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SEC Headlines 8/21/2013

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1. Georgia now has seven defensive backs on the injured list. Junior cornerback Damian Swann has a hip flexor and a groin strain.

2. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on the opening game with Georgia: “It’ll be a game for the ages, opening at night, everybody excited for college football to kick off.”

3. North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner on the opportunity against South Carolina and Jadeveon Clowney: “We’re looking forward to playing against a top team, and the best player in the country.”

4. Gamecocks sophomore running back Mike Davis will get the start against North Carolina. Backups Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson will also see action.Looking more and more like Bruce Ellington could miss the opener.

5. Could Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles redshirt this season? Kentucky-Louisville game moved to season finale  in 2014.

6. Booted from Auburn, safety Demetruce McNeal will transfer to West Alabama.

7. Is quarterback Jeff Driskel Florida’s top running threat at the moment?

8. No true No. 1 running back at Tennessee – may be a while before there is. Vols have an estimated 81 scholarship players.

9. Injury to Auburn defensive Dee Ford means newcomers Elijah Daniel and Carl Lawson will see immediate action.

10. Vanderbilt defensive backs Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall combined for more tackles last year than any other SEC secondary tandem.  Attorney enters not guilty plea for suspended wide receiver Chris Boyd.

11, Les Miles likes the linebacking corps at LSU: “They could be as talented as they’ve been here in a while.”

12, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on freshman wide receiver  Ricky Seals-Jones: “He’s got real ability, he’s very athletic but he’s got to learn the nuances of the position.”

13. Nick Saban on freshman Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. “He really has made a lot of progress. We actually are increasing his reps.”

14. Mississippi State punter Baker Swedenburg admits he’ll look up at the Jumbotron while he’s on the field. “I try not to but it happens every now and then.”

15, Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer on the Vols new gray uniforms:  ”If those uniforms help you recruit, those recruits might help you win. It’s that simple.”

16, In this list of the 20 best players in the SEC, Johnny Manziel is 1A and Jadeveon Clowney is 1B.

17. Test drive a truck and register for the chance to win a Johnny Manziel autographed football?

Practice Reports

18. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn liked what he saw on the final day of preseason camp: “I told our offense at the end of the practice that it was the best rhythm that we’ve had since I’ve been back.”

19. LSU coach Les Miles on the Tigers final fall scrimmage of camp: “We’re sloppy, they need to get things right. If we do that we’ll have an opportunity to beat a lot of teams.”

20, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper should see his workload increase this week, been bothered with a strained foot.

21. Florida walk-on running back Mark Herndon awarded full scholarship. Running back Matt Jones was at practice but didn’t practice Tuesday.  Looks to be getting closer to returning but not expected ready for opener.

22. Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines returns to the practice field.  Had a strained patella tendon in his left knee.

23. Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash on his unit:  ”We’ve got to get more consistent. ”

SEC Basketball

24. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy says guard Marshall Henderson has earned the right to be involved in basketball activities but “he will miss games, The extent of that is yet to be determined as we go through this process.”

25. Rebels will appear on national TV eight times this coming season. Kentucky and Florida with the most – at 14 times each.

26. CBS will carry six SEC games - four of them involving Kentucky.

27. Memphis transfer Antonio Barton has enrolled at Tennessee.

28. Which school will hire former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl next year? “Rest assured, some AD somewhere will be anxious to bring (Pearl) to his campus.”

SEC/College News

29. Defense attorney says he’ll fight extradition proceedings in the Vanderbilt rape case.

30. Despite a new state law, guns are banned everywhere on campus at Alabama, including games.

31. Add the Bahamas and Boca Raton to the list of bowl game destinations.  At least 38 bowl games starting in 2014.

32. Matt Hayes:  ”Even on its farewell tour, the BCS can’t get a break.”

33. The commissioner of Conference USA supports the idea of stipends for college-athletes. 


34. ESPN executive on the SEC Network: “In order to make this thing go…we’re going to have to schedule meaningful games that will resonate with fan bases.”

35. An early review of  how Fox Sports Live compares to ESPN’s Sportscenter

36. apologizes for headline that mentioned football can be confusing, “especially for women.”

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Henderson Expected Back In Class At Ole Miss Next Week

Tennessee Mississippi BasketballWhen last we left the taunting bad boy of basketball, Marshall Henderson had been suspended from the Ole Miss team for reportedly failing a drug test.  There were also reports of run-ins with police and of cocaine being found in his car, but who’s counting?

