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SEC basketball: a new look

In March the SEC ended in improbable fashion with Vanderbilt knocking off Kentucky for the conference title. The world was righted when Kentucky once again assumed juggernaut form in the NCAA tourney on their way to the national title. After they cut down the nets Kentucky went home with the trophy, and now the conference seeks a new identity. The SEC is primed for a shakeup the likes of which they haven’t seen in many years.

THE TEAMS

The new guys: Missouri and Texas A&M will be making their SEC debuts. Of course Missouri – who was knocked off by No. 15 seed Norfolk State – is entering having lost five of their top seven players to graduation. And adding to the new look will be a slew of transfers into the program. A&M, for their part, loses three starters from what was a very disappointing team.

THE PLAYERS

The early exits: No conference lost as much as the SEC in terms of players jumping early to the NBA draft. In all, twelve players left, which is four more than any other conference. Kentucky lost their entire starting lineup. Mississippi State lost their best player (Arnett Moultrie) and their most-famous-for-all-the-wrong-reasons player (Renardo Sidney). Florida (Brad Beal) and Vanderbilt (John Jenkins) both lost their best players. LSU lost Justin Hamilton. Bama lost Tony Mitchell. And Texas A&M lost Khris Middleton.

The transfers: Anthony Gill and Damontre Harris (South Carolina), Kadeem Green (Mizzou), Charles Hankerson (Bama), Naji Hibbert (A&M), Rodney Hood (Mississippi State), Jamal Jones and Dundrecous Nelson (Ole Miss),Willy Kouassi and Josh Langford and Cedric McAfee and Bernard Morena (Auburn), Julysses Nobles (Arkansas), Walter Pitchford (UF), Ralston Turner (LSU), Wes Washpun and Renaldo Woolridge (UT)

The seniors: Those that played at least 40% of their team’s minutes: Darius Miller (UK), Erving Walker (UF), Jeffery Taylor, Lance Goulbourne, Brad Tinsley, Steve Tchiengang and Festus Ezeli (Vanderbillt), Cameron Tatum (Tennessee), JaMychal Green (Bama), Terrance Henry (Ole Miss), Dee Bost and Brian Bryant (Mississippi State), Storm Warren (LSU), Michael Sanchez (Arkansas), Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware (Georgia), Kenny Gabriel (Auburn) and Malik Cooke (South Carolina).

All-SEC teams:

1st Team (returning players in bold)

Anthony Davis, Kentucky

John Jenkins, Vanderbilt

Kenny Boynton, Florida

Dee Bost, Mississippi State

Brad Beal, Florida

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt

Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky

2nd Team

BJ Young, Arkansas

JaMychal Green, Alabama

Trevor Releford, Alabama

Erving Walker, Florida

Doron Lamb, Kentucky

Terrance Jones, Kentucky

Jerron Maymon, Tennessee

Justin Hamilton, LSU

Terrance Henry, Ole Miss

All-Freshman Team

Brad Beal, Florida

BJ Young, Arkansas

Anthony Hickey, LSU

Rodney Hood, Mississippi State

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia

Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky

Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

All-Defensive Team

Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt

Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss

Damontre Harris, South Carolina

THE COACHES

LSU: Trent Johnson (OUT), Johnny Jones (IN)

Mississippi State: Rick Stansbury (OUT), Rick Ray (IN)

South Carolina: Darrin Horn (OUT), Frank Martin (IN)

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