SOUTH CAROLINA, MIS­SIS­SIPPI MAKE FOR SEC SUR­PRISES

The Telegraph (Macon) - - Sports - BY STEVE MEGARGEE AND DAVID BRANDT

Here are some things to watch in South­east­ern Con­fer­ence bas­ket­ball this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK­END

Mis­sis­sippi at No. 14 Mis­sis­sippi State: Ole Miss (12-2, 2- 0 SEC) is shap­ing up as the SEC’s big­gest sur­prise un­der new coach Ker­mit Davis. The pre­sea­son pick to fin­ish last in the con­fer­ence has opened its league sched­ule by win­ning at Van­der­bilt and knock­ing off No. 11 Auburn at home. The Rebels head into Starkville on Sat­ur­day seek­ing to slay an­other ranked foe and earn their 10th straight vic­tory. Mis­sis­sippi State (12-2, 0-1) is look­ing to bounce back from an 87-82 over­time loss at South Carolina.

LOOK­ING AHEAD

It’s dif­fi­cult to get a han­dle on South Carolina. The Game­cocks en­tered league play as the only SEC team with a los­ing record, but they’re 2- 0 in the con­fer­ence with wins at Florida and against ranked Mis­sis­sippi State. The vic­tory over Florida gave South Carolina back-to-back wins in Gainesville for the first time since 1997-98. South Carolina ( 7-7, 2- 0) now shapes up as the SEC’s hard­est team to fig­ure. The Game­cocks’ next two games are against teams seek­ing their first SEC wins of the sea­son, as they host Mis­souri (9- 4, 0-1) on Sat­ur­day be­fore vis­it­ing Van­der­bilt (9-5, 0-2) on Wednes­day.

NUM­BERS GAME

No. 3 Ten­nessee (13-1, 2- 0) has outscored its first two SEC op­po­nents by a to­tal of 70 points. Ten­nessee’s 96-50 vic­tory over Ge­or­gia on Sat­ur­day was one point shy of its most lop­sided SEC tri­umph ever – a 102-55 blowout of Ole Miss on Jan. 8, 1966. … Ole Miss is 2- 0 in SEC play for only the fourth time in the last 20 sea­sons. After beat­ing Auburn, the Rebels have a 1,3051,304 record over 109 sea­sons of bas­ket­ball. …. Ken­tucky’s vic­tory over Texas A&M on Tues­day im­proved the Wild­cats to 47-12 when com­ing off a loss dur­ing John Cali­pari’s coach­ing ten­ure. That in­cludes a 3- 0 mark this sea­son. … Auburn’s Bryce Brown shot a ca­reer-high 19 3-point at­tempts in the Tigers’ loss to Ole Miss on Wednes­day. He made six of his first 10 be­fore miss­ing eight of his fi­nal nine, fin­ish­ing 7 of 19 be­hind the arc.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.