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FrozenLVFan



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PostPosted: 12/22/19 4:54 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

To be fair, the top of the SEC is less stellar than other years and there's a big clump of teams right at the bottom, so I think that overall the distance between #1 and #14 is less than usual. Parity?


summertime blues



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PostPosted: 01/03/20 11:05 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I watched the SEC whiparound last night. Looks like Vandy may at last be rising out of the doldrums, but good grief, Auburn looked terrible! How much longer for Coach Flo, really?



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PostPosted: 01/10/20 3:05 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Vandy took down Georgia on the road more easily than Mississippi State took down the Athenians just this past weekend. Coach White is cobbling some pieces together to improve on last season.

Auburn is TERRI-ble hosting and losing to Florida By 20 points. Is her seat getting hot?

Missouri came back to make it respectable in the second half against MS State. Franks and Blackwell both look to be good ones going forward for the Tigers.



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PostPosted: 01/29/20 11:28 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

7 games through the conference slate, the freshman class for USC is proving its high accolades to be legit, as two freshman Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston are leading the team in scoring against conference opponents - Cooke at 15.6 ppg and Boston as 15.1 ppg. Boston is also improving substantially as a rebounder, averaging 11.3 boards per SEC game, but her shot-blocking has declined a bit. She is however fouling less in conference play, which is a good sign that she's learning, as I expected that to be a possible issue for her once the physical league play began. Fellow freshman and starter Brea Beal has been struggling with her 3-pt and FT shooting - overall she has been improving - and has only averaged 5.7 ppg in SEC play (6.6 overall), but she's pulled down 6.6 boards per SEC gm, and is leading the team in steals in SEC play with 1.7 per game.

Harris and Herbert-Harrigan are still very strong as the lone senior mentors. Harris is leading the league in assists per game, with 5.2 overall, while Herbert-Harrigan is averaging 52% from the field, 64% from the 3-pt. line, and 87% from the FT line. The team has been improving in FG %, 3-pt FG %, and FT % as the season has progressed, despite now playing in the tougher portion of the schedule.

What I like and what I think is a major factor in USC's success thus far, is the contributions off of the bench by its reserves: sophomore Victaria Saxton, junior Lele Grissett, and freshman Laeticia Amihere are combining to shoot 45-80 (56.3%) off the bench in the 7 SEC games thus far, contributing a combined 130 pts (18.6/gm), 81 rebounds (11.6/gm), and 21 blocks (3.0/gm) in those games, and soph. G Destanni Henderson is contributing 7.6 ppg and 3.4 apg as well.

This is a big lacking ingredient in past Dawn Staley teams, not counting the 2013-14 & 2014-15 teams that had Alaina Coates and A'ja Wilson coming into games off the bench. There hasn't been a lot of bench contributions over the seasons to help the starting units, but this season through 20 games South Carolina has gotten 26.4 ppg overall, and 26.9 ppg through 7 SEC gms.

That's around what the team's bench produced last season and reached the sweet sixteen of the NCAAT and finished 23-10, but that team struggled to find a starting unit all season - no Gamecock started the entire season start to finish, and only Alexis Jennings started all 16 SEC gms. 7 players started no fewer than 9 gms. So I picked the top 5 starters in started gms, and the rest accounted for 26.7 ppg contribution. But because of the unit rotations, that means that starters only averaged 48.6 ppg, which is the least amount that the starters averaged since the 2014-15 season.

That 2014-15 season reached the Final Four and was 1 point shy of playing for it all. But that team featured a freshman Wilson and sophomore Coates as a Dynamic Duo coming off of the bench, while regular starters Khadijah Sessions and Asia Dozier were not offensive contributors at all. So the starting 5 averaged 38.1 ppg that season, while the Wilson-Coates bench averaged 37.8 ppg. Pretty decent balance.

