We start out with a word about the main scoreboard glitch at the O-Dome Wednesday night. It was discovered more than an hour before the game, but the overhead scoreboard needed to be lowered to fix it and there were already players out there warming up. It was fixed after the game. It kind of threw me, but I survived.
* Man, when things go bad, they just keep going bad. Texas A&M us now 0-4 in the league. The Aggies entered conference play ranked ninth in the nation. Injuries and suspensions have hurt but everybody is dealing with some form of attrition these days. What hurt the Aggies Tuesday night was 14-of-24 free throws in a one-point loss. And they still had a chance to win it at the end but did you really think that call was going to be made in Rupp Arena? Texas A&M has two of the top three rebounders in the league, but could easily be 0-5 with a trip to Tennessee Saturday.
* Speaking of, I’m not sure how you deal with Vols power forward Grant Williams. He kind of reminds me of former Gator Ronnie Williams, who always found a way to get off a clean shot no matter what you threw at him. His 37 points against Vanderbilt also magnifies the lack of defense the Commodores are throwing up this season.
* It felt like for a decade-and-a-half, Auburn always had the same team. Every player seemed the same, a wing guy who could shoot and who was really athletic. Suddenly, the Tigers are ranked and a threat to make the postseason and the biggest reason is that they are different. They lead the SEC in blocked shots. They’re still shooting the threes but they are not the same abysmal defensive team. How Bruce Pearl still has his job is a totally separate question.
* And then we have another set of Tigers, the ones at LSU. They were so bad last year and weren’t much better when they had Ben Simmons. But this team is playing like a team and has now won three straight road games. It helps to get a buzzer-beater as Tremont Waters delivered Saturday but the most surprising score of the SEC season was LSU 42, Arkansas 21 at the half in Bud Walton Wednesday night. It looked like Mike Anderson had the Razorbacks heading in the right direction after getting to the tournament two of the last three years but despite beating Oklahoma earlier this season, Arkansas could use some road SEC wins.
* Don’t sit the RPI rankings and KenPom ratings next to each other at dinner. They have some issues between them. The SEC’s top 5:
Kent. 8 Tenn. 15
Auburn 11 Kent. 21
Tenn. 15 A&M 22
Arkan. 25 Fla. 23
Mizzou 28 Auburn 25