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SEC Headlines – 1/25/12

1.  Florida center Patric Young will probably be in the starting line-up against Ole Miss tomorrow.

2.  Georgia’s Mark Fox says Kentucky can simply “overpower you” on the defensive end.

3.  His players seemed to enjoy just being in a big-time matchup with America’s #1 team.

4.  The Wildcats continue to play unselfish basketball.

5.  South Carolina will try to record its first SEC win of the season when it hosts Alabama tonight.

6.  The Gamecock football team will have to develop a downfield passing attack next season.

7.  Tennessee is experiencing some serious ups and downs as it rebuilds under Cuonzo Martin.

8.  Vanderbilt gave UT its “most physical” game of the season and “a couple of guys got rattled.”

9.  The Commodores proved they could be tough when needed.

10.  And Kevin Stallings was pleased with his team’s defense.

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Fox Looks To Guards For Scoring At UGA

With Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie taking their talents from Athens to the LA Clippers, Georgia’s Mark Fox knows that folks will be wondering where the Dawgs’ scoring will come from in 2011-12:

“That’s the question.  We did lose a lot of scoring and I think any coach would tell you you’re always looking for who’s going to score field goals for you.  We’re all trying to build a defensive team that’s good enough to win, but you also have to score and that’s what we’re looking for right now.

Obviously (you look at) the two senior guards back in Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware.  I think both those guys had games of over 20 last year.  They understand where to get their shots.  But I also think as seniors those guys understand how to control a team and get the other guys the ball.  Hopefully they’ll be able to make the transition easier for the other guys and help them find baskets.  But it is an area of concern for us.  When we start working out in the fall we’ll have to get an understanding of where we can get our shots and how we can best score.”

Fox quickly won over Georgia fans upon his arrival and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament this past season.  But that was with a pair of NBA-level players inherited from Dennis Felton.  It will be interesting to see how Fox does over the next couple of seasons with his own players.

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SEC Headlines – 6/27/11 Part Four

1.  There’s a slogan war brewing in the Bluegrass State: “The Kentucky Effect” vs. “Louisville First.”

2.  This person thinks the University of Kentucky should sue the NCAA.  Uh, yeah.

3.  Whoever takes the Tennessee athletic director job will inherit a program that’s seen much better days.

4.  The Orlando Sentinel ranks UT’s football team  #49 in the nation.

5.  Georgia’s Mark Fox thinks Vanderbilt “could legitimately contend for a Final Four” this season.

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SEC Coaches Open Up About Re-Seeding The SEC Tourney

Last year, the SEC East dominated the SEC West.  The four best teams in the league were all in the East Division.  But when the SEC held its basketball tournament in Nashville, there were two West squads enjoying the divisional seeding plan and the byes it produced for them.

During the SEC’s meetings last spring, the league’s coaches briefly discussed the idea of re-seeding the conference tournament 1 through 12, tossing out the division records.  But nothing came of the talk.  And now here we are again, with three of the league’s top four teams once more residing in the East.

According to The Mobile Press-Register,
Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings would like to see changes made.

“I do think it would reward the teams with the best records and I think it would be more fair.  We’ve had two or three years in a row now where a team from the East that finishes third or even fourth might have been in a position to get a bye.”

“I’m sure we’ll take that up at the conference meeting and see what the powers that be think,” Vandy’s coach continued.  “We had some discussions last year at our meeting.  It didn’t seem to generate a whole lot of traction… but I could see this aspect of it gaining maybe a little more.”

Stallings isn’t alone.  The Macon Telegraph reports that Georgia’s Mark Fox also favors changes.

“Everything is cycles.  And the last couple years the East has been maybe a little stronger.  And there may be years where the West is stronger.  I think the one way to protect against that if things get out of balance is to re-seed for the tournament.”

Andy Kennedy has said that he is still interested in re-seeding and Anthony Grant is also “open to discussing changes.”  Kudos to two West Division coaches for being open-minded.

The SEC should be in the business of getting as many teams as possible into the NCAA Tournament.  The best way to do that is to protect the league’s top teams with first-round byes in the SEC tourney. 

As Fox said, there will eventually be years when the West outperforms the East.  Changes to the tourney format shouldn’t be made (or not made) depending on which division is on top right now.  The changes should be made for the long-term benefit of the entire league.

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