Now it appears that Henderson will be back on campus and back in class next week when the fall semester starts in Oxford.  According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, Henderson has not yet been reinstated to the Rebel program.  “The plan is for him to work on regaining the trust of the (athletic) department and school before being reinstated.”

Anyone who follows college sports know what that means — Henderson will be reinstated in time for fall basketball practice.  Unless he’s busted for some other off-court illegality or outburst.  Which is 100% possible with a kid who has a rap sheet as long as, well, it’s long.

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Afternoon SEC Headlines – 7/15/13

newspaper-extra-extra1.  Hotshot receiver prospect Earnest Robinson has reportedly failed to qualify academically at Auburn and will enroll at East Mississippi Community College instead.

2.  Tony Barnhart of covers five topics that figure to be hot at SEC Media Days this week.

3.  Pay attention, SEC Network fans: The new all-sports network from FOX that’s supposed to challenge ESPN hasn’t yet reached carriage deals with DirecTV, Dish or Time Warner Cable.  The new channel will launch on August 17th.  (No word on whether they’ve cut a deal with AT&T U-verse.)

4.  The list of candidates for the Lombardi Award is 100 names deep.

5.  The Butkus Award list is a lengthy one, too.

A Basketball Bonus:  Dick Vitale believes it’s time for troubled/suspended Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson to take a look in the mirror.

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SEC Headlines 7/12/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema tweets the name of an Ole Miss commitment - commits minor NCAA rules violation.

2. Turns out Bielema and Nick Saban could be right.  Hurry-up offenses may create a greater risk for injury.

3. How many games will Tennessee win this fall?  MrSEC’s Josh Ward and others have some ideas.

4. As Tennessee scrambles to fill seats at Neyland Stadium, school is courting fans by rolling out the red orange carpet.

5. Kevin Scarbinsky defends Johnny Manziel: “Someone tell me what the Texas A&M quarterback has done since winning the Heisman and robbing Bob Stoops (of his dignity) to merit so much clean, old-fashioned hate.”

6. Alabama commitment on a conversation with Manziel: “I told him, ‘Come September 14, you better be ready, because Bama’s coming’ for him. He told me to bring it on.”

7. Don’t expect Georgia to run Heisman promotional campaign for quarterback Aarron Murray, at least not early on.  ”We’ll see how things stand at the end of September.”

8. When you think about SEC running backs, don’t forget about LaDarius Perkins at Mississippi State.

9. When you rank SEC kick/punt returners, it starts with Marcus Murphy from Missouri.

10. Spotlight started shining on Auburn coach Gus Malzahn when his high school teams started breaking national records.

11. Here’s a  quick video showing Alabama’s waterfall room.

SEC Basketball

12. New insight may explain Marshall Henderson’s suspension.  Police pulled him over in May – reportedly discovered marijuana and cocaine.

13. Missouri is intrigued by the talents of Stefan Jankovic as he enters his sophomore season. Is Jordan Clarkson Mizzou’s most valuable transfer?

14. It’s summertime so that means coaches and staffs have hit the road to evaluate prospects.

15. New SEC associate commissioner in charge of basketball Mark Whitworth says schools need to be “strategic” in building an audience.

SEC/College News

16. NCAA replacing major and secondary infractions with a four-tier penalty system starting in August.

17. What are the best traditions in the SEC?  From mascots and rivalries to chants and cheers, Athlon reviews those that have stood the test of time.

18. Donations to the South Carolina athletic department topped $25 million in 2012.

19. Former Ohio State president Gordon Gee did apologize for some remarks - but what took him so long?

20. Here’s the statue of Shaquille O’Neal on the LSU campus.


21. How the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals forever changed how sports books handle futures betting.

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Wow Headlines 7/11/2013

Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules…
Violation is reportedly a failed drug test
SEC schools announce the three players they will feature in next week’s SEC Media Days…
Nine SEC quarterbacks will be among those in attendance headlined by Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel
SEC Media Days start Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama
Ole Miss cornerback Carlos Davis suspended for six games in 2013
Suspended LSU running back Jeremy Hill faces the possibility of jail time if his probation is revoked
Tennessee has self-reported minor NCAA violations
With football season kicking off next month, check out our fearless predictions of what will and what won’t happen this year in SEC football
Follow SEC news every day at and on Twitter at

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Marshall Henderson Suspended Indefinitely; Failed Drug Test Reported Cause

mrsec-breaking-newsOle Miss guard Marshall Henderson has been indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules, the school announced Wednesday.

