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South Carolina 74 – Auburn 56

Video highlights of the South Carolina 74 – 56 win over Auburn Wednesday night in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

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SEC Headlines 3/12/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Oklahoma assistant coach Cale Gundy tweets picture of Nick Saban: “Looks like someone came up short again.” Later removes and apologizes.

2. Vanderbilt hires Frank Maile to replace Vavae Tata as defensive line coach.  Spent last six years at Utah State.

3. Commodores opened spring practice on Tuesday with a quarterback battle between Johnny McCrary and Patton Robinette

4. Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo getting one-year contract extension. More money for defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.

5. Minor scuffle breaks out as LSU puts the pads on for the first time this spring.

6. Coach Butch Jones message to his team in pads for the first time.  ”Your win-loss record starts today.”

7. Florida will start spring practice with nine injured players including three starters. Expect to see quarterback Jeff Driskel in the shotgun formation.

8. Gators running back Matt Jones won’t participate in spring practice but on schedule to return before summer.

9. The message from Auburn: “We’re only going to get faster.” What do the Tigers look like at defensive tackle heading in to the 2014 season?

10. Missouri releases a depth chart that shows some shuffling along the offensive line.

11. Alabama will have to replace both its starting kicker and starting punter this fall.

12. Linebacking corps expected to be a strength at Tennessee in 2014.

13. Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury on coaching at Houston with Kevin Sumlin and thinking they were headed to UCLA but wound up at Texas A&M.  ”That was a tough day…”

14. Is Texas A&M’s expansion of Kyle Field a motivator for Texas?

SEC/NFL

15. First of two Alabama pro days today with 12 players expected to make an appearance.

SEC Basketball

16. All SEC basketball teams released.  Florida’s Billy Donovan earned SEC Coach of the Year honors while Florida senior Scottie Wilbekin selected the SEC Player of the Year.

17. SEC regular season basketball attendance averaged 10,380 fans – on pace to be lowest since 1984-1985. Should college basketball be a one-semester sport?

18. SEC Tournament gets underway tonight in Atlanta.  Can Auburn beat South Carolina for the third time this season?

19. Auburn players hear the chatter about coach Tony Barbee: “We hear it all the time but we can’t focus on that.”

20. South Carolina coach Frank Martin: “Postseason play is a completely different set of emotions than you have in the regular season.”

21. Mississippi State faces Vanderbilt in the nightcap.  MSU A.D. Scott Stricklin defends coach Rick Ray: “It’s my belief that the wins will come.”

22. Walk-on point guard Carter Josephs will make another start for Vanderbilt.

23. Texas A&M forward Jamal Jones doubtful for Missouri game on Thursday.  Had a 103 temperature on Monday.

24. Last year’s Ole Miss team won the SEC Tournament.  Coach Andy Kennedy: We hoped that was the standard by which we could continue to grow.”

25. One take on the tournament: “Other than Florida and Kentucky, isn’t everyone else a darkhorse?”

26. Would Florida be better off losing the tournament?

27. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson: “I think it’s going to be a wide-open tournament.”

28. Georgia reserve center  John Cannon is transferring – won’t be at the tournament

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SEC Hoops Roundup 3/8/2014

gfx-hoops-round-up2Kentucky at Florida

1. As the Gators go for perfection in conference play, this Florida senior class has racked up some amazing numbers.  Another major milestone awaits.

2. Kentucky coach John Calipari on the challenge facing his team: ”It’s not going to be easy. There is nothing that’s going to be easy about it.”

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss

3. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings can’t understand  why some of his players are hesitant to shoot the ball.  ”There is a reluctance and you’re not sure why it exists.”

4. The “Marshall Henderson Show” is almost over.  Last home game for the Ole Miss senior guard.

Auburn at Texas A&M

5. At one point the SEC’s leading scorer, Auburn guard Chris Denson has scored just nine points in his last two games.

6. Status of senior guard Fabyon Harris uncertain today.  Coach Billy Kennedy: ”He’s limited in what he can do, so we are still unsure what he will be able to do.”

Missouri at Tennessee

7. Sitting on the bubble, a victory at Tennessee would be huge for Missouri’s NCAA Tournament chances.  Coach Frank Haith: “They’re an NCAA Tournament team, so if you beat them twice it definitely helps you.”

