College Basketball returned with preseason practices across the country. The SEC should take some strides with off season improvements across the conference. Ahead of next month, it’s prediction time:
Freshman to Watch:
BJ Boston, Kentucky
Consensus five-star prospect and expected lottery-pick, BJ Boston, continues to up steam across the nation ahead of his freshman season. Andy Katz listed Boston as his No. 6 preseason candidate for National POTY. Kentucky assistant, Joel Justus also mentions the challenges embraced by the 6-7 wing since he arrived on campus this past summer,” He’s a guy that’s motivated. He wants to be in the gym, wants to be coached, He has some of the traits of some of the greats here.” The skilled-scorer grabs constant comparisons to rising star Brandon Ingram. Fully expect BJ to live up to expectations and follow the path of past Kentucky greats.
Transfer to Watch:
Olivier Sarr, Kentucky
Calipari landed arguably the No. 1 transfer this off season, Olivier Sarr. The former Wake Forest center was recently granted immediate eligibility from the SEC. He spent the last three seasons up against ACC competition, averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds. Sarr is expected to provide leadership on the young Kentucky team.
Most Improved Team:
Alabama Crimson Tide
Through one season in Tuscaloosa, Nate Oats’ has put Alabama in position to contend with the best of SEC. Some unlucky circumstances left Alabama with depleted bench depth following the ineligibly ruling of Jahvon Quinerly and season-ending preseason injuries from James Rojas and Juwan Gary. Excitement was still brought and signs of future success were shown in wins over LSU and Auburn. Returning production stands out above the rest, they finished in the bottom half of the conference last season, but great things look to heading for the Tide in 2020-21 and beyond.
Most Overrated Team:
Mike White has caused mixed reactions from fans over the past few seasons. Florida began the 2019-20 season inside the Top-6 and underperformed throughout conference play, finishing unranked. Some would expect them to finish near the top of the conference with the returns of Scottie Lewis and Keyontae Johnson, but I feel otherwise.
Ole Miss Rebels
Kermit Davis and Ole Miss struggled to surround Breein Tyree during his senior season, but it’s only up from here. They added two graduate-transfers, Romello White and Dimencio Vaughn who provide immediate impact. 6-2 guard Devontae Shuler will also return for his fourth collegiate season. Seems most project the Rebels in the 9-12 range, personally it wouldn’t surprise me if they become a solidified tournament team.
You can find me here: https://twitter.com/hcruse14
For more Alabama hoops coverage, be sure to follow Crimson Crossover on all social media platforms: