WBN SEC Power Rankings- 1/6/13 Edition

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Jan. 5, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers guard Phil Pressey (1) dribbles the ball downcourt as Bucknell Bison guard Ryan Hill (11) blocks during the first half at Mizzou Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

1. #12 Missouri Tigers (11-2, 0-0) Last Week: W vs. Bucknell 66-64: Don’t let the name on the front of the jersey fool you, Bucknell is a darn good basketball team. They are 13-3 on the season and are quite possibly a tournament team. But still, you might be a little worried if you are a Missouri fan. One week ago, they blew a game on the road against a very talented but poorly coached UCLA team. This week, back at home, they struggled in facets of the game to put away Bucknell. Bucknell may be good, but the #12 team in the country should beat them by more than two points at home. While Mizzou is getting it done with rebounds, assists and defense, they are struggling to score in stretches. This might be worrisome as SEC play begins this week. This Week: 1-8 vs. Alabama, 1-12 at Ole Miss

2. #13 Florida Gators (10-2, 0-0) Last Week: W vs. Yale: The Gators went through a bit of a rough patch losing two of four games, both of them on the road out west against Arizona and Kansas State, both top 25 teams. After today’s game against Yale, the Gators won’t have much of a challenge until they face Missouri on January 19th. So far this has been the same old Florida team that we have gotten used to in the past couple of years. Billy Donovan seems to be content letting his guards do all of the scoring and forget about Patric Young until it’s too late. What happened to the Gators that focused their offense around big men like Joakim Noah and Al Horford? This Week: 1-9 vs. Georgia, 1-12 at LSU

3. Kentucky Wildcats (9-4, 0-0) Last Week: W vs. Eastern Michigan 90-38: While Kentucky sits third in the SEC at the moment, they are the most dangerous team in the league and they are on the up swing. With improved play from Ryan Harrow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer, the Cats finally look like a team that’s getting it and is coming together. John Calipari warned that it maight take a while with this group and he was right. But he has always stood firm on his position that his team had the highest ceiling in the country and now we are starting to believe him. A solid start to SEC play (the Cats have a chance of winning 10 in a row) would do wonders to gain confidence and momentum. An opening conference game on the road against Vanderbilt is a good test to see where the Wildcats are. This Week: 1-10 at Vanderbilt, 1-12 vs. Texas A&M

4. South Carolina (10-3, 0-0) Last Week: W vs. South Carolina State 80-69: The Gamecocks may finally be coming around to the abrasive style of Frank Martin. While they may not be a contender in conference play or a tournament team this season, he has them going in the right direction. Despite three early losses, South Carolina has won five in a row, and they have a chance to be 14-3 by the time they play Missouri. If this team was in the west then they might have a chance to make some noise. But being in the east doesn’t help their chances to pad the win column. This Week: 1-9 at Mississippi State, 1-12 vs. Auburn

5. Tennessee Volunteers (8-4, 0-0) Last Week: L vs. Memphis 85-80: Cuonzo’s Martin team is on the cusp of being good, but they can’t quite get over the hump. There is talent there with Jarnell Stokes, but the supporting cast isn’t doing much to help the best player on the team win games in crunch time. Their four losses haven’t come to cupcakes, and the Vols should be poised for a monster SEC run. But the one thing that will hinder them is their ability to score. They rank 250th in the country in that category. This Week: 1-9 vs. Ole Miss, 1-12 at Alabama

6. LSU Tigers (9-2, 0-0) Last Week: W vs. Bethune Cookman 79-64:  LSU’s run through cupcake city has worked thus far as they sit seven games over .500. They haven’t played a team in the top 25 yet, but Marquette may be there after their win against Georgetown yesterday. LSU lost to the Golden Eagles 84-80 earlier this season. The Tigers are a big, physical team and could prove to be a formidable opponent in the SEC. Are they tournament  bound? Let’s file that under “Yet to be determined”. They face their first test Saturday at home against Florida. This Week: 1-9 at Auburn, 1-12 vs. #13 Florida

7. Texas A&M Aggies (10-3, 0-0) Last Week: W vs. Houston Baptist 67-59: Is winning by only eight points to Houston Baptist a concern? Yes. The Huskies are 4-10 and the game was at Texas A&M. The previous week we saw A&M defeat Army by only six points. Once this team gets into the teeth of the SEC, I think we will see them drop significantly. They have to play Kentucky twice. Might as well give them two L’s now as they have to play a talented Arkansas team and the Wildcats on the road. This Week: 1-9 vs. Arkansas, 1-12 at Kentucky

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