8. Tennessee is playing some its best basketball of the year.  But is this a “play-out” game for both these teams?

South Carolina at Mississippi State

9. Suspended South Carolina coach Frank Martin apologized Friday afternoon. “I understand that I represent this university and I have a duty to conduct myself in a certain way.”

10. Mississippi State senior Colin Borchert on what he’s learned from coach Rick Ray: “The biggest thing I’m going to take from is how you can succeed when you come from nothing.”

Arkansas at Alabama

11. Streaking Arkansas trying to win its fourth straight SEC road game.  Best Razorbacks road team in 20 years?

12. Last home game for Alabama guard Trevor Releford.  Coach Anthony Grant: ”He’s 6-foot on the outside but he’s like 6-8 on the inside.”

Georgia at LSU

13. A win for Georgia locks down third place in the SEC and a double-bye in the conference tournament.

14. LSU senior guard Andre Stringer is “the final vestige of the Tigers’ failed resurrection plan four years ago under former coach Trent Johnson.”

Extra

15. The Antlers at Missouri and other student groups get attention from ESPN’s Outside The Lines this weekend.

 

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Arkansas’ Bielema, Carolina’s Martin Proving “Name” Hires Aren’t Always The Best Hires

bret-bielema-and-frank-martinQuick.  Which SEC coach is the biggest jerk: Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema or South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin?

To be honest, those two are really the only coaches in the running.  Both have said/done things just in the last few weeks that have embarrassed themselves and their universities.  Neither has won games as expected (though it’s still very early in their tenures).  So who ya got?  Bielema or Martin?

The Razorbacks’ coach has garnered more press.  Dating back a full year prior to his joining the SEC, he stated publicly that the Big Ten — where he was coaching Wisconsin at the time — wanted to be nothing like the league he currently represents.  Soon after arriving in Fayetteville he “joked” about having a better Big Ten record than Alabama’s Nick Saban had had while he coached Michigan State.  We suspected he’d make some noise at SEC Media Days… and he did.  His temper flared when someone fed him a quote from Auburn’s Gus Malzhan that Bielema took personally.  There was Swinging Gate-Gatein which he violated an SEC rule by talking about an alleged Auburn rule violation.  Later he complained about “the location of some of these (SEC) universities and the towns around them” while hotel-hunting prior to the Hogs’ trip to Ole Miss.

Making matters worse, Bielema’s first Arkansas team went belly-up.  The roster he inherited wasn’t built for the style of play he prefers and it showed.  UA went winless in league play for the first time in decades and set a school record by losing its last nine games.  Congratulations.  We wondered by mid-November if Bielema could be labeled a fish out of water in the SEC.  That was before a lackluster signing day and his latest remarks regarding no-huddle, hurry-up offenses.  Back on February 20th when he was asked about evidence of increased injuries he responded: “I’m not talking about injuries, I’m talking about death.”  That was in reference to California’s Ted Agu who had died on a conditioning run in early February.  Cal’s AD immediately called Bielema’s comments “misinformed, ill-advised and beyond insentive.”

So just how bad has Bielema bungled things in his short Arkansas tenure?  SI.com’s Stewart Mandel put it this way last month:  “With Lane Kiffin now muzzled as a member of Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama, Bielema is well on his way to replacing him as college football’s most reviled figure.”

 

Yowsa.

Now Martin at South Carolina doesn’t have a resume of missteps that long and he’s actually nearing the end of his second season in the SEC.  But his offenses — depending on your point of view — are nastier than Bielema’s.  Carolina’s coach appears to be this generation’s Bobby Knight, minus the chair-tossing and player-choking.  (That said, would anyone be surprised if a cell phone video of a Martin practice someday leaked out and revealed that he’d strong-armed a player or two?)

Last February, Carolina’s coach — who routinely berates his team and his players during games — said after an 18-point loss to LSU:

 

“I’ve been doing this for 28 years, nine of which as a junior varsity high school coach.  That means I’ve dealt with 14-year-olds.  I’ve never been more embarrassed to call myself a basketball coach than I am today…

If this was the NBA, we’d fine (the players), we’d take their money, we’d release them and say, ‘Good luck with ever finding another job.’  I shouldn’t coach basketball ever again if this is how my team plays.”