The 2016-17 national championship team had a great scoring group of starters in Wilson, Coates, Kaela Davis, and Alisha Gray. Freshman Harris earned the starter's role at PG over Bianca Cuevas-Moore, but even in this case, Harris started 27 of the 37 gms, but Cuevas-Moore started 19 gms - the other 10 that Harris didn't start, plus most of the games Coates was out of after she was lost to season-ending injury. Still, Cuevas-Moore averaged more points overall than Harris did, so putting Cuevas-Moore as a "reserve" does not hurt the reserve's numbers, but helps it.

But the bench in 2016-17 averaged only 18.1 ppg, compared to the starters averaging 58.2 ppg. That was by far the most points the average starting 5 averaged per game in any season coached by Dawn Staley.

Until now. Despite there being three true freshman starting as part of the starting 5, Coach Staley has settled on a unit to start the season, and all 5 players have started every single game played. The starting five have averaged 57.4 ppg for the season overall, and have turned it up a notch, averaging 62.1 ppg through 7 SEC gms played. The next game against Mississippi is likely to not stop that upward climb in scoring, either.

So it's a case of the starting 5 averaging as much if not more than the best starting unit before under Staley (the 2016-17 NC team), while the bench is also scoring as much as any past bench, save the 2014-15 bench featuring the Dynamic Duo. This team still is considered young on paper, but those youngsters have not backed down nor hesitated at all this season, but actually are stepping forwards and leading the way more so with every passing game played. It will be very interesting to watch how it all plays out.


Conway Gamecock



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PostPosted: 01/29/20 11:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The SEC team that has most surprised me thus far has been Tennessee. They started the season with some wins, and returning into the top 25 rankings, but their schedule strength was very weak, and they had no wins of quality to show for their efforts.

But the team has recently been showing that it's improving in many areas, and has continued to win even as the tougher SEC schedule has begun. They are nestled securely in 2nd place in the league standings at 6-1, along with Mississippi State, with their first Q1-rated win over LSU, plus their first 2 Q2-rated wins over Georgia and Alabama, around a competitive loss to Connecticut that could have been a solid win had the Lady Vols not turned the ball over so much.

All this has catapulted the Vols into Q2-level RPI rating, with an RPI of 51. That's only 1 point outside of being Q1 level.

But now, comes the ominous organ music:

Tennessee next plays at Vanderbilt this Thursday, and while the Commodores were having a resurgent season, they have fallen to injury attrition that has cut deep into their bench depth, and it all seems to be falling apart. But this is an in-state rivalry, so all bets are off the table.

After Vanderbilt, the gauntlet commences: @ USC, Miss. St., @ LSU (UT won the 1st game at home by 5 pts), Texas A&M, @ Arkansas, and home for Vanderbilt again. That's as tough a stretch of games as any could claim, coming off games vs CT and LSU already. So this may make or break UT's season overall, from being a return to relevancy, or being a team that once again struggles with mediocrity...


summertime blues



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PostPosted: 01/29/20 12:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Conway Gamecock wrote:
The SEC team that has most surprised me thus far has been Tennessee. They started the season with some wins, and returning into the top 25 rankings, but their schedule strength was very weak, and they had no wins of quality to show for their efforts.

But the team has recently been showing that it's improving in many areas, and has continued to win even as the tougher SEC schedule has begun. They are nestled securely in 2nd place in the league standings at 6-1, along with Mississippi State, with their first Q1-rated win over LSU, plus their first 2 Q2-rated wins over Georgia and Alabama, around a competitive loss to Connecticut that could have been a solid win had the Lady Vols not turned the ball over so much.

All this has catapulted the Vols into Q2-level RPI rating, with an RPI of 51. That's only 1 point outside of being Q1 level.

But now, comes the ominous organ music:

Tennessee next plays at Vanderbilt this Thursday, and while the Commodores were having a resurgent season, they have fallen to injury attrition that has cut deep into their bench depth, and it all seems to be falling apart. But this is an in-state rivalry, so all bets are off the table.

