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SEC Saturday Hoops: Injuries, Streaks, And Some Extra Motivation

basketballsAlabama at LSU

1. Status of Nick Jacobs and Andrew Steele uncertain for Alabama.  Crimson Tide 14-3 when Steele plays, 4-5 when he hasn’t.  Coach Anthony Grant: ”That will be a game-time decision, but hopefully he’ll be OK.

2. LSU coach Johnny Jones sends a message.  Senior guard Charles Carmouche only played three minutes against Tennessee this week. “He was available…I think it’s important that when we have good constructive criticism that we respond in certain ways. If not, we address those issues and move on.”

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State

3. If Vanderbilt can win four of its last five games, it will avoid playing on the opening day of the SEC Tournament.  Vanderbilt guard Kedren Johnson: “There’s a good energy going on in the locker room.”

4. Mississippi State may have lost 11 in a row, but coach Rick Ray has nothing but praise for walk-on Tyson Cunningham: “He’s a guy that is going to be successful in life because he goes about his businesses the right way.”

South Carolina at Georgia

5. Gamecocks coach Frank Martin says a 10-point loss at Alabama may have been a turning point. He credits the play of guard Bruce Ellington: “As that game continued to unfold, I saw guys kind of building on his enthusiasm, his desire to compete. That gave me optimism.”

6. A tough stretch for the Bulldogs - an overtime loss at Ole Miss and a two-point loss at Arkansas.  Coach Mark Fox: “I walked out of there madder than I’ve probably been in a long time.”

Tennessee at Texas A&M

7. Elston Turner, Sr. grew up in Knoxville, played college and pro basketball but was never offered a scholarship to Tennessee. Now his son gets the chance to play against the Vols.  ”My son knows my story and he’s looking forward to playing in the game.”

8. Alex Caruso leads the Aggies in steals with 53. “That helps our team with what I can do, the skill set I have of being able to anticipate and go get a ball.”

Auburn at Ole Miss

9. When these two teams meet, expect a close game.  Last four games decided by a total of 13 points.

10. Ole Miss hasn’t been the same since losing Aaron Jones against Kentucky.  Murphy Holloway: “Him going down, I know in point production that didn’t kill us, but the energy and the (defensive) rotation we had (did).”

Arkansas at Florida

11. Arkansas handed Florida its worst loss of the season in Fayetteville.   Gators guard Scott Wilbekin: “We have a very strong desire to beat them.”

12. Arkansas guard BJ Young: “I think they will be a lot motivated.”

Missouri at Kentucky

13. The last time Frank Haith was inside Rupp Arena, his Miami team left with a win.  “The fans there are so knowledgeable, just the way they handle themselves.”

14. Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin on Mizzou point guard Phil Pressey: ”He’s all right, but I have more confidence in my point guard than I do in him. And I think I’d take my point guard (over Pressey).”



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