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UT’s Martin Joins SEC Hoops’ Best-Ever Photo Collection

Over the past few years we’ve seen some pretty memorable photographs of SEC basketball coaches.

Ex-LSU coach Trent Johnson gave us this classic “Who told you to put a balm on it?” look:
















Ex-Arkansas coach John Pelphrey provided a “Scanners” pose:

















The current Florida assistant also reminds us of ex-Men at Work frontman Colin Hay:



colin-hay-john-pelphrey copy












Then, of course you have Florida head coach Billy Donovan, whose widow’s peak has led to comparisons to Eddie Munster:


billy eddie














Everyone remembers this mugshot of Mississippi’s Andy Kennedy:


andy kennedy















Kentucky’s John Calipari looks like he stepped right out of a mob movie.  Whether he’s threatening to shoot a guy, begging for his life, or getting gunned down, Coach Cal is ready for “The Godfather Part IV.”























Now Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin has a badass photo for the gallery of SEC’s best.

















Yikes.  You’d never guess Martin played for Gene Keady at Purdue, wouldya?

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BJ Young Named SEC’s “Mr. Offense” By

At, we’re not big on awards.  Bias can play a role in who votes for whom.  Can an MVP be only a great team or can someone be MVP on a rotten squad?

For those reasons and more, we turn to statistics to help decide who’s the best at what they do.  And today, we look at the most productive offensive players in the SEC this season.

There were exactly 100 SEC basketball players who played at least 300 minutes this season.  We went through all of their stats — and we’ll do the same with defense tomorrow — to find which players were the most productive offensively.

Our formula?  We looked at the three big pluses a player could contribute to his team on offense: points scored, assists dished out, and offensive rebounds grabbed.  We took those stats and added them together.  Then we compared them to the number of minutes played by each SEC player in 2011-12.

Below are the SEC’s top 20 players in terms of offensive production by minute.  At the top of the list: Arkansas freshman BJ Young.  Mike Anderson couldn’t land him at Missouri, but he’s sure glad now that John Pelphrey coaxed him to Arkansas.

The St. Louis native averaged 15.3 points per game, 2.3 assists per game and 3.1 rebounds (total, not just offensive) per game or the Razorbacks in his first season.  Not a bad debut.  And compared to his minutes played, Young made an offensive contribution to his team .734 times per minute.  That was the best number in the SEC.  By far.

Here’s the full top 20 for offensive production:

Player Minutes Off. Rebounds Assists Points Total Positive Plays Per Minute
1. BJ Young (Ark) 782 29 70 475 574 .734
2.  J. Taylor (VU) 1005 71 57 531 659 .655
3.  J. Jenkins (VU) 1009 15 34 601 650 .644
4.  J. Green (Ala) 661 59 40 317 416 .629
5.  K. Boynton (UF) 983 19 77 521 617 .627
5.  D. Nelson (UM)* 301 6 20 163 189 .627
7.  G. Robinson (UGA) 910 21 108 428 557 .612
8.  D. Bost (MSU) 1109 17 164 490 671 .605
9.  J. Maymon (UT) 861 87 37 391 515 .598
10.  A. Moultrie (MSU) 985 105 32 451 588 .596
11.  A. Davis (UK) 969 92 26 446 564 .582
11.  T. Golden (UT) 987 18 141 416 575 .582
13.  J. Hamilton (LSU) 895 100 28 391 519 .579
14.  T. Jones (UK) 821 71 39 358 468 .570
15.  E. Walker (UF) 969 17 147 385 549 .566
16.  M. Rosario (UF) 387 9 28 181 218 .563
17.  S. Warren (LSU) 573 57 16 242 315 .549
18.  J. O’Bryant (LSU) 531 75 9 207 291 .548
18.  F. Ezeli (VU) 481 45 6 213 264 .548
20.  P. Young (UF) 815 81 37 325 443 .543

(* Dundrecous Nelson was dismissed from the Ole Miss team in early-January.)

The stats have been double- and triple-checked, but it’s certainly possible that a digit has been flipped or flopped during transcription.  Them’s a lotta numbers for me to type.  If you see a typo, just let me know.

As stated above, we’ll dig into the defensive numbers tomorrow.  But congrats to BJ Young and all the players in our Top 20.  No one made more positive things happen on the offensive end of the floor than those guys.

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Hogs to Owe Pelphrey $420K This Year

In a bit of a surprise, John Pelphrey is not the highest-paid assistant on Billy Donovan’s rebuilt Florida coaching staff.  In fact, he’ll make $55,000 less ($180,000) than Norm Roberts ($235,000) this season.

Pelphrey — who previously served on Donovan’s UF staff — has been a head coach at South Alabama and Arkansas the past nine seasons.  Roberts served as the head coach at St. John’s for the past six seasons.

So why would a man with less head coaching experience bank more coin than a man with more head coaching experience?  Probably to turn the screws on Arkansas.

Pelphrey’s buyout for being fired topped out at $1.8 million over three years.  That’s $600,000 per season.  But any salary Pelphrey makes from another coaching job must be subtracted from that total.

Only making $180,000, Pelphrey can still collect $420,000 from the Razorbacks in 2011-12… even though he’ll be coaching against them in the same conference next season.

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UGA’s Fox Gets A Raise And Extension

Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox did good enough work in his second year to earn a $400,000 raise and a one-year contract extension.  The extension takes Fox’s pact through 2015-16 and the raise boosts his pay to $1.7 million per season.  Both items were approved by the school this morning.

“At one point in time he was basically too low on the SEC ladder,” Georgia AD Greg McGarity said.  “Mark would probably be the first person to tell you he doesn’t think he needs to be the highest paid coach in this conference. … It’s where we need to be.  I think Mark knows this is a long journey and we hope he’s our coach for a long, long time.  It’s probably where we need to be right now.”