After Vanderbilt, the gauntlet commences: @ USC, Miss. St., @ LSU (UT won the 1st game at home by 5 pts), Texas A&M, @ Arkansas, and home for Vanderbilt again. That's as tough a stretch of games as any could claim, coming off games vs CT and LSU already. So this may make or break UT's season overall, from being a return to relevancy, or being a team that once again struggles with mediocrity...


As I have said before, Kellie can't fix everything that was wrong with this team in 6 months, or even in a year. It's going to take a little longer than that, and some more recruiting. Some things may be beyond fixing....for instance, I don't know if anyone can fix KK's bad hands. The younger kids who turn the ball over too much can still learn how not to. KK is a junior. But good lord, man, they've come a long way already, and you're ready to consign them to irrelevancy if they don't somehow finish strong THIS SEASON? Be real, please.



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linkster



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PostPosted: 01/29/20 1:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

summertime blues wrote:
Conway Gamecock wrote:
The SEC team that has most surprised me thus far has been Tennessee. They started the season with some wins, and returning into the top 25 rankings, but their schedule strength was very weak, and they had no wins of quality to show for their efforts.

But the team has recently been showing that it's improving in many areas, and has continued to win even as the tougher SEC schedule has begun. They are nestled securely in 2nd place in the league standings at 6-1, along with Mississippi State, with their first Q1-rated win over LSU, plus their first 2 Q2-rated wins over Georgia and Alabama, around a competitive loss to Connecticut that could have been a solid win had the Lady Vols not turned the ball over so much.

All this has catapulted the Vols into Q2-level RPI rating, with an RPI of 51. That's only 1 point outside of being Q1 level.

But now, comes the ominous organ music:

Tennessee next plays at Vanderbilt this Thursday, and while the Commodores were having a resurgent season, they have fallen to injury attrition that has cut deep into their bench depth, and it all seems to be falling apart. But this is an in-state rivalry, so all bets are off the table.

After Vanderbilt, the gauntlet commences: @ USC, Miss. St., @ LSU (UT won the 1st game at home by 5 pts), Texas A&M, @ Arkansas, and home for Vanderbilt again. That's as tough a stretch of games as any could claim, coming off games vs CT and LSU already. So this may make or break UT's season overall, from being a return to relevancy, or being a team that once again struggles with mediocrity...


As I have said before, Kellie can't fix everything that was wrong with this team in 6 months, or even in a year. It's going to take a little longer than that, and some more recruiting. Some things may be beyond fixing....for instance, I don't know if anyone can fix KK's bad hands. The younger kids who turn the ball over too much can still learn how not to. KK is a junior. But good lord, man, they've come a long way already, and you're ready to consign them to irrelevancy if they don't somehow finish strong THIS SEASON? Be real, please.


Yes they have come a long way from last season but that was a very low bar to get over. Holly's history also includes seasons much like this one. To me, relevancy means being seeded in the top 16, or even top 12. I witnessed the UConn game in person and the Vols played like someone rubbed Novacaine into their hands. While their size and physicality dominate weaker teams, right now they have no chance playing a 1-3 seed as a visiting team.
Is it just coincidence that the fall of both Tenn and Rutgers coincided with the rule changes that no longer allowed hand checking?


Conway Gamecock



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PostPosted: 01/29/20 2:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

summertime blues wrote:
Conway Gamecock wrote:
The SEC team that has most surprised me thus far has been Tennessee. They started the season with some wins, and returning into the top 25 rankings, but their schedule strength was very weak, and they had no wins of quality to show for their efforts.

But the team has recently been showing that it's improving in many areas, and has continued to win even as the tougher SEC schedule has begun. They are nestled securely in 2nd place in the league standings at 6-1, along with Mississippi State, with their first Q1-rated win over LSU, plus their first 2 Q2-rated wins over Georgia and Alabama, around a competitive loss to Connecticut that could have been a solid win had the Lady Vols not turned the ball over so much.

