• #1 by GoHogs1091 on 06 Mar 2017
  • The final season for SEC teams to have a substantial chance to win against Mississippi State.

    Next season, Howland is going to have the following size.

    Schnider Herard   6'10"  4 Star
    Aric Holman   6'10"  4 Star
    Abdul Ado   6'11"  4 Star   Ineligible this season.  Probably the best shot blocker they have had since Jarvis Varnado.
    Garrison Brooks   6'10"  4 Star
    E.J. Datcher   6'9"  240 lbs.
    KeyShawn Feazell   6'9"
  • #2 by jbcarol on 08 Mar 2017
  • #3 by jbcarol on 08 Mar 2017
  • #4 by jbcarol on 09 Mar 2017
  • #5 by jbcarol on 10 Mar 2017
  •  Brad Shepard‏ @Brad_Shepard

    For all those Barnes haters, Cuonzo and Tyndall left a hot pile of garbage. Just FYI.

     Patrick Brown‏ @patrickbrownTFP 14h14 hours ago

    Patrick Brown Retweeted Brad Shepard

    Next year's team will be entirely players he's recruited/developed, maybe let's see what he does with it.
  • #6 by jbcarol on 11 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    Kennedy and Co. will turn towards an ever-important 12th season for the Ole Miss head coach. He returns an experienced roster led by emerging all-league-caliber players Breein Tyree and Terence Davis. Saiz will be replaced by 7-foot Drake transfer Dominik Olejniczak, who will provide the rim protection and quickness in defensive rotations Ole Miss has sorely lacked in the low block.

    Ole Miss has one scholarship open for the spring, though the Rebels are expected to add at least two players, and possibly up to four, after the dust settles. Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey is expected to transfer, and the future is cloudy for rising senior Marcanvis Hymon, who could also be a transfer candidate.

    Ole Miss is looking to add offense at the four. Hymon and Justas Furmanavicius combined to average only 10.0 points per game this season. Ideally, the Rebels would land a player whose offense isn’t reliant on put-back opportunities at the rim, but rather can step out and make shots outside of 10 feet. Jones Community College forward Bruce Stevens is an option, and Ole Miss has kicked the tires on former Memphis and Virginia forward Austin Nichols, though the SEC’s new rules regarding previous disciplinary issues for transfers makes it all but impossible for the Rebels to add him.

    Ole Miss could add a guard, too, and the Rebels will make it a priority to get more athletic on the wing. Former Texas guard Tevin Mack is a name being floated, among a host of others.
  • #7 by jbcarol on 11 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    Kentucky had De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk.

    Alabama didn't have Collin Sexton and John Petty.

    To a man, Alabama has no reason to hang its head after losing to a legit Final Four contender and falling to 19-14 overall. Avery Johnson's second team has squeezed almost every drop out of its talent, winning 12 games against SEC opponents between the regular season and the conference tournament. Of their nine conference losses, five came by five points or less.

    Now the Tide has every reason to look forward to the NIT and beyond. More experience for the likes of Key and Dazon Ingram is a positive, and considerable help is on the way.

    Sexton, the explosive 6-2 point guard out of Georgia, is the No. 7 national recruit in the 247Sports rankings for 2017. Petty, the versatile 6-5 shooting guard from Huntsville, is No. 30. Both can play at a high level, both can score in bunches and both can get you points in a variety of ways when you need them most.

    A year ago, Kentucky dismissed Alabama from this tournament by 26 points. This elimination game was anything but easy for the regular-season champs.

    Imagine what might happen next year should they meet on this stage again.
  • #8 by jbcarol on 12 Mar 2017
  • It was a season filled with moral victories, though Barnes made it clear that he expects more next season, in his third year as Tennessee’s head coach.

    “I know one thing, this time next year we want to be in a position where we’re a postseason team,” Barnes said. “I’m proud of the young guys, and I think they learned a lot, but we want more.”

    Tennessee’s stretch run was undone by injuries and illnesses.

    The Vols started four different lineups in their final four games of the season.

