2009-2010 SEC Basketball Preview: Part 3 of 5

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courtney-fortson

By: David Kay

You can start to hear the balls bouncing, sneakers squeaking, and coaches yelling on basketball courts all across the country, as college teams begin their practices this week.  I’m excited.  Really, freakin’ excited.

While practices are just tipping-off, The Sports Bank’s college hoops preview marches on.  Parts one and two of our week long SEC Preview focused on the teams from the SEC East.  Parts three and four shift to the West side which, this year, you and I know will not be the best side.

The bottom half of the SEC West features the top two teams from year ago that both lose a lot of talent from last season.  The other team is Arkansas, which looked like it was going to be a serious competitor in the conference at the beginning of ’08-’09, only to fall flat on their faces during SEC play.

4. Arkansas (6th in SEC W, 2-14 in SEC, 14-16 overall)

michael-washington2009-2010 Outlook:
A 12-1 start, including upset wins against top-ten teams Oklahoma and Texas had many hopping on the Hogs bandwagon.  That bandwagon lost it’s wheels very quickly though as Arkansas tanked in the second half of the season, losing 15 of the final 17 games.  Their starting five in still in tact, but transfers has forced their bench to go through a makeover.  The talent is there with future NBA’er Michael Washington and trio of guards in Courtney Fortson, Rotnei Clarke, and Stefan Walsh.

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Michael Washington (Sr)/Delvon Johnson (Jr)
F: Michael Sanchez (So)/Marshawn Powell (Fr)/Glenn Bryant (Fr)
G: Stefan Welsh (Sr)/Jemel Farmer (Jr)
G: Rotnei Clarke (So)/Marcus Britt (Jr)
PG: Courtney Fortson (So)/Julysess Nobles (Fr)

Gone: G/F-Jason Henry (transfer), F-Andre Clark (transfer), F-Brandon Moore (transfer)

Player to Watch: Fortson- Coming off an impressive freshman year in which he averaged about 15 points, 6 assists, and 5 boards a game, Fortson has the potential to be a special player.  With Clarke and Walsh on his side, and a serviceable back-up guard in Marcus Britt, Fortson doesn’t have to do too much, but may need to if the Razorbacks are going to be a conference contender.

aubrun-cheerleader

5. Auburn (2nd , 10-6, 24-12, NIT)

2009-2010 Outlook:
After a pedestrian 13-9 start to last season, things started clicking at Auburn as they won eight of their final nine games and made a decent run in the NIT.  They lose three starters from that team and usher in a new crop of young talent to back-up a starting five filled with seniors.  I can’t see them putting a stretch together like they did at the end of last season but should be a middle of the pack SEC team.

Projected Depth Chart
C: Brendon Knox (Sr)/Rob Chubb (Fr)
PF: Johnnie Lett (Sr)/Ty Armstrong (Fr)/Ken Gabriel (So)
SF: Lucas Hargrove (Sr)/Tony Neysmith (So)
G: Tay Waller (Sr)/Andre Malone (Fr)/Earnest Ross (Fr)
PG: DeWayne Reed (Sr)/Frankie Sullivan (So)

Gone: F-Korvontey Barber, G-Rