1. Dick Vitale on Alabama coach Anthony Grant: “I mean, the guy can coach…You can’t win without talent.”
2. Is Florida playing its best defensive basketball? Coach Billy Donovan: “The gap has closed.”
Kentucky at Mississippi State
3. The cryptic John Calipari: “I like to talk in parables. Those who understand, listen. And the others don’t have any idea what I’m talking about.”
4. Mississippi State is 10-0 when the team scores at least 70 points. 3-9 when it doesn’t.
South Carolina at Tennessee
5. Tennessee begins a nine-game stretch to the SEC Tournament “that assuredly will have a big impact on the short- and long-term future of the program.”
6. South Carolina battling some formidable streaks – Gamecocks haven’t won in Knoxville since 2002, haven’t won on the road all season.
Arkansas at Vanderbilt
7. Arkansas has a clear goal against a short-handed Vanderbilt team. ”We have got to get into that bench.”
8. Jeff Goodman on Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings: “I’m not sure there are 10 better coaches in America than Kevin Stallings. He’s that good.
Auburn at LSU
9. Auburn coach Tony Barbee says LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant presents a formidable challenge for his team. ”He used to get frustrated early in his career, now he doesn’t.”
10. Challenge for LSU – shutting down the Auburn guards. Chris Denson and KT Harrell are second and third in the league in scoring.
Missouri at Ole Miss
11. A rematch of two of the three SEC teams that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Both teams need a quality win. ”We’re hanging on for our lives trying to make the tournament right now.”
12. Ole Miss knows it needs to stop the Missouri guards. Coach Andy Kennedy: ”I don’t think you can sit in a zone because they’re too proficient from 3.”
Texas A&M at Georgia
13. Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy on facing the Bulldogs: Georgia ” is a very good team, maturing at the right time.”
14. Georgia one game over .500 for the year (11-10) and in SEC play (5-4). “We just have to be more consistent.”