    “This time of year you want to have a rhythm, and you want to know what you have got,” Barnes said. “This will be a learning experience for them, and the biggest thing they have to understand is how quickly it can end.”

    Postseason tournament invites go out tonight, but Tennessee’s season likely is over.
  • #9 by jbcarol on 14 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn coach Bruce Pearl feels his program "is in really, really good shape" following a season marked both by progress and disappointing defeats.

    For the first time in his tenure, the Tigers' coach will get most of his scoring and rebounding production back, including talented freshmen Mustapha Heron, Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy. It still didn't take the sting out of failing to make the NCAA Tournament or NIT, losing six of the last eight games or suffering some painful second-half collapses.

    Pearl scoffs at any notion that his fourth season will be "critical" to his job security with a program that hasn't had a winning record since the 2008-09 season under Jeff Lebo. His own expectations will be high, though.

    "We are in the upper division of any power 5 conference as far as the status of our program, where we are right now," Pearl said. "That's how coaches should be judged. Do I want to go to the tournament next year? Absolutely. Should there be an expectation that we go to the tournament? Absolutely.

    "Our program is in great position. Our program is in really, really good shape."

    The Tigers, who finished 18-14 and 7-11 in Southeastern Conference games, were the only team in the country to have its four leading scorers all be freshmen. That includes the program's first two five-star signees, Heron and Wiley. Wiley played in 23 games after enrolling at midseason and turned 18 during the season.

    Heron led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding. Fellow freshmen Purifoy and Jared Harper also started while Anfernee McLemore played a key role off the bench. A pair of four-star signees, forward Chuma Okeke and point guard Davion Mitchell, are scheduled to join the team next season.

    Pearl said the 6-foot-11, 255-pound Wiley is "just scratching the surface" of his abilities and could be one of the top offensive centers in the country next season. Wiley averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds and was second to McLemore on the team with 31 blocked shots despite his late start.

    Still, Pearl knows that fans would be justified in thinking Auburn should have won a few more games. That certainly would include the first-round, overtime loss to 14th-seeded Missouri in the SEC Tournament after blowing a late lead. Auburn also squandered a 23-point second-half lead in a loss to Mississippi in another example, but did sweep rival Alabama.

    Pearl, who has led teams to 17 NCAA Tournaments, wouldn't talk much about postseason hopes before this season. He's already talking up his next team.

    "Next year our expectations should be to be in the NCAA Tournament," Pearl said.
  • #10 by jbcarol on 14 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes doesn't want his players to get accustomed to ending their season this early.

    The Volunteers finished 16-16 and won't be playing in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT for a third straight season. They haven't ended a year with a winning record since their 2014 Sweet 16 appearance.

    This also marks the first time in over two decades that Barnes has spent back-to-back seasons without reaching the NCAA Tournament. Barnes' teams at Clemson and Texas had earned 19 NCAA Tournament bids in the 20 seasons before he took over Tennessee's program in 2015 .

    "We're trying to teach our guys how hard it is to get into this," Barnes said Monday. "I want them to know it's something they're going to have to earn."

    That's why Barnes already was trying to teach his underclassmen about the upcoming season shortly after the 2016-17 campaign ended.

    "I want them to feel the sting of what it's like when you don't meet your goals," Barnes said. "I know one thing, it took me a couple of days before I even wanted to watch TV and watch another basketball game. I want them to feel that. I want them to understand there's no givens in what we do. It's why it's called competition. We've got to go out and embrace the competition.

    "I've been doing this a long time, and the best people I've been around, they don't let losing just slip off their back 30-40 minutes after a game. It stays with them a little bit."

    Tennessee actually outperformed preseason forecasts, as the Vols got the No. 9 seed in the SEC tournament after being picked to finish 13th in the league. More will be expected of Tennessee next season.

    The Vols must replace leading scorer Robert Hubbs III, but senior reserve forward Lew Evans was the only other upperclassman on this year's roster by the end of the season. Tennessee regularly started three freshmen, including leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Grant Williams. An international exhibition tour this summer should help this young team get a jump start on the 2017-18 season.

    Tennessee needs to find stability at the point guard position next season. Jordan Bone, Lamonte Turner and Shembari Phillips all took turns handling the point this year with varying degrees of success.

