SEC West preview capsules


Published: Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 12:19 a.m.

UF basketball beat writer Kevin Brockway breaks down the SEC West Division in order of predicted finish.

WEST

1. Mississippi (12-3)

Starters Returning: 1

Key Additions: Demarco Cox c, Nick Williams g, Dundrecous Nelson g

Key Losses: Terrico White g, Murphy Holloway f, Eniel Polynice g

Outlook: This could be the season coach Andy Kennedy's team finally breaks through on the right side of the bubble and makes the NCAA Tournament. Improved frontcourt play will be the key.

2. Mississippi State (8-6)

Starters Returning: 3

Key Additions: Renardo Sidney f, Jalen Steele g

Key Losses: Jarvis Varnado c, Barry Stewart g

Outlook: Bulldogs are most talented team in the SEC West. The question remains whether coach Rick Stansbury can get players to cast egos aside and play together.

3. Alabama (8-6)

Starters Returning: 3

Key Additions: Trevor Releford g

Key Losses: Mikhail Torrance g, Anthony Brock g

Outlook: Junior center JaMychal Green is starting to play hard and figure things out. That's bad news for the rest of the teams in the SEC West. Tide could be sleepers to win division if Green continues to progress on and off the court.

4. Arkansas (10-3)

Starters Returning: 3

Key Additions: Mardracus Wade g, Marvell Waithe f

Key Losses: Courtney Fortson g, Michael Washington f

Outlook: A talented team that doesn't always play smart basketball. Marshawn Powell's off-court and injury problems are worth watching. Powell is capable of helping the Hogs reach another level if he's physically and mentally 100 percent

5. LSU (8-7)

Starters Returning: 3

Key Additions: Andre Stringer g, Ralston Turner f, Malcolm White f

Key Losses: Tasmin Mitchell f, Bo Spencer g

Outloook: More rebuilding in Trent Johnson's third-year as coach. Johnson has some good young players to work around who are still prone to making mistakes.

6. Auburn (7-7)

Starters Returning: 1

Key Additions: Rob Chubb c, Josh Langford g/f

Key Losses: Lucas Hargrove f, Tay Waller g, DeWayne Reed g

Outlook: First-year coach Tony Barbee is getting the Tigers to play hard despite a roster that's limited in size and overall talent. A new $90 million on campus arena/practice facility should help recruiting in the future.

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