That violation is a failed drug test, according to’s Gary Parrish, who reports Henderson’s status with the team is “legitimately up in the air.” It’s not the first time Henderson, who led Ole Miss with 20.1 points a game last season, has been linked to drug issues.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said in statement Henderson has failed to live up to the leadership role he was expected to take entering his senior season with the Rebels.

“Since the season ended, we have talked a lot about Marshall taking a greater leadership role with our team,” Kennedy said. “With that comes greater responsibility, and he must do a better job of living up to the high standard we expect from him and he desires from himself.”

Marshall acknowledged his extreme behavior from last season when he announced he would return for his senior year, promising to hold himself to a “higher standard than people in the stands.”

Henderson also made a prediction just a few hours before Ole Miss announced his suspension.

UPDATE: Henderson has ended his silence through – you guessed it – twitter.

Ole Miss starting linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, a friend of Henderson, posted a video on his Instagram account asking Henderson how he felt.

“Really sad,” Henderson responded.

And someone (Hugh Freeze and Andy Kennedy would be two good guesses) likely wasn’t too happy about it because the video was taken down shortly after it was posted. Nkemdiche denied a video was ever posted, which would be believable if it hadn’t already been seen by thousands of people.

Henderson also found time to stir up some twitter beef with Erin Andrews of Fox Sports.


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SEC Headlines 7/2/2013

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Aaron Hernandez admitted to punching a man during his first semester at Florida in 2007. Police recommended a felony battery charge. Tim Tebow tried to break up the fight.

2. Former Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury believes Johnny Manziel will be a better player this season.

3. Auburn has released information on coach Guz Malzahn’s five-year, $2.3 million per-year contract.

4. Here is information on salaries for Auburn’s assistants. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is the highest-paid assistant.

5. Here are five questions and answers about Colorado State, one of Alabama’s opponents this season.

6. LSU isn’t receiving much preseason attention. Some of the reasoning is “incredibly lazy,” writes Barrett Sallee.

7. Take a look at Ole Miss punter Tyler Campbell, the Rebels’ No. 32 most important player.

8. Athlon Sports ranks the SEC’s offensive line units from 1-14.

9. South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney is the nation’s top defensive Heisman candidate, according to Athlon.

10. Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is the SEC’s 25th-best player, according to the Gainesville Sun.

11. Pat Dooley predicts every SEC team will win at least six games this season.

12. Georgia AD Greg McGarity sees room for improvement after a strong Directors’ Cup finish.

13. Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles is the No. 6 most important player for South Carolina.

14. Chris Low ranks the top 10 quarterbacks in the SEC.

15. There isn’t a lot going on this time of year, writes Matthew Harris. (SEC football media days is two weeks away.)

SEC Basketball

16. Kyle Wiltjer’s status is unknown. His father says Wiltjer is “still a Kentucky Wildcat” and isn’t fully committed to transferring.

17. Arkansas has plans for a basketball practice facility on campus, along with other athletic facility additions.

18. Parrish Alford writes about the summer for Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson, who wants to become a better leader.

19. Tennessee guard Jordan McRae has earned an invitation to the LeBron James Skills Academy

20. The Tennessee-Vanderbilt rivalry has been strengthened by brothers Garry and Nicodemus Christopher.


21. Former Auburn running back is hoping to play football this year. The SEC doesn’t look like a possibility.

22. A fight broke out after someone spotted DJ Hernandez, the older brother of Aaron Hernandez.

23. The ACC has no plans to expand past 15 schools right now, according to the league’s commissioner.

24. The folks at CBS Sports predict win totals for the ACC.

25. Sam Amick with an update on the man dominating NBA free agency headlines, Dwight Howard.

26. Tommy Tubervile on Gunner Kiel choosing Cincinnati: “It’s huge.”

27. Real story: Stanford and Syracuse traded twitter handles.

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While A&M’s Manziel Draws The Spotlight, UM’s Henderson “Mellowing”

Tennessee Mississippi BasketballThe 2013 offseason in college athletics will be remembered as the Age of Manziel.  Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has seemingly been everywhere doing everything over the past few months.  Taking in big-time pro games.  Mingling with celebrities and all-stars.  Throwing out first pitches.  Tweeting a few things he’d like to have back.  (Johnny Football’s last tweet is dated June 15th, by the way.)

