Player of the Week
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia
The former McDonald’s All-American led the previously 1-7 Bulldogs to a pair of impressive conference victories this week. He scored 18 points in a home route of Arkansas, connecting on 6/10 from the field and 3/6 from distance while also adding 3 steals. In a shocking OT road win at #18 Mississippi State, Caldwell-Pope went for 20 points on 6 made three-pointers, 8 rebounds and 3 assists (zero turnovers) in 40 treacherous minutes. He’s been asked to carry the scoring load on a deprived roster, and currently leads all SEC freshmen with 14.5 PPG and ranks 3rd amongst all conference performers with 57 made threes. Ironically he’s shooting 51% on two-point attempts yet is firing up 7 treys per game. His shot distribution will only improve with experience. Standing at 6’5 (still growing) with a pure stroke and true scorer’s mentality, look for Caldwell-Pope to rise from his current #24 slot in our 2013 mock draft.
UK’s backcourt has been inconsistent for much of the season, but they stepped up big against the elite of the SEC. Lamb averaged 17 points in the two victories over Florida and Vanderbilt, knocking down 12/21 shots and 6/12 threes. He finally turned up the aggression meter against the Commodores, attempting a team-high 13 field goals (highest in a game since December 17th versus UT Chattanooga). Teague recorded his first career double-double vs. Florida with 12 points and 10 assists (5 turnovers). He followed up that effort with 13 and 8, committing just one turnover in a challenging road environment. A comfortable Teague running the show makes UK a clear front runner to cut down the nets. He’s penetrating to create, not necessarily to score.
Dee Bost, Mississippi State
Seemingly content to play in pass-first mode for the better part of two weeks, Bost dished out a career best 13 assists in a home W over Mississippi. He also scored 15 points on 9 shot attempts, converted on 3 trifecta’s and swiped 3 steals. He was forced back into score-first mode versus Georgia, finishing with 21 points on 17 FG attempts (10 3PTA) and 4 assists in a losing effort. His reliance on low percentage distance shots is nothing new, but it’s hard to criticize a winning (19-6) formula. Upcoming road games at LSU and at Auburn, both highly winnable, could have a major impact on the Bulldogs seed line come March Madness.
Erving Walker, Florida
Over his last two games Walker has 9 total points (shutout against Kentucky), 4/16 FG, 1/10 3PT and 3 assists against 4 turnovers. His assist: turnover ratio is a pristine 2.33 on the year, so this short stint of poor game management is likely an anomaly. His inability to score inside the three-point line, however, is not.
Rickey Scott, Arkansas
Scott was ineffective in limited court time this week. He went 0/3 from the field with 2 points at Georgia (16 minutes), and 0/4 with a big goose egg versus South Carolina (11 minutes). Scott has had an eye catching sophomore campaign and averages 10 points in 26 minutes on the year. What gives with the sudden diminished PT? He had played 37, 32 and 32 minutes in the three prior contests.
Fighting for Seeding:
Florida- 19-6 (7-3) 26 RPI 56 SOS Key games remaining @ALA, @ARK, @VAN and vs. KEN
Vanderbilt- 17-8 (6-4) 29 RPI 5 SOS Key games remaining @MISS, @KEN and vs. FLA
Mississippi State- 19-6 (6-4) 44 RPI 72 SOS Key games remaining @LSU, vs. KEN and @ALA
Alabama- 16-8 (5-5) 32 RPI 22 SOS Key games remaining vs. FLA, @ARK, vs. Miss St. and @MISS
*Length of suspensions could impact team’s standing in eyes of committee
On the Bubble:
Mississippi- 15-9 (5-5)50 RPI 49 SOS 4-8 Road/Neutral
Arkansas- 17-8 (5-5) 69 RPI 78 SOS 0-7 Road/Neutral
LSU- 14-10 (4-6) 75 RPI 47 SOS 5-7 Road/Neutral
-On the heels of Tony Mitchell’s suspension early last week, Alabama head coach Anthony Grant announced suspensions for JaMychal Green, Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele. Freshman Rodney Cooper exploded for 28 points on Saturday, but the Tide can’t survive long without their three leaders.
-Florida will be without forward Will Yeguete (concussion) and guard Mike Rosario (hip pointer) on Monday night at Alabama. The Gators are coming off back to back defeats at Kentucky and a crippling home loss to Tennessee.
-Tennessee has won three straight behind 16 points, 5 assists and 4 boards per game from Trae Golden. The Vols have stormed back to the .500 mark in conference play.