Inside the SEC: Nov. 1

1 Nov

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

SEC Media Day Recap

Justin Young already gave us a rundown of some of the memorable quotes from SEC basketball media day, which you can check out here and here.

But here are some more that are most SEC fans will find interesting.

On how new Terrence Jones would do against old Terrence Jones: “A lot better. I think I would kill myself.”

Mark Fox on replacing Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie: “We don’t replace their experience, necessarily, because there is no way to do that without more time. What we did do is replace those players with good talent.”

John Calipari on his team’s high preseason ranking: “They can rate us high all they want, but there are 40, 50 or 60 teams right now we could not beat. Maybe more. Maybe 100, because we’re just not ready to play a basketball game. We have no pace. We barely have an out-of-bounds play. If you pressed us, oh my gosh.  And don’t play a zone because we have no zone offense right now.” Hyperbole much, I think yes.

LSU freshman Anthony Hickey has really impressed early here is what Trent Johnson had to say: “He is looking good. We have had three scrimmages, and had 17 assists and three turnovers. I know it’s early but it’s hard not to get excited about him, let alone the other two freshmen, along with the addition of Justin Hamilton. I think we have the capabilities of being a very solid basketball team and Anthony [Hickey] is going to enable us to play faster.”

Erving Walker on what he has been working on this offseason:  “I have just been trying to slow the game down and try to get a better feel for what is going on in the game. I have a lot great scorers around me this year, so it’s up to me to get the ball to those guys and get them in position to score.”

Ole Miss’s Terrance Henry on having Murphy Holloway eligible: “Words can’t even describe it. He’s a work horse. It’s great to have him back. It’s great I don’t have to shuffle around as much”

Mississippi State Downs Florida Tech

 SEC fans should probably get used to hearing Arnett Moultrie and double-double in the same sentence.

Moultrie, a UTEP transfer, has been a scoring and rebounding machine since suiting up for Rick Stansbury and company. Saturday was no different as Moultrie poured in 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Bulldogs 97-63 win over Florida Tech.

Including State’s trip to Europe over the summer, the 6-foot-11 forward has recorded five double-doubles in six games.

Florida Tech, a Division II school, held its own early even leading on several occasions, but once the Bulldogs got things rolling they proved to be too much.

“We have the pieces, it is just a matter of putting everything together,” Stansbury said. “In the second half, we defended better and really wore them down. The offensive execution was good for a first game. Obviously, we have a long way to go. However, we did a lot of things well today and that is very encouraging.”

Moultrie wasn’t the only state player to notch a double-double either with Renardo Sidney and Wednell Lewis joined him in that category.

Sidney had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Lewis had 14 points and 11 boards off of the bench.

In all Mississippi State had 54 rebounds, 16 on the offensive end, something that was pleasing to Stansbury.

“The biggest thing may be the 54 rebounds,” he said. “Of that total, 16 were on the offensive end. Wendell had seven, Sid had four and Arnett had four. If you are able to make shots and then give yourselves extra chances, you have a chance to be successful.”

Brian Bryant led the Bulldogs in scoring with 21 points.

Pre-season first team All-SEC selection Dee Bost had 10 points and six rebounds to go along with six assits.

Kentucky, Auburn, and Arkansas Hold Intrasquad Scrimmages

The Kentucky Wildcats, Auburn Tigers, and Arkansas Razorbacks all played intrasquad scrimmages last week, but only one of them made national news.

Terrence Jones 52 point performance in the Kentucky’s annual Blue-White game set Twitter, and the rest of t internet for that matter, on fire last Wednesday.

While Kentucky coach John Calipari has had nothing but praise for Jones over the offseason, he thinks the performance was just as much about poor defense as good offense.

“I bet you we’d be really good against the Washington Generals right now, doing the weave and all the other stuff,” he said after the scrimmage. “I can tell you, it wasn’t great defense. That’s why I said, I got to watch the tape. We even started the game, we’re not playing screens well. We’re not playing pick and rolls real well right now because really we focused on it offensively. Our post defense is spotty at best.”

Jones, who was named a Pre-season Associated Press All-American Monday, led the Blue team past the White team 126-104.

While Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer didn’t have much luck defending Jones, they both scored the ball relatively well leading the White team with 27 points apiece.

In Alabama, it was Texas transfer Varez Ward that made the biggest impression. Ward, who has not played in well over a year after injury his leg as in his sophomore season with the Longhorns, scored 18 points for the Blue team in its 65-60 win over the Orange.

“It was my first game back, and we didn’t have any subs so I had to play 40 minutes. Overall, I think I did pretty well,” said Ward, who was 7-of-14 from the field. “I think I ran my team well. We got the ‘W.’ That’s the most important thing.”

Junior Frankie Sullivan, who is also coming off an injury, scored 14 points for the Blue team.

The Orange team was led by Josh Wallace and Kenny Gabriel, who scored 13 and 12 points respectively.

Sunday Razorback fans got their first look at their team since Mike Anderson took over and they had to like what they saw from Marshawn Powell.

The 6-foot-7 forward scored 35 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead his team the White squad over the Red 112-79.

Powell, who was on the All-SEC Freshman team two seasons ago, did not live up to expectations a season ago partially because he was overweight. That is not the case anymore, Powell is down more than twenty pounds and it shows.

“I can run, man,” Powell said. “I can get up and down and not get tired and it shows.”

“If we can have that Marshawn for the whole year,” Anderson said, “then I think he gives us a guy that people are really, really going to have to zero in on, and then that lets other guys have an opportunity to shine.”

Marvell Waithe, a 6-foot-9 junior college transfer who rarely player under John Pelphrey last season, had a nice debut for his new coach. Waithe notched a double-double with 31 points and 10 rebounds.

Goodman: UF’s Beal Impressive in Scrimmage

Florida and Central Florida played in a so called “secret scrimmage” on Sunday and a source told Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com was freshman Brad Beal was “terrific” for Florida.

Beal, a McDonald’s All-American, is a sharp shooter with an NBA ready body, that should be one of, if not the best, players on this year’s Florida team.

Vanderbilt’s Ezeli to Miss 6-8 Weeks with Knee Sprain

Just two weeks after being suspended by the NCAA for six games for receiving improper benefits, Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli was given even worse news last week.

The school announced that the second team All-SEC performer will miss between six and eight weeks, after he spraining two ligaments in his right knee in practice.

Ezeli, who averaged 13 points and 6.3 rebounds as a junior, will not have to have surgery on the knee.

Cauley Commits to the Cats

Most envisioned 2012 center Willie Cauley would be a Wildcat, however they weren’t sure if it would be the Wildcats of Manhattan, Kansas or Lexington, Kentucky.

The lanky 7-footer decided Monday he would leave his home state of Kansas and travel east to play for John Calipari and the University of Kentucky, according to Rivals.com Eric Bossi.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com told Kentucky writer Larry Vaught, what he liked about the number 28 prospect in Scout’s Top 100.

“What stands out about Cauley is his mobility, athleticism and ability to block shots,” Daniels said. “He has a good set of hands, nice touch and is a long term potential guy.”

Cauley chose the Wildcats over Kansas State, where he visited over the weekend, Alabama, and Florida.

Cauley, who is ranked 39th by Rivals and 32nd by ESPN, joins shooting guard Archie Goodwin in Kentucky’s recruiting class.

Arkansas Hits the Daily Double With Bell, Williams

Mike Anderson is still a week away from making his debut as the head coach of the Razorbacks, but he is already making an impact with recruits.

Last Wednesday the Hogs nabbed a pair of three-star prospects in Anthlon Bell and JaCorey Williams.

Bell, who lived in Memphis, said the Anderson was the driving force behind his decision.

“I like coach Anderson; he’s a real down-to-earth guy,” the 6-foot-3 shooting guard told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal “I really like the way he runs his program. And when I met the entire staff, I really liked them (too).”

Bell, who also held offers from Missouri, Auburn, and Richmond among others, was the first of the two to pull the trigger, but Williams was not far behind.

Williams, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Birmingham, Alabama, chose the Razorbacks over Alabama, Boston College, Missouri, Richmond, and Washington State.

The two join Michael Qualls, who just committed several weeks ago, in Arkansas’s recruiting class.

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