Meanwhile, the guy who was a one-man media firestorm during the last SEC basketball season has been quiet as as church mouse.  According to teammate Aaron Jones, Marshall Henderson is “still crazy, but he’s not that crazy.”  Take it away, head coach Andy Kennedy:


“What Marshall went through last year from a basketball standpoint he learned from.  And from dealing with the media and dealing with opposing fans.  That’s all a part of maturation of young people.  I don’t have any doubt that Marshall will have learned from his experiences last year.”


He’ll have to.  As the only senior on the Rebel hoops team, Henderson will have to become more of a leader and less of a hot dog in 2013-14.  So far so good, according to teammate Demarco Cox: “He’s working harder than he did last summer, I can tell you that.  Last summer he was kinda so-so, but this summer he’s been out there putting in work with the coaches.  I think he’ll be a pretty good player this year.”

No doubt Henderson desperately wants to improve his NBA draft stock in the season ahead.  Buckling down this offseason is a good place to start.

But once the threes start flying this winter, does anyone really expect Henderson to by-pass the opportunity to woof, holler, and flick his jersey at opposing players and fans?  We shall see.

Update: NCAA officially reprimands Henderson for his actions following the loss to LaSalle in the NCAA Tournament.  (How’s that for timing?)


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After Leading Rebels To NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy Gets Extension And Raise

AndyKennedyA little more than a month ago on the calendar, or approximately the Paleolithic era in Twitter time, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy was on the hot seat. After his Rebels started the season 17-2, Kennedy’s Ole Miss team endured a 4-6 stretch that raised questions about the future of the coach.  But his squad caught fire late, won the SEC Tournament, beat Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament,and ended the year with 27 victories, tied for the most in school history.

Friday, Ole Miss rewarded Kennedy with a raise and an extension.  He’ll be paid $1.8 million a year through 2017, making him the league’s seventh-highest paid coach.  Ole Miss also raised the salaries for assistant coaches and support staff by 40 percent.  Kennedy had two years remaining under his old deal which paid him a base salary of $1.3 million. The Rebels lose seniors Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner but return Marshall Henderson, the SEC’s leading scorer this past season.

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UM’s Holloway The SEC Most Productive Player In 2012-13

gfx - by the numbersThe measurables.  At we base our awards and honors on numbers and statistics rather than on eye tests or polled opinions.  We’re not saying one method is better than the other, just that we like to zig when others zag.  And there are plenty of people who zag.

The problem with using statistics for this kind of thing is that not all actions on a basketball court are recorded in box scores.  Heck, some important actions — properly setting a screen, defending a passing lane — can’t really be accurately recorded at all.

So any formulaic system for determining a best or most productive player is going to have flaws.  We know that.  We’ve admitted that.  But we still find it interesting to compare the stats of the SEC’s best players.

Last Friday we revealed our selections for the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year (Arkansas’ BJ Young) and the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year (Missouri’s Alex Oriakhi).  In both cases we added up the number of positive plays made by each of the league’s 51 players who logged 800 or more minutes and compared those plays to each player’s floor time.

On offense we looked at field goal attempts made (with a bonus given for three-pointers made), offensive rebounds, and assists.  On defense we included defensive rebounds, blocked shots, and steals.

For our overall award, we combined each player’s positive offensive plays with his positive defensive plays.  Then we looked to see who made the most positive plays on both ends of the court, compared to their total number of minutes played.

This year’s winner will hopefully keep Marshall Henderson from ripping us on Twitter.’s “Most Productive Player” honor goes to Ole Miss’ big man Murphy Holloway.  He recorded 366.3 positive offensive plays and 287 positive defensive plays (653.3 total) in 1,057 minutes of action.  By our measure, Holloway accounted for a positive play once every 1.61 minutes he was on the floor.

However, if not for our 800-minute cutoff point, Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel would have nabbed the honor easily.

In 765 minutes of action, the Wildcat’s injured star accounted for 201.0 positive offensive plays and 318 positive defensive plays (519.0 total).  That’s one positive play for every 1.47 minutes played.  We thought that kind of production needed to be recognized whether Noel met our minutes-played requirement or not.