 

When those quotes went viral and led many to say he’d thrown his team under the bus, Martin laughably responded with this beaut:

 

“If you know anything about me, for 28 years I have never thrown my players under the bus.  I threw the culture under the bus.  I threw our approach under the bus.  Don’t ever say I threw my players under the bus.”

 

We’ll allow you to re-read that first quote and then decide for yourself if Martin was throwing his players or USC’s culture under the proverbial bus.

Fast-forward to January 22nd when this site wrote a story headlined: “Martin Apologizes For Rant At Player (And It’s Unlikely To Be The Last Time We Write That).”  At that time, Carolina’s coach had ripped into senior guard Brenton Williams during a loss to Ole Miss.  Fast-forward to Tuesday of this week and our parenthetical proved true:

 

Frank Martin suspended

 

That was Martin unleashing a flurry of profanities at his team, specifically freshman guard Duane Notice.  His Gamecocks dropped the game to top-ranked Florida, but the blow-up from the coach became the key takeaway.  And now Martin himself has been taken away… suspended for one game by South Carolina AD Ray Tanner, himself an ex-coach.  “The one-game suspension is a result of inappropriate verbal communication as it relates to the well-being of our student-athletes,” Tanner said in a press release.

One can’t seem to ever say the right thing.  One can’t seem to ever stop ripping his players and team.  And making matters worse for Misters Bielema and Martin is the fact that neither is winning.

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SEC Hoops Roundup 3/5/2014

gfx-hoops-round-up2Florida 72 – South Carolina 46. Video Highlights

1. 37-point night for Michael Frazier II includes 11 3-pointers.  22nd straight win for the Gators – one game away from perfect regular season conference record.

2. South Carolina coach Frank Martin on Frazier’s performance:  ”We never put a hand in his face.  I thought we were late to him every single time.”

Kentucky 55 – Alabama 48. Video Highlights

3. Despite shooting less than 33% from the floor, Kentucky gets the win.  Julius Randle grabs 11 rebounds and scores 12 points - only UK player to reach double digits.

4. Alabama loses its 18th game of the year – most losses since the 1969-70 season. Zero road wins in conference play for the Crimson Tide.

Wednesday SEC Hoops Schedule

Mississippi State at Georgia

Texas A&M at Missouri

Ole Miss at Arkansas

Tennessee at Auburn

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SEC Headlines 3/4/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel reportedly has a new deal that will push his pay to or above $3 million.

2. Ole Miss begins spring practice today. Rebels need to find out who will backup quarterback Bo Wallace.

3. Texas A&M practices in full pads for two hours and 15 minutes.  Coach Kevin Sumlin: “All-in-all, I liked the energy.”

4. Gus Malzhahn doesn’t sound too worried about an upcoming vote that could impact tempo:  ”We’re going to put the ball down, we’re going to play fast and we’re going to flat get after it. You all OK if we play fast?”

5. “History hasn’t been terribly kind to the coaches that lost the national championship game in the BCS era.”

6. “The Saban Rule is not about protecting players. That is never the primary motive of the NCAA, no matter how its leaders spin it.”

7. Winning is contagious.  South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier: “I think it’s somewhat contagious when one sport does well, then another one does well, and it just keeps going through.” Connor Shaw will be honored at halftime of tonight’s South Carolina basketball game.

8. Here are six players crucial to Missouri’s defense this fall.

9. Here are five Alabama players who need to step up their game in 2014.

10. The blame Lane Kiffin era begins at Alabama?

11. It’s good to be a public official in Alabama – free tickets to football games.

12. Position battles this spring at LSU.

13. Did you know? LSU got its purple and gold colors from Mardi Gras.  (Will Rust Cohle start an investigation?)

SEC Basketball

14. South Carolina gets a $25,000 fine from the SEC after fans stormed the court after the win against Kentucky Saturday.

15 .Clearing up misconception about the one-and-done rule.  College basketball is at the mercy of the NBA.

16. Texas A&M guard Fabyon Harris checks out of a hospital two days after fainting in a pregame shootaround. Guard Shawn Smith still dealing with “personal issues.”