All this has catapulted the Vols into Q2-level RPI rating, with an RPI of 51. That's only 1 point outside of being Q1 level.

But now, comes the ominous organ music:

Tennessee next plays at Vanderbilt this Thursday, and while the Commodores were having a resurgent season, they have fallen to injury attrition that has cut deep into their bench depth, and it all seems to be falling apart. But this is an in-state rivalry, so all bets are off the table.

After Vanderbilt, the gauntlet commences: @ USC, Miss. St., @ LSU (UT won the 1st game at home by 5 pts), Texas A&M, @ Arkansas, and home for Vanderbilt again. That's as tough a stretch of games as any could claim, coming off games vs CT and LSU already. So this may make or break UT's season overall, from being a return to relevancy, or being a team that once again struggles with mediocrity...


As I have said before, Kellie can't fix everything that was wrong with this team in 6 months, or even in a year. It's going to take a little longer than that, and some more recruiting. Some things may be beyond fixing....for instance, I don't know if anyone can fix KK's bad hands. The younger kids who turn the ball over too much can still learn how not to. KK is a junior. But good lord, man, they've come a long way already, and you're ready to consign them to irrelevancy if they don't somehow finish strong THIS SEASON? Be real, please.


So I guess I should apologize for saying that I consider Tennessee the most surprising team - in a positive manner - in the SEC this season? OK, I guess. Tennessee went 19-13, 7-9 last season under Warlick, and 86-47, 36-28 over her last 4 seasons at UT. That's a per-season average of 21.5-11.8, 9-7. For most Lady Vol fans, that's mediocrity.

Tennessee is currently 16-4, 6-1. Their SOS to this point has been outside of the top 130, even with Texas, Stanford, Kentucky, Connecticut, and LSU. All teams with SOSs as well as RPIs in the top 50. They went 1-4 against them. The above teams I mentioned, only Arkansas's SOS is outside of the top 50, but they are a very strong perimeter offensive team that could run away with the game against UT. And as I stated Vanderbilt is not a certain loss.

I certainly understand that with every new coaching staff there's a bit of a reset made with every program. What takes place this first season under Harper will not ultimately decide what kind of head coach she is for the Lady Vols. I was just making observations about this season alone - but I say again that Tennessee has surprised me positively (for UT), and I doubt I will apologize for saying that....

As for KK's issues with hanging onto the ball and catching balls passed to her - and I am not joking at all here - but maybe the coaching staff should consult with UT's WR coach from their FB program. WRs have all kinds of pass-catching drills they run in the off-season, to help them improve on their pass-catching skills. For instance, standing with their backs to the ball passer, and have them turn around right when the ball is passed to them, so that they have to react quickly and see the ball, then catch the ball as it's heading their way. Just get someone to have games of "pepper" - like they have for baseball/softball - but in this case with a basketball, where someone passes the ball back and forth quickly to Kushkituah, in drills every day. There's got to be a way to improve on that, but since KK is a junior, time is against her....


summertime blues



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PostPosted: 01/29/20 3:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My observation is that KK catches the ball all right, but has problems in the seconds when she's deciding what to do with it next. Not something a WR drill would fix easily.



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Conway Gamecock



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PostPosted: 01/30/20 3:03 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

summertime blues wrote:
My observation is that KK catches the ball all right, but has problems in the seconds when she's deciding what to do with it next. Not something a WR drill would fix easily.


Oh...well, that falls squarely on the WBB coaching staff's responsibilities, and I'm surprised KK hasn't at least developed some basic ball skills during her high school and Holly Warlick years, to rely on...


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PostPosted: 02/05/20 10:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

LSU's Ayana Mitchell is done for the season



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Conway Gamecock



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PostPosted: 02/06/20 3:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
LSU's Ayana Mitchell is done for the season


Huge loss for LSU. They still have Pointer for scoring and Aifuwa for rebounding, but a team that was thin on offensive production just got a lot thinner. Other players will need to step up for the rest of the season....


