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WOW Headlines – 10/12/12

Kentucky will take 68 players to Arkansas for tomorrow’s game… 42 will be sophomores or younger
South Carolina has gone from 50-to-1 to 7-to-1 odds of winning the BCS championship
Alabama has been preparing for potentially severe weather at Missouri tomorrow
Media in Alabama are starting to discuss Auburn coach Gene Chizik’s buyout
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze says he won’t put with more bad decisions by QB Bo Wallace
Scoring is up across the Southeastern Conference in 2012
Basketball season gets underway today with practices scheduled across the SEC
Kentucky’s John Calipari landed his third commitment from a Top 10-rated prospect yesterday
Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin says he has no doubt his team should be an NCAA Tournament team this season
Athlon Sports has named MrSEC’s Twitter feed as one of the “25 Twitter Accounts Every SEC Fan Should Follow”
Keep up with all your SEC news at MrSEC.com and twitter.com/mrsec

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SEC Headlines – 3/12/12 Part Two

1.  Florida’s first-round NCAA matchup will feature a contrast in styles.

2.  Freshman Bradley Beal hasn’t made up his mind on the upcoming NBA draft.

3.  Georgia has hired the former strength coach for Joe Paterno at Penn State.

4.  This writer says UGA’s basketball team was close to being a tournament team.

5.  There are potential story lines galore in Kentucky’s South Region…

6.  But this writer says the Wildcats are starting to look a little vulnerable.

7.  Darrin Horn’s fate at South Carolina will likely be decided early this week.  (We continue to hear from Columbia connections that he’s likely going to get another year.)

8.  Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin sounds ready for tomorrow’s game with Savannah State: “We’re a Number One seed in the NIT Tournament, now let’s roll.”

9.  Vanderbilt’s upset of top-ranked Kentucky yesterday gave the Dores their first SEC Tournament win since 1951.

10.  Backup Missouri quarterback Ashton Glaser was arrested yesterday morning for an unpaid speeding ticket.

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SEC Headlines – 1/27/12 Part One

1.  Florida rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to avoid an upset at Ole Miss.

2.  Who would have dreamed that the Georgia football program would be dealing with immigration issues?

3.  When John Calipari’s team travels to LSU tomorrow, they’ll be facing a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball who they chose not to recruit.

4.  South Carolina hopes to build on its first SEC win of the year when the Cocks trade baskets with Ole Miss tomorrow.

5.  Tennessee’ Cuonzo Martin believes Jarnell Stokes’ tough night at Vandy “was one of the best things for him.”

6.  Derek Dooley has hired Charlie Coiner – on North Carolina’s staff last season — as the Vols’ special teams coach.

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Martin Asks For Patience At UT

Looks like we could have dropped another coach’s name into our “patience” post from earlier today.  And this one’s smack dab in his very first season.

Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin — like Darrin Horn at South Carolina and Mark Fox at Georgia — is trying to rebuild a program.  Like Horn and Fox he’s trying to do so with a schedule that features two games per year against Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt. 

Not easy.

Last night, Martin’s Vols got clubbed by cross-state rival Vandy 65-47.  It was the latest down in a series of up-and-down efforts from UT.  At home, they’ve knocked off Florida, UConn and battled valiantly against top-ranked Kentucky over the past three weeks.  On the road, they’re oh-for-the-season. 

Tennessee’s coach is asking for a little perspective:


“You have to be patient.  They are getting better and making progress.  I don’t get caught up in the final score.  We played a physical, experienced team tonight.”


Ya know how to get fans riled up?  Have a coach say after an 18-point loss that he doesn’t get caught up in the final score.

As was the case with Fox and Horn, Martin took over a program with a number of issues — few scorers, no true point guard, little experience, in Martin’s case.  All deserve time to fix the woes of their programs.

But if Martin is telling people they have to have patience midway through his first year — when his team was already picked to finish 11th in a 12-team conference — it further reveals just how little patience there is to be found around SEC programs these days.

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SEC Headlines – 12/1/11 PM Edition

1.  Music City Bowl officials say they have a tough choice between Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

2.  Florida forward Will Yeguete is providing valuable minutes for the Gators.

3.  Georgia wants to stop the run and force LSU to pass on Saturday.

4.  The O-line has been key to the Dawgs’ 10-game win streak.

5.  So what would a refurbished Rupp Arena — and the surrounding area — look like?

6.  Did we mention that Bruce Ellington will be back for South Carolina’s game with Providence tonight?

7.  Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin wants his team to start playing better defense.

8.  The football culture is changing at Vanderbilt.

9.  Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley could help Alabama’s Trent Richardson win the Heisman.

10.  Some of the best seats at Jordan-Hare Stadium will be more expensive next year.

11.  Arkansas’ Mardracus Wade is stepping up in Marshawn Powell’s absence.

12.  ESPN.com’s Rick Reilly would rather see LSU versus Oklahoma Sate, Stanford, Virginia Tech or Boise State than Alabama.

13.  Rick Stansbury says West Virginia will be a “heck of a challenge” for Mississippi State.

14.  Ole Miss’ young guards had better be ready as the Rebels hit the road to DePaul and then Penn State.

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Martin’s Job At UT A Tough One

There won’t be many first-year coaches in the country next season who find themselves in a tighter spot than Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin.  In all likelihood UT’s new coach will have to deal with some sort of NCAA sanctions against his program.  He’ll also have to replace a beloved figure in ousted coach Bruce Pearl.  And he’ll need to do it with a roster that’s both small and thin. 

Oh, and he’ll also have to win over a fanbase that’s grown accustomed to thriving in basketball.

But with Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris going pro early, the Vols have lost their two top scorers from a year ago.  Martin is left with just one returning starter, one player over 6-8, and just seven scholarship returnees total. 

Making matters worse, two highly-ranked prospects won’t be in Knoxville next season either.  Chris Jones’ grades have forced him to the juco ranks.  Kevin Ware is considering Georgia and Louisville after backing out on UT, but his grades are iffy as well.

And did we mention the fact that many UT fans are blaming Martin for Harris, Hopson, Jones and Ware not wearing orange next year?  In reality, its likely Pearl would have been facing the exact same rebuilding job next season had he not imploded with a flurry of NCAA missteps.

Offense figures to be a major issue for the Vols next season.  At least according to John Adams of The Knoxville News Sentinel.  Oddly, Mark Wiedmer of The Chattanooga Times Free-Press writes just the opposite stating:


Laugh all you like, but Jordan McRae and Renaldo Woolridge — assuming “Swiper Boy” puts his musical career on hold long enough to finally earn the four years of free tuition, room and board the Vols have provided him — have the talent to become one of the more dangerous offensive duos in the Southeastern Conference.


Anything’s possible, but neither of those players could earn their way onto UT’s court with any regularity last season.  So it’s hard to picture them going from zeroes to heroes in such a short span of time.

Whether UT can scrounge up enough offense to win or not, Martin isn’t making any excuses.  “It’s just one of those deals (where) you have a bunch of guys that were role players and some guys who didn’t play a role.  So now it’s trying to find a guy that can be a leading guy, leading scorer, leading post guy, leading perimeter guy, guy that can run off screens.  Those things we have to find out as a staff.”

All while some fans unfairly compare his results to his predecessors.  After all, it was Pearl who burned Tennessee’s program to the ground.  Martin just inherited the mess.

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