Below you’ll see the numbers for all 51 players who tallied at least 800 minutes.  You’ll also notice that our “All-Numbers Team” consists of the 10 players in the league:


  Player   Off. Pos. Plays   Def. Pos. Plays   Total Pos. Plays   Min. Played   Min./Pos.Play   Honor
1. Holloway (UM) 366.3 287 653.3 1057 1.61 MrSEC Most Productive
2. Stokes (UT) 309.0 239 548.0 923 1.68 All-Numbers
3. Oriakhi (MU) 249.0 250 499.0 845 1.69 All-Numbers
4. O’Bryant (LSU) 292.0 199 491.0 845 1.72 All-Numbers
5. Powell (ARK) 288.0 188 476.0 819 1.72 All-Numbers
6. Buckner (UM) 249.0 277 526.0 967 1.83 All-Numbers
7. Caldwell-Pope (UGA) 309.0 271 580.0 1086 1.87 All-Numbers
8. Young (FLA) 253.0 203 456.0 874 1.91 All-Numbers
9. Carmouche (LSU) 256.3 150 406.3 800 1.96 All-Numbers
10. Murphy (FLA) 264.6 169 433.6 854 1.96 All-Numbers
11. Young (ARK) 325.3 107 432.3 866 2.00
12. Pressey (MU) 408.3 145 553.3 1113 2.01
13. Chubb (AUB) 215.0 187 402.0 816 2.02
14. Roberson (A&M) 205.0 185 390.0 815 2.08
15. Coleman (LSU) 229.3 175 404.3 870 2.15
16. Hickey (LSU) 272.0 172 444.0 957 2.15
17. Ross (MU) 225.0 161 386.0 832 2.15
18. Poythress (UK) 221.6 160 381.6 852 2.23
19. Caruso (A&M) 203.3 158 361.3 815 2.25
20. Ware (MSU) 188.0 176 364.0 824 2.26
21. Jackson (USC) 241.6 160 401.6 918 2.28
22. Goodwin (UK) 298.6 154 452.6 1048 2.31
23. Johnson (VU) 297.3 153 450.3 1047 2.32
24. Henderson (UM) 312.6 137 449.6 1064 2.36
25. Lacey (AL) 258.0 188 446.0 1054 2.36
26. Sullivan (AUB) 271.6 151 422.6 998 2.36
27. Sword (MSU) 223.3 137 360.3 854 2.37
28. Wilbekin (UF) 290.0 123 413.0 995 2.40
29. McRae (UT) 278.6 154 432.6 1075 2.48
30. Thomas (MSU) 168.6 186 354.6 917 2.58
31. Releford (AL) 269.3 122 391.3 1027 2.62
32. Turner (A&M) 311.6 120 431.6 1139 2.63
33. Payne (AUB) 181.3 146 327.3 865 2.64
34. Cooper (AL) 230.3 112 342.3 912 2.66
35. Rosario (UF) 268.0 88 356.0 951 2.67
36. Summers (UM) 228.3 84 312.3 855 2.73
37. Boynton (UF) 270.3 116 386.3 1060 2.74
38. Golden (UT) 251.3 78 329.3 905 2.74
39. Bright (VU) 167.0 180 347.0 966 2.78
40. Richardson (UT) 189.0 155 344.0 981 2.85
41. Odom (VU) 212.3 134 346.3 999 2.88
42. Randolph (AL) 204.0 124 328.0 987 3.00
43. Williams (UM) 169.0 94 263.0 818 3.11
44. Harris (A&M) 222.6 82 304.6 965 3.16
45. Fuller (VU) 175.3 94 269.3 866 3.21
46. Wallace (AUB) 141.0 102 243.0 810 3.33
47. Stringer (LSU) 205.3 77 282.3 950 3.36
48. Mays (UK) 225.6 95 320.6 1090 3.39
49. Bloodman (MSU) 163.0 109 272.0 931 3.42
50. Reese (A&M) 157.6 86 243.6 865 3.55
51. Smith (USC) 177.0 67 244.0 885 3.62



*  Our Defensive Player of the Year (Missouri’s Oriakhi) ranked eight slots higher than our Offensive Player of the Year (Arkansas’ Young) on our overall Most Productive list.  Oriakhi was the more complete player — statistically speaking — accounting for 249 positive plays on offense and 250 positive players on defense.

*  Ole Miss’ Henderson got most of the spotlight this season, but the statistics suggest once more that the Rebels were truly driven by their inside tandem.  Holloway (1st) and Reginald Buckner (6th) gave Mississippi the highest-ranked pair of players in on our list.  Henderson ranked 24th on our list of overall most productive players.

*  LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant (4th) and Charles Carmouche (9th) and Florida’s Patric Young (8th) and Erik Murphy (10th) were also top 10 duos.


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