The next step in the journey for Fox is to prove that he’s not going to suffer the same fate that befell John Pelphrey and Trent Johnson.  Both coaches had early success with veteran players left behind by their predecessors, only to experience precipitous drop-offs when those veterans departed.

UGA will lose four starters from this past year’s NCAA Tournament team, including two possible NBA first-round draft picks.

Fox has his cash.  Now he needs to show that he’s really building a winner in Athens… and not just winning with Dennis Felton’s players.

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SEC Headlines – 4/25/11 Part Three

1.  Florida’s Billy Donovan is bringing in Matt McCall from Florida Atlantic to complete his staff.  (Like recently rehired assistant John Pelphrey, McCall is making a return to the Gators, too.

2.  Clint Boling could be the first Georgia O-lineman drafted in the first three rounds since way back in 2003.

3.  The folks in Athens are wondering how UGA will replace AJ Green at receiver.

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Anderson Holds On To All Of Pelphrey’s Signees

When Arkansas fired John Pelphrey last month, there was a natural fear that some members of his Top 10 recruiting class might change their minds about the Razorbacks.

No need to worry.

According to Andy Katz of, new coach Mike Anderson has convinced all five players in Pelphrey’s class to honor their pacts with UA.  There is a small but, however:

According to at least once (sic) source with knowledge of the situation, there are two players in the class — (Aaron) Ross and (BJ) Young — who still have to get eligible through the normal NCAA process.  Assuming they do, Arkansas will have a stellar freshman class to build Anderson’s base for the next few seasons.

Even if those two players do not become eligible, that can’t be placed around Anderson’s neck.  He did what he had to do in convincing all five players to come to Fayetteville.  He’s only been in the job for a couple of weeks, but so far the Hogs’ new coach is batting a thousand.

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Anderson To Call The Hogs Tomorrow

Mike Anderson will be introduced as the new Arkansas basketball coach tomorrow morning at Bud Walton Arena.  The event is open to the public, which leads to this question: Will the attendance for Anderson’s presser top the attendance at most Hog games this past year?

In an effort to smooth his protege’s re-entry into the Arkansas atmosphere, Nolan Richardson said yesterday that he won’t be running the UA program from afar.  There are some members of the Razorback family who worry that Anderson’s return might lead to his ex-boss becoming the school’s de facto coach.

“I may not even get in the building,” Richardson told  “You’re going to see me and say, ‘Wow, coach made it to the game tonight.’

“I might’ve made it that night, but don’t think ol’ Nolan is going to be sitting there going just like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah,’ every ballgame now.”

With Anderson’s introduction scheduled and Richardson promising to stay away, all eyes now turn to the top five signing class John Pelphrey had lined up before his exit.  It appears that at least two members of that class are already onboard with the hire of Anderson.

Anderson also returns to Arkansas at a time when in-state talent is on the rise.  Good thing.  Because the coach will need a deep, athletic team if he’s to lead the Hogs far into the NCAA tourney — via full-court pressing — as Richardson did from 1989 to 1996.

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Reports: Arkansas Close To Hiring Smith

Could Tubby Smith be close to taking over his third SEC program? 

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported this afternoon that Smith has already had a face-to-face meeting with Arkansas officials.  Mike Jones writes that Arkansas “is close to hiring” Minnesota’s coach. 

Jones reports that Billy Gillispie “has also had informal contact” about the Arkansas job.  Perhaps Jeff Long should give Joe B. Hall a ring to see if he’d be interested.

Smith coached at Kentucky prior to Gillispie, of course.  And he coached at Georgia prior to Kentucky.

If Smith lands the job quickly, it will tell us one thing for sure: Arkansas and Smith (or their reps) had made contact before John Pelphrey was shown the door yesterday morning.  Interestingly, reported just last week that Smith and Minnesota were working on an extension “despite speculation he could take another job after the season.”

If those talks didn’t go as well as Smith had hoped, the coach might be using Arkansas as a landing pad… or as a fire-rekindler for his negotiations with the Gophers.

When asked about Georgia Tech’s coaching vacancy last week, Smith said: “Why would I be interested in that job?  I’m not going anywhere.  My wife like it here, I like it here, and I’m going to finish my career here.”

Does that sound like a man who’s thisclose to moving to Fayetteville?

Smith might not be the sexiest hire for Hogs fans.  His team finished 17-14 this year (6-12 in the Big Ten) including a streak of 10 losses in 11 games to close out the year.

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SEC Headlines – 3/14/11 Part One

1.  UAB is in the NCAA tourney and Alabama is out.  This writer says UAB should be added to Alabama’s schedule.

2.  Anthony Grant dodged a question about adding the Blazers to the Tide’s schedule.

3.  Grant is grateful for Bama’s #1 seed in the NIT.

4.  Stunning attrition at Auburn will make next year a real trial for Gene Chizik and Auburn.

5.  This writer believes prestige and money will attract good coaches to Arkansas.

6.  There were moments to remember during John Pelphrey’s tenure?

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Thursday Afternoon Headlines

Here are some recruiting headlines for your Thursday afternoon.

-Florida’s basketball team has a new 2012 commitment. He’s a top-50 player nationally, according to Rivals.

-In case you missed it, Arkansas coach John Pelphrey could be in trouble over a photo with recruits.

-Are 7-on-7 passing tournaments having a negative effect on football recruiting?

-Could Georgia pick up a quarterback transfer from Boise State?

-Here’s one of many stories you will see in the next year on running back Barry Sanders Jr.

-Miami has picked up a commitment from an in-state wide receiver.

-Oregon is far from the only school spending money on help from recruiting services.

-Arkansas made a nice impression on a Tennessee cornerback.

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