17. Ole Miss guard Jarvis Summers recognized as the best men’s college basketball player in the state of Mississippi.

18. Red-hot Razorbacks have won seven of their last eight games. Mike Anderson: “We’re playing some of our better basketball at the right time…”

19. Alabama at Kentucky.  Kentucky has lost two in a row for the first time this season but Alabama hasn’t won on the road since last year. Rare events at Kentucky these days - honoring four-year players at Senior Night.

20. Florida at South Carolina.  Gators developing potential nine-man rotation heading down the stretch. Florida two wins away from perfect SEC regular season.

21. Pat Dooley: . “I see so much me-first basketball in this league.”

22. Three of the 12 teams mentioned as bubble teams here are from the SEC.

Extras

23. Something big coming at Arkansas?

24. Ready for a possible 43-yard extra-point attempt from the NFL?

25. Peyton Manning passes $34 million neck exam.

26. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has a little fun with the proposed 10-second rule in college football.

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SEC Hoops Roundup: Home Teams Go 7-0 Saturday

gfx-hoops-round-up2Tennessee 76 – Vanderbilt 38. Video Highlights

1. Tournament statement victory for Tennessee? Vols double up Vanderbilt  - largest margin of victory over their in-state rivals in the 185-game history between the two schools.

2. Memphis transfer Antonio Barton hits five three-pointers, scores 21 points.  Coach Cuonzo Martin: “It’s never too late to get better,”

3. Vanderbilt guard Dai-Jon Parker: “It’s embarrassing to the program and to our coaching staff.”

Missouri 85 – Mississippi State 66. Video Highlights

4. Mizzou gets 14 points and seven rebounds from center Keanau Post.  Tigers shoot a season-best 62.3 percent from the floor.

5. Mississippi State connects on season-high 10 three-pointers but its not enough as Bulldogs drop 11th straight.  Coach Rick Ray: “Missouri has the most lethal backcourt combination in this league.”

6. Craig Sword misses game for Mississippi State to attend grandmother’s funeral.

Alabama 73 – Auburn 57.

7. Levi Randolph scores 24 points and grabs nine rebounds to lead Alabama to the victory.

8. Statement game for coach Anthony Grant?

9. Is Auburn coach Tony Barbee worried about job security? ”No. I’m worried about coaching against Tennessee the next game.”

Florida 79 – LSU 61. Video Highlights

10. No. 1 Gators keep rolling - make a season-high 13 three-point shots.   Florida now 16-0 in the SEC and 27-2 overall.

11. LSU guard Anthony Hickey on the Gators: “They be locked in.”

Arkansas 87 – Georgia 75. Video Highlights

12. Forward Coty Clarke scored a career-high 23 points and Michael Qualls added 20 points. Razorbacks win for the seventh time in their last eight games.

13. Georgia hit 13 of their first 16 shots but can’t keep up the pace.  Kenny Gaines led the Bulldogs with 25 points.

Texas A&M 71 – Ole Miss 60. Video Highlights

14. Short-handed Aggies get the win at home.  Guard Fabyon Harris passed out in pre-game shootaround and had to be hospitalized. Guard  Shawn Smith was out for personal reasons.

15. Former Ole Miss Rebel Jamal Jones scores 21 points for Texas A&M. “This game means a lot to me.”

South Carolina 72 – Kentucky 67. Video Highlights

16. South Carolina gets 24 points from Brenton Williams as Gamecocks stun Kentucky.  Fans storm the court after the game.

17. Kentucky’s James Young, Aaron Harrison and Julius Randle make only nine of 35 shots. Coach John Calipari ejected from game.

18. John Clay:  ”In the end, the coach who preaches accountability was nowhere to be found.”

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South Carolina 72 – Kentucky 67

Video highlights of the South Carolina 72-67 win over Kentucky Saturday in Columbia.

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SEC Hoops Roundup 3/1/2014

gfx-hoops-round-up2Vanderbilt at Tennessee

1. Former Tennessee star Dale Ellis will have his number retired before today’s game.  Will join a group that includes Allan Houston, Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld.

2. Vanderbilt freshman Damian Jones was recruited by several blue-chip schools.  Why Vanderbilt? “I saw more opportunity here for me to improve, to get on the court sooner and get more experience.”

Mississippi State at Missouri

3. Are Missouri guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson feeling the pressure?  Coach Frank Haith: “It’s because they want it so badly, and they’re pressing.”

