Sports, Thrill of Victory

Around the SEC: National Signing Day and Basketball Rankings

Chris Lee brings everyone up to date on the latest news and notes around the Southeastern Conference, including team and Player of the Year rankings for hoops.

Alabama's Nick Saban cleaned up in recruiting, again. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

Alabama’s Nick Saban cleaned up in recruiting, again. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

National Signing Day another SEC success

It’s not unusual to see the SEC dominate signing day, and once again, the league did just that as it landed eight of the top 16 classes nationally according to Rivals. (Full disclosure: I run a Rivals site.) Here’s a look at how Rivals ranked each class within the SEC, with each team’s national rank in parenthesis:

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. LSU (6)
  3. Ole Miss (7)
  4. Auburn (9)
  5. Georgia (10)
  6. Florida (14)
  7. Tennessee (15)
  8. Texas A&M (16)
  9. South Carolina (25)
  10. Kentucky (25)
  11. Arkansas (32)
  12. Mississippi St. (36)
  13. Missouri (53)
  14. Vanderbilt (60)
Florida and guard KeVaughn Allen, fresh off an upset over West Virginia, ascended to No. 2 in our power rankings this week.  PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Florida and guard KeVaughn Allen, fresh off an upset over West Virginia, ascended to No. 2 in our power rankings this week. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Alabama’s dominance

It’s no surprise to see Alabama at the top of the recruiting rankings; that’s now happened six-straight years. 

Just how stacked is the Crimson Tide roster headed into 2016? Just take a look at this list.

Ole Miss receives Notice of Allegations

For years, it has been widely assumed (but never proven) that coach Hugh Freeze’s recruiting success—the Rebels checked in with another stellar signing class, as you can see above—has been due to cheating. Last week, it was reported that the NCAA had served the notice of allegations that everyone had long assumed was coming.

One problem: most of the allegations occurred in women’s basketball and track and field, and a good deal of the football issues either pre-dated Freeze or were resolved in last year’s lengthy Laremy Tunsil suspension

The bottom line: Ole Miss probably will be hit with minor penalties—the loss of a small handful of scholarships and official visits, and perhaps some time off in recruiting for coaches—but those hoping for worse will probably be disappointed.

Wade Baldwin and Vanderbilt host Texas A&M on Thursday night in what will be a crucial SEC game.

Wade Baldwin and Vanderbilt host Texas A&M on Thursday night in what will be a crucial SEC game.

BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS (overall, conference records)

  1. Texas A&M (18-3, 7-1)
  2. Florida (15-7, 6-3)
  3. Kentucky (16-6, 6-3)
  4. South Carolina (19-3, 6-3)
  5. LSU (14-8, 7-2)
  6. Vanderbilt (12-9, 4-4)
  7. Arkansas (11-11, 4-5)
  8. Alabama (12-9, 3-6)
  9. Georgia (12-8, 5-4)
  10. Tennessee (11-11, 3-5)
  11. Ole Miss (14-8, 4-5)
  12. Auburn (9-12, 3-6)
  13. Mississippi St. (9-11, 2-6)
  14. Missouri (8-14, 1-8)

BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  1. Ben Simmons, SF, LSU
  2. Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
  3. Dorian Finney-Smith, SF, Florida
  4. Moses Kingsley, C, Arkansas
  5. Wade Baldwin, PG, Vanderbilt
  6. Kevin Punter, SG, Tennessee
  7. Stefan Moody, SG, Ole Miss
  8. Alex Caruso, PG, Texas A&M
  9. Gavin Ware, PF, Mississippi St.
  10. Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
  11. Athlon Bell, SG, Arkansas
  12. Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky
  13. Michael Carrera, SF, South Carolina
  14. Danuel House, SF, Texas A&M
  15. Yante Maten, C, Georgia