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PostPosted: 02/18/20 7:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

With #5/6 Mississippi State's loss to #18/19 Kentucky, it gives a bit of breathing room to South Carolina perhaps winning the SEC regular season title out-right, but the road is not totally clear.

At 12-0, the Magic Number is now 3 - the Gamecocks need to go 3-1 over their final 4 games of the regular season - all SEC gms - and finish 15-1 in the SEC, to win the SEC title out-right. It's only 2 - going 2-2 down the stretch - to guarantee them at least a share of the title with Mississippi State, who at 10-2 needs to win out to match that conference record.

The next SEC teams in line - Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and LSU, or the Fab Four - are all on the outside looking in with 4 losses each, but they are not out of it yet. They would however require that USC goes 0-4 the rest of the way, and MSU goes 2-2 themselves, and they each win out for all to finish 12-4 on the season.

Then it would be a first-ever six-way tie for SEC Co-Champions. Very Happy

Miss. State has the easiest row to hoe between them and USC - they only have 1 more game against the Fab Four in Arkansas, then have Auburn, Alabama, and Ole Miss. The Gamecocks still have to play LSU, at Kentucky, and then after @ Florida host Texas A&M, so it's a much tougher stretch for them compared to the Bulldogs final stretch.

South Carolina is 11-1 versus Q1 tier RPI opponents, still leading WCBB with only Maryland with double-digit wins vs Q1 opponents with 10. USC is also 8-1 versus top 25 ranked opponents (Oregon by comparison is also 8-1 vs top 25 foes), with Tennessee falling out of the rankings. The Gamecocks still have 2 ranked teams in Kentucky and Texas A&M to play (Oregon only has 1 left to play).

USC is also 4-0 versus top 10 ranked opponents thus far, with no more left to play in regular season, compared to Oregon being 3-1 vs top 10 opponents, with 1 more left to play.....


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PostPosted: 02/23/20 9:07 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Impactful day in the SEC today, with South Carolina coming in at 13-0 in conference play, and Mississippi State coming in at 11-2. The Bulldogs were the only remaining team in the SEC that could play a role in what USC's regular season looked like - USC needed at least to go 1-2, and MSU go 3-0 to earn a share of the reg. season title with USC.

Mississippi State hosted unranked Alabama at 1 PM, while South Carolina played at top-25 Kentucky at 2 PM. The Bulldogs lose to Alabama on a buzzer-beating tip-in 66-64, while USC goes on to beat UK in a hard-fought rivalry game 67-58.

So South Carolina wins the regular-season SEC title outright, for the 4th time in 6 seasons, and overall for the 5th time in 7 seasons (they shared it with Tennessee in 2014-15)! USC also earned the #1-Seed in the SEC Tournament, a position that was in jeopardy had they lost to UK and then lost out, and had Miss State won out beginning with the Alabama game today.


All-Time SEC Regular-Season Titles (sole or shared):

Tennessee: 18 (16 sole, 2 shared)
Georgia: 7 (6 sole, 1 shared)
South Carolina: 5 (4 sole, 1 shared)
Auburn: 5
LSU: 3
Mississippi State: 2
Kentucky: 2
Mississippi: 1


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PostPosted: 03/02/20 11:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Seeds for the SEC Tournament:

#1: South Carolina
#2: Mississippi State
#3: Kentucky
#4: Texas A&M

#5: Arkansas
#6: Tennessee
#7: LSU
#8: Alabama
#9: Georgia
#10: Florida

#11: Missouri
#12: Vanderbilt
#13: Auburn
#14: Mississippi

Teams seeded #11-#14 begin the tournament Wednesday, teams seeded #5-#10 start Thursday, and the top 4 seeds begin play Friday.....