    The Vols also must figure out how to avoid the late fades that have marked each of Barnes' first two seasons on the job. Tennessee lost seven of its final 10 games in 2015-16 and dropped six of its last eight games this season.

    Tennessee started struggling this year shortly after it entered February as a legitimate contender for an NCAA bid. The Vols must respond better when the stakes get higher next season.

    "I don't think we were tough enough because February is a tough month," Barnes said. "I think it's a grind. I think people who finish strong are mentally tough. ... To get where we want to go, I do think we've got to get mentally tougher. How do you do that? I think you raise the bar in everything that you do."
  • #11 by jbcarol on 14 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    They clearly have a ways to go if they hope to break their 14-year NCAA Tournament drought.

    "We're accountable, that's the biggest thing," Pearl said last week after losing in the opening round of the SEC Tournament for the second straight year. "Every one of us has to look inward. We didn't finish the season strong. I thought our team improved in a lot of ways, but the competition being what it is, teams got better."

    Led by four freshmen in the starting lineup, the Tigers scored in bunches while simultaneously struggling on the other end of the court. Auburn ranked 31st nationally and second in the SEC behind Kentucky with 80.4 points per game. Comparatively, Auburn ranked 321st in scoring defense at 79.6 points per game allowed.

    "Defense and rebounding was an issue for us all year long," he said. "We lost a lot of leads partly because we just weren't able to hold on on the defensive end."

    Auburn failed to hold onto double-digit leads multiple times in the second half of the regular season, and it resulted in two losses to Georgia and two more to Ole Miss.

    The issue came to a head at the SEC Tournament -- eleventh-seeded Auburn led No. 14 seed Missouri by 10 points with less than five minutes to play and was up by six with 19 seconds to go. Missouri managed to hit a pair of 3-pointers before the end of regulation and two more in overtime to send Auburn packing.

    "We know the reasons why we did what we did and got what we got," Pearl said. "I've got a good, young team that I think has learned an awful lot of what it takes and where we came up short."

    Pearl is now 44-54 in three seasons at Auburn after finishing 15-20, 11-20 and 18-14. He is optimistic about the 2017-18 campaign, in part because the meat and potatoes of his starting lineup will be returning --
  • #12 by jbcarol on 15 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    Scarblog: Opportunity knocked loudly for the Alabama basketball team Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum. The first round of the NIT gave the Crimson Tide a home game against solid-but-unspectacular Richmond a mere three days after pushing Kentucky for 40 minutes.

    But as has been the case too often this season, Alabama missed its shot.

    Richmond 71, Alabama 64 won't go down as the worst loss of a 19-15 season that veered from frustrating to encouraging, but it'll serve as a lingering reminder as the program turns the page toward a promising future. As much as this team scratched and clawed, Johnson's second edition simply wasn't good enough to overcome its limitations.

    That explanation won't fly next season if Alabama doesn't reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. Two trips to the NIT in Johnson's first two years have been encouraging. At least, the invitations were. The performances, going one-and-done against Creighton last year and Richmond last night, not so much.

    Quick. Name the last Alabama coach to win an NIT game. You get a gold star if you said John Brannen.

    For two years, Johnson has earned pats on the back for getting the most out of a limited roster. He's filled the roster's obvious holes with this recruiting class, especially in terms of explosive perimeter scorers with high-profile signees Collin Sexton and John Petty. So the expectations for Johnson's third season already have gone to another level.

    It'll be his job to lift the team to that level. Next season, Alabama should miss a lot fewer shots. That should keep the Tide from missing its best shot at the NCAA Tournament in years.
  • #13 by jbcarol on 18 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    Auburn, which has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2003, went 18-14 overall and 7-11 in SEC play this season and lost to last-place Missouri in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

    "From Charles' lips to Gods Ears!" tweeted Auburn coach Bruce Pearl, who is working as a guest studio analyst for the Tournament. "That's what we came to Auburn to do! Blessed to have his confidence and support."
  • #14 by jbcarol on 19 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    Vanderbilt’s 2016-17 basketball season is over, and that means its roster moves forward.

