My weekly SEC Power Rankings (1/13/20): Auburn and Kentucky remain 1-2 in this this third edition, while Arkansas holds down its tie for 3rd-place, although LSU moves up in place of Florida to join the Hogs … SEC now has four Top 30 teams in the NCAA NET: Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky, and LSU.
1. Auburn (15-0, 3-0 SEC) … No. 6 NCAA NET … The Tigers swept a two-game home stand last week with wins over Vanderbilt and by 22 points against an improved Georgia squad … Auburn has not played a ranked team this season, but the Tigers are athletic, talented, deep, and they possess versatility in their personnel / rotation options … Auburn has a couple of road league games this week — at rival Alabama on Wednesday and at Florida on Saturday … previous ranking:No. 1.
2. Kentucky (12-3, 3-0 SEC) … No. 26 NCAA NET … the ‘Cats won by 9 points twice last week — 78-69 at Georgia, then 76-67 against visiting Alabama … 6th man Immanuel Quickley averaged 17.0 points while making a combined 8-of-9 from 3 in those games to earn SEC Player of the Week honors … Kentucky is on the road for both league games this week as the ‘Cats play at South Carolina on Wednesday and at Arkansas on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 2.
tie 3. Arkansas (13-2, 2-1 SEC) … No. 24 NCAA NET … nothing comes easy for the Razorbacks, who earned a road split last week in close-call games against LSU and Ole Miss … Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe continue to make cases for All SEC, and Joe scored a career-high-matching 34 points in the comeback win over Ole Miss … league games this week are both at home — Vanderbilt on Wednesday and a huge matchup against Kentucky on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 3.
tie 3. LSU (11-4, 3-0 SEC) … No. 28 NCAA NET … the defending SEC champs went 16-2 in league play a season ago, and they’re off to a perfect start through three games after two home wins last week by a combined 3 points over Arkansas (79-77) and Mississippi State (60-59) … senior guard Skylar Mays continues to be the heart-and-soul of the team as he averaged 15.0 points in those wins … league games this week are on the road against Texas A&M on Tuesday and against Ole Miss on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 5.
5. Florida (10-5, 2-1 SEC) … No. 53 NCAA NET … the Gators split road games last week, defeating South Carolina, 81-68, before losing to Missouri, 91-75 … it was the second time in three SEC games that Florida has given up 90-plus points … Florida’s roster is loaded with versatile talent, so it’s a bit puzzling that the team continues to struggle now midway through the season … league games this week are both at home — Tuesday against Ole Miss and a high-profile matchup against Auburn on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 3.
6. Tennessee (10-5, 2-1 SEC) … No. 70 NCAA NET … the Vols had lost 5 of their last 8 games before snapping back for a two-game winning streak last week — 69-59 at Missouri and 56-55 at home against South Carolina … in his three games since joining the team, freshman Santiago Vescovi of Uruguay is averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists … league games this week are both on the road — Wednesday at Georgia and Saturday at Vanderbilt … previous ranking: tie No. 7.
7. Alabama (8-7, 1-2 SEC) … No. 61 NCAA NET … the Tide rolled Mississippi State, 90-69, at home in a mid-week game before losing at Kentucky, 76-67, on Saturday … Kira Lewis and John Petty, Jr., combined for 61 points, 29 rebounds, and 12 assists in the two contests … league games this week are at home against rival Auburn on Wednesday and Missouri on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 7.
8. Georgia (10-5, 0-2 SEC) … No. 54 NCAA NET … hard to properly guage this Bulldogs team following three straight games against ranked teams — an upset win at then-No. 9 Memphis on Jan. 4 followed by a 78-69 home loss against then-No. 14 Kentucky and an 82-60 road beatdown at the hands of then-No. 5 Auburn … freshman sensation Anthony Edwards is Top 3 in the SEC in scoring at nearly 19 points per outing … league games this week are home against Tennessee on Wednesday and on the road against MIssissippi State on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 10.
9. Mississippi State (9-6, 0-3 SEC) … No. 80 NCAA NET … the Bulldogs narrowly missed a road win at league-unbeaten LSU, falling 60-59 on Saturday following a mid-week wash-out at Alabama, 90-69 … MSU’s three league opponents to date are a combined 7-2 in the SEC … league games this week are both at home — Missouri on Tuesday and Georgia on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 6.
tie 10. Missouri (9-6, 1-2 SEC) … No. 57 NCAA NET … the Tigers earned a split last week, losing 69-59 at home against Tennessee before blasting Florida 91-75 in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday … the Smiths (three starters share that last name — Mark, Dru, and Arkansas native Mitchell) combined for 46 points as Mizzou shot 12-of-19 from 3 (63.2%) in the win over Florida … league games this week are both on the road — at Mississippi State on Tuesday and at Alabama on Saturday … previous ranking:tie No. 10.
tie 10. Texas A&M (8-6, 2-1 SEC) … No. 118 NCAA NET … the Aggies defeated Ole Miss at home by 10 points and Vanderbilt on the road by 19 points, and A&M has now won 5 of its last 6 games with its only loss in that stretch being the SEC opener at Arkansas on Jan. 4 … senior big man Josh Nebo has been a force inside, and the Aggies have one of the stingiest defenses around … league games this week are both at home — LSU on Tuesday and South Carolina on Saturday …previous ranking: No. 14.
12. Ole Miss (9-6, 0-2 SEC) … No. 98 NCAA NET … the Rebels are on a 3-game losing streak after losing league games at Texas A&M and home against Arkansas … veteran guards Breein Tyree and Davontae Shuler have been really good, but the team has been wildly inconsistent everywhere else … league games this week are at Florida on Tuesday and home against LSU on Saturday …previous ranking: tie 10.
13. South Carolina (8-7, 0-2 SEC) … No. 125 NCAA NET … the Gamecocks lost by 13 points at home against Florida before barely missing on an upset at Tennessee, 56-55, on Saturday … senior big man Maik Kotsar — it seems like he’s been a Gamecock forever — averaged 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds last week … league games this week are home against Kentucky on Wednesday and on the road against Texas A&M on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 12.
14. Vanderbilt (8-7, 0-2 SEC) … No. 133 NCAA NET … the ‘Dores lost at at Auburn, 83-79, in the mid-week, but more importantly the team lost SEC leading scorer Aaron Nesmith, whose season is likely over due to a right foot injury … without Nesmith, Vandy lost by 19 points at home against Texas A&M on Saturday … league games this week are at Arkansas on Wednesday and home against Tennessee on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 13.