The SEC opened the season with five teams ranked in the top 25. Coach Cal and Kentucky are ranked 10th to begin the season, and are the highest ranked school in the conference. Oscar Tshibwe is the best rebounder in the country, and is absolutely relentless on the glass. The Wildcats did great with transfers, adding sharpshooter Kellan Grady from Davidson, Sahvir Wheeler from Georgia, and CJ Fredrick from Iowa who will miss the season with an injury. They also did great recruiting, adding three of the top 20 players in the class. TyTy Washington (pictured) and Daimon Collins were both five stars, and will have huge roles this season. Five-star shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe was ranked third in the country but it’s up in the air if he will play this season as he will graduate early and enroll in January.
Alabama opens the season at 14, and despite losing John Petty, they will rely on their backcourt, which is stacked with talent. Javon Quinerly is a former five star, and has the chance to show how good he is in a leading role this year. Keon Ellis is another guard that can rebound well and put-up decent shooting splits in limited minutes last year. Look for Ellis to explode on the scene this year as a full-time starter playing 30 minutes per game. Jaden Shackelford is a knockdown outside shooter, shooting 35% from deep in his two seasons at Bama. The Junior averages almost seven attempts per game and shoots a very respectable percentage. Look for this team to make some noise and to be in prime position in the standing come seasons end. And coming off the bench is flamboyant five star guard JD Davison.
Arkansas is another team to look out for. Losing Mosses Moody is a huge hit to this team, but they hit the transfer portal hard and added some guys to make another run this season. Adding in Au’Diese Toney from Pittsburgh who can really shoot the ball, as well as Chris Lykes from Miami. Lykes can be a true difference maker on this team, as he can score from anywhere on the court, and is as knockdown from deep as anybody in the Country. He shot 45% from deep last season on over 5 attempts per game, after shooting 38% the season before. JD Notae will be the number one option on this team, as he is now in his second season at Arkansas. Notae has been a consistent scorer since his freshman year at Jacksonville, and has averaged almost 15 points per game for his career.
Florida is a sneaky team to watch, as they open the season unranked. They have a lot of talent though with numerous guys that can really score the ball. Colin Castleton will be the big name on the team, as the senior is now in his second season with the Gators after transferring from Michigan. At 6’11”, Castleton is a very solid rebounder as well as a very efficient scorer around the rim. Since coming to Florida, he has been given more minutes, and has established himself as an incredible shot blocker, averaging over 2 per game last season. Anthony Duruji is another second year player since transferring from Louisiana Tech. The 6’7” explosive forward can score from all three levels and rebounds very well. Myreon Jones is another great addition to this team, as the Penn State transfer is a great shooter. For his career, he’s a 37% shooter from deep, and averaged over 13 points per game the past two seasons. Look for this team to surprise and make some noise all season.
Top 5 SEC Prospects
1. Jabari Smith PF, Auburn
The number one recruit in the SEC was ranked seventh in the class. Smith stands at 6’10” 210 and is a true force on the court. For his height, he is very athletic and moves well. He is a pesky defender who causes turnovers and also possesses a very sweet shot and consistent stroke from deep. Look for the freshman to play big minutes on a competitive team and secure himself as an early lottery pick.
2. TyTy Washington PG, Kentucky
TyTy can be very special this year on this Wildcats team. Hes not afraid to shoot the ball and that might be his biggest red flag. His shot selection can sometimes be questionable, but outside of that, he has a very high ceiling. Washington rebounds well for a guard and is a solid playmaker with the ball in his hands. If he is a willing passer and takes good shots consistently, he will put up numbers and be a first rounder.
3. Kennedy Chandler PG, Tennessee
Chandler is also a top ten recruit, joining a very solid Tennessee team. He is a true point guard with great court vision, top notch passing abilities, and incredible speed. Chandler will play a huge roll on this team and put up very good numbers. He could very well be the first SEC player taken in the draft. His decision making is very good and he can consistently score from all three levels.
4. JD Davison SG/PG, Alabama
Davison is as freaky an athlete as you will find on the college level. he plays with a lot of flare and could be a one and done first rounder if his skill level and consistency come around, At this point he struggles with decision making and outside shooting. If he buys into coaching at Alabama and develops, he can become a tremendous player at Alabama, but it may take some patience for fans and the team.
5. Jahvon Quinerly PG, Alabama
Quinerly is very talented and while everybody is on freshman JD Davison as he is a five-star recruit, this team will get carried by the back court. Quinerly can score from all three levels and is a solid passer. If he becomes more of a willing passer and solidifies himself as a true point guard option with his scoring abilities, he will be selected in the draft. With the players on this team, I expect Quinerly to increase his assist numbers while taking another huge leap forward like he did last season. It didn’t work out at Villanova, but he has made the most out of his opportunity with the Tide.
8. Mississippi State
9. Ole Miss
11. South Carolina
12. Texas A&M