    The Commodores finished 19-16, including a late-season hot streak to advance to the NCAA tournament, despite carrying only nine active players. Here is what’s next:

    Jeff Roberson: The most well-rounded player returning next season will only see his role expand. Roberson is perhaps the team’s best perimeter defender, but he will continue to play near the paint, where his toughness is an asset. Next season, Roberson is certain to step into the senior leadership shoes of Kornet and Cressler.

    Fisher-Davis: The team’s leading scorer faces a critical offseason. Fisher-Davis will enter his senior year as one of the SEC’s most dangerous offensive weapons, but he finished this season coming off the bench because of past disciplinary reasons. If Fisher-Davis can avoid off-the-court issues, he will be an All-SEC guard. If not, he could get lost in the lineup as Drew reshapes the team...

    Riley LaChance: After his career was revived as a point guard in Drew’s debut season, LaChance’s value has skyrocketed heading toward his senior season. LaChance could still play point guard. But it’s more likely he’ll move to his natural position of shooting guard as other point guard options arrive.

    Joe Toye: The ceiling may be the highest for Toye, a guard who will enter his junior season as a possible rising star. He can defend in a physical style and drive and dunk over defenders. If Toye can improve his 3-point shooting, he could develop into an All-SEC selection.

    Payton Willis...
  • #15 by jbcarol on 21 Mar 2017
  • #16 by jbcarol on 22 Mar 2017

  • Quote
    Sixth-seeded Georgia Tech ended the fifth-seeded Rebels' season in the NIT quarterfinals Tuesday night.

    Now coach Andy Kennedy ventures into the offseason trying to figure out how he can get Ole Miss (22-14) back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.

    The biggest loss will obviously be in the front court with center Sebastian Saiz, who averaged 15.1 points and 11.4 rebounds, was a first-team All-SEC player and won the Howell Trophy.

    The Rebels, who finished tied for fifth in the SEC after preseason projections had them at ninth, had a bunch of newcomers and a few young players, like Terence Davis and Breein Tyree, in key roles. The team never found a real flow until the end of the season.

    Next season, Davis will be a junior, will have a year worth of meaningful playing time under his belt and will have another offseason to tighten his game. Tyree will be a sophomore that has have gone through the ups and downs of a season and will be further removed from the knee injury which limited his athleticism this year.

    Deandre Burnett and Cullen Neal probably won't have quite the adjustment period they had this year.

    "I think we saw the development of Terence Davis, we're all excited about the next step for him. Breein Tyree certainly shows flashes," Kennedy said. "We're obviously going to miss Sebas, Rasheed (Brooks) had his moments. ... The rest of the guys are intact, again, excited about what we're doing moving forward."

    During his postgame press conference, Kennedy said he was excited about three players they've already signed — forward Jamarko Pickett, guard Devontae Shuler and combo guard Parker Stewart.

    Kennedy also mentioned 7-foot Drake transfer Dominik Olejniczak, who he said will step into Saiz's spot at center. While that may be the case, it's hard to imagine Olejniczak reproducing Saiz's 23 double-doubles from this year.

    During the off months, Kennedy will also spend time trying to find answers for a problem that plagued the team this season: home losses. Ole Miss lost six home games this season. Two of which came to Sweet 16 teams, Kentucky and Baylor, and another came to Middle Tennessee State, which won an NCAA Tournament game.

    The three back-breaking home losses were to Georgia (19-15), Texas A&M (16-15) and Georgia Tech (20-15).

    "I guarantee you, there's 24 teams playing in the NCAA and NIT as of tonight, and I guarantee you they all had one common denominator: they all protected home floor," Kennedy said. "That was our sixth loss at home. That's inexcusable. I'm going to really evaluate in the offseason ways to maybe eliminate some distractions. Something's going on, we just don't seem like we're as locked in.

    "You can't have six home losses and expect to be successful."

    The latest loss came in front of 9,091 fans, which was the second-largest crowd of the season behind Baylor.

    "People who say Ole Miss doesn't care about basketball are crazy," Kennedy said.