Quote by Conference 4 – Battle of the giants
The favorite: Kentucky
John Calipari recruited another group of freshmen who will move to the Nba next June. In the meantime, they are the favorite to win the SEC and will try to live that One Shining Moment, although they don’t have much of a chance. Starting with the 2014/15 season, Calipari settled for players with huge wingspans, athleticism and size to build a defense that can destroy any offense at college level. On the other side of the floor, their Dribble-Drive-Motion found two great interpreters in Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox.
Runner up: Texas A&M
Despite losing most of the team’s key pieces from last season, Texas A&M is still the biggest competition to Kentucky’s dominance, thanks to a young starting five with one year of experience under their belt.
Outsiders: Florida, Alabama
The arrival of Mike White and Avery Johnson turn Florida and Alabama into two of the most interesting teams of the season. Coach Donovan departure was followed by a transition year, but Florida should get back to the old excellence thanks to a backcourt featuring Kasey Hill and Canyon Barry, transferred from Charleston University. Alabama began last season with two promising wins against ranked teams and a loss in a close game against Oregon, only to collapse in conference play. The chance to have a great season is there, but everything might go south just like it happened last year.
Stars: Isaiah Briscoe (Kentucky, SG, So) Antonio Blakeney (LSU, SG, So)
After a slow first year, Isaiah Briscoe will be the voice of experience at Kentucky and will have to go back to the player he was early on in the season, when he showed he could be good on defense, rebound, attack the paint and set-up teammates when the defense collapsed. Antonio Blakeney will have to carry the team and try to save Johnny Jones‘ job, who wasted Ben Simmons’ talent last year despite having one of the best team in the history of LSU.
Freshmen: Malik Mong (Kentucky, PG), De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky, SG), Bam Adebayo (Kentucky, C), Wenyen Gabriel (Kentucky, PF), Mustapaha Heron (Auburn, SG)
Of course, the Lexington boys are the biggest part of this list, starting with the duo of Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox, who can complement each other very well, Bam Adebayo, a forward-center with great size and rebounding instincts and PF Wenyen Gabriel, who needs to get stronger but has great hands for his position. Mustapha Heron is a versatile guard with great body control.