Vandy guards play three games. I've seen Hill play close to 40. The on argument you could make is why Harrison is behind Hill and I'd be fine with that one as I struggled with where to put those two. They could be 2a and 2b in this ranking.

As I see more of the Vandy guards then this list is subject to change. As with any list of this nature that is put together. They are always changing.

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no, he's not smart because he

no, he's not smart because he sucks at running an offense. just watch him and see how many times he has to reset. dribble, dribble, back out, reset. there goes 5+ seconds off the clock. watch how slow he is to make simple decisions. slow to get his team into sets. then there's his shot selection and picking his spots. i've seen plenty of smart PGs, kasey isn't one of them. he didn't give me that impression when i saw him in HS and he doesn't give me that impression now. he's tentative and indecisive.

he is tiny. 6' nothing in shoes less than a 180, 6'4 wingspan with a sub 8 standing reach. that is small, even by PG standards, especially for someone who specializes in slashing. if that's his greatest quality as a PG (which i think it is) then he'll be useless at the next level. if he struggles with contact at the college level, it'll be even worse in the pros. small, quick, weak PGs with shaky jumpers who aren't great floor generals are a dime a dozen. i don't see anything in his game that would separate him from that large pack.

uh, by watching them play? watching how quick their decision making is. how they distribute the ball and manipulate the defense with their use of fakes and looks offs. the pace at which they play at (ie do they play at the proper pace to make decisions on the move and allow plays to develop). the timing of their passes. at the college level, how many times they shift the zone, collapse and hit the back side. how well they communicate, organize and direct traffic. how well they take care of the ball. their A/T ratio, etc.

where did i say anything about HS stats again? oh, right. i didn't. i described attributes, the same attributes i see that they have vs higher level of competition. we are analyzing players right? that's usually what people look at when they do.

your explanation sucks. body of work? ok. his body of work at the college level isn't good.

don't worry. i'm done responding and i'm done reading your blog posts too. peace

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Ok, let me try this one more

Ok, let me try this one more time...

First, if he wasn't smart and couldn't run an offense then he wouldn't have been the recruit that he was and he wouldn't be starting for Billy Donovan. He wouldn't even have a scholarship if he couldn't do any of those things and sucked as bad as you say he does. I'll trust Billy Donovan's assessment of him more than yours if you don't mind. He and his assistants have a little more knowledge than you do about what Kasey Hill can do.

And you don't seem to get the fact that I've never argued that he wasn't undersized especially regarding his overall weight. I'm arguing against your point that he's "tiny". That is in no way true and none of your stats back that up.

I showed you exacly where you brought up what they did in high school. You admitted it yourself that you described attributes. Attributes that you saw in high school.

And I'm really concerned with what games you were watching from your two Vandy PG's. I've watched those same games and there is no way you could have gotten that assessment from those games because in no way did they look that good during those first three games.

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