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PostPosted: 03/03/20 3:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

SEC Announces its 2020 WBB Basketball Awards:

Player of the Year: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky)

Freshman of the Year: Aliyah Boston (South Carolina)

Defensive Player of the Year: Aliyah Boston (South Carolina)

6th Woman of the Year: Chasity Patterson (Kentucky)

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jordan Lewis (Alabama)

Coach of the Year: Dawn Staley (South Carolina)


First Team All-SEC:

Alexis Tolefree (Arkansas)
Unique Thompson (Auburn)
Rhyne Howard (Kentucky)
Aliyah Boston (South Carolina)
Tyasha Harris (South Carolina)
Rennia Davis (Tennessee)
Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M)
N'dea Jones (Texas A&M)

Second Team All-SEC:

Jasmine Walker (Alabama)
Chelsea Dungee (Arkansas)
Ayana Mitchell (LSU)
Khayla Pointer (LSU)
Jessika Carter (Mississippi State)
Jordan Danberry (Mississippi State)
Rickea Jackson (Mississippi State)
Mikia Herbert-Harrigan (South Carolina)

All Freshman Team:

Lavender Briggs (Florida)
Rickea Jackson (Mississippi State)
Aijha Blackwell (Missouri)
Hayley Frank (Missouri)
Aliyah Boston (South Carolina)
Zia Cooke (South Carolina)
Jordan Horston (Tennessee)
Koi Love (Vanderbilt)

All Defensive:

Que Morrison (Georgia)
Rhyne Howard (Kentucky)
Faustine Aifuwa (LSU)
Jordan Danberry (Mississippi State)
Aliyah Boston (South Carolina)
Jordyn Cambridge (Vanderbilt)


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PostPosted: 03/07/20 12:52 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Conway Gamecock wrote:
Now that we've gone through 90% of the non-conference slate, how does things compare with our pre-season opinions?

The SEC Media pre-season prediction:

1. South Carolina
2. Texas A&M
3. Mississippi State
4. Kentucky
5. Arkansas
6. Tennessee
7. Auburn
8. Louisiana State
9. Missouri
10. Georgia
11. Alabama
12. Florida
13. Mississippi
14. Vanderbilt


The current standings (mind you, no SEC games have been played yet):

1. #5/6 South Carolina - 11-1
2. #11/12 Texas A%M - 10-1
3. #14/13 Kentucky - 10-1
4. #21/20 Arkansas - 10-1
5. #15/15 Mississippi State - 10-2
6. Louisiana State - 9-2
7. #23/24 Tennessee - 8-2
8. Alabama - 9-3
9. Florida - 8-3
10. Vanderbilt - 8-3
11. Georgia - 7-4
12. Mississippi - 6-6
13. Auburn - 5-5
14. Missouri - 3-10


Pretty interesting - here's the final standings:

1. South Carolina (16-0)
2. Mississippi State (13-3)
3. Arkansas (10-6)
4. Kentucky (10-6)
5. Texas A&M (10-6)
6. Tennessee (10-6)
7. Louisiana State (9-7)
8. Alabama (8-8 )
9. Georgia (7-9)
10. Florida (6-10)
11. Missouri (5-11)
12. Vanderbilt (4-12)
13. Auburn (4-12)
14. Mississippi (0-16)

I guess the biggest miss was Auburn, but otherwise the predictions were pretty well dead on. The 10-6 teams were placed in order of their overall win %, so conference-wise they are all tied for 3rd place. And as the SECT plays out, it seems the top 5 of USC, MSU, Arkansas, UK, and TAMU are still a bit above the others. Four of the 5 reached the SECT semifinals, with the 5th one getting knocked out by one of those 4. Makes sense....

Kelly Harper taking the Lady Vols from 19-13, 7-9 in Warlick's final season, to 21-10, 10-6 with losses of Westbrook, Jackson, and both Greens is a solid step forward, if not a major stride. That's 4 of your 5 predominant starters from the previous season removed from the equation, and they've still got the post-season ahead to add more wins.


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