4. Mississippi State streaking in the wrong direction.  Lost 10 straight, haven’t won a game on the road all year, and have never won a game in February under coach Rick Ray.

Auburn at Alabama

5. Auburn won the first round of the Iron Bowl of basketball.  Alabama coach Anthony Grant: “We weren’t happy with the last time we played them.”

6. At 20.4 points per game, Auburn’s Chris Denson leads the SEC in scoring.  ”I’m definitely overlooked, but I think it’s due to our record.”

Georgia at Arkansas

7. Both these times have won six of their last seven games.  Arkansas coach Mike Anderson: “Georgia’s a good basketball team. They’re playing for the same thing we’re playing for…”

8. What’s coach Mark Fox’s future at Georgia?  A.D. Greg McGarity: “I’m really not going to talk about any of that stuff until the season’s over.”

LSU at Florida

9. The strong get stronger.  Having already clinched the SEC title, Florida expects to get point guard Kasey Hill back today.From a health standpoint, Gators “as good as they can be right now.”

10. LSU freshman Jordan Mickey on Florida: “They hustle. They’re physical. You can see it’s going to be a test out there for us.”

Kentucky at South Carolina

11. Does Kentucky have the necessary sense of urgency? Willie Cauley-Stein: It’s a scary thing if you let it go south.”

12. South Carolina coach Frank Martin: “Our program is starting to get kids playing with the same physicality as our teams played with at Kansas State.”

Ole Miss at Texas A&M
13. Ole Miss one of four teams tied for fourth place in SEC - important because of double-bye in conference tournament.

14. Texas A&M junior Jamal Jones started his career at Ole Miss but was dismissed from the team.  Rebels coach Andy Kennedy: “There’s a process that I don’t feel like is needed to get into, but you get to the point of no return.”

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SEC Hoops Roundup 2/16/2014

gfx-hoops-round-up2Vanderbilt 57 – Texas A&M 54 (OT). Video Highlights

1. Vanderbilt rallies from 11-point second-half deficit. Key jump ball with 6.6 seconds left in regulation  and the possession arrow favoring Vanderbilt.

2. Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy on the unique end zone benches at Memorial Gym -  “the best home-court advantage I’ve ever played against.”

Auburn 92 – Mississippi State 82. Video Highlights

3. Auburn gets 30 points from Chris Denson and 26 from KT Harrell.  ”We have to play like that all the time.”

4. Mississippi State coach Rick Ray: “We had a lot of bad combinations out on the floor. We just couldn’t find a way to score.”

Missouri 75 – Tennessee 70. Video Highlights

5. Missouri shoots 56. 5 percent from the field. Team-high 24 points for Jabari Brown.

6. Vols lose despite 31 points from Jordan McRae.  Tennessee just 4-of-21 from three-point range.

Georgia 61 – Ole Miss 60.

7. Fourth straight victory for Georgia – now 8-4 in SEC play.  Charles Mann’s free throw with 1.5 seconds left the difference in the contest.

8. Marshall Henderson led Ole Miss with 24 points despite not starting the game. Coach Andy Kennedy: “I was just trying to change his mojo.”

South Carolina 67 – Alabama 66.

9. Tip-in with 16.6 seconds left puts South Carolina up for good.  Coach Frank Martin: ”I guess the good Lord was looking down on the Gamecocks tonight.”

10. Trevor Releford keeps Alabama in the game – scores 25 of his 27 points in the second half. 46 points for Releford in the second half of last two games – teammates have scored just 35.

Arkansas 81 – LSU 70. Video Highlights

11. Arkansas finishes game on a 27-10 run.  Game-high 21 points for guard Ky Madden.

12. LSU gets a team-high 20 points and career-best 16 rebounds from Johnny O’Bryant.  

Florida 69 – Kentucky 59.Video Highlights

13. Game of the day in the SEC sees Florida snap six-game losing streak at Rupp Arena and win 17th straight game. Coach Billy Donovan: “I still think we can continue to grow and get better.”

14. Florida outscored Kentucky 31-14 down the stretch.  UK drops to 9-3 in SEC play.

15. “It’s time to talk about Florida as a true title contender, and perhaps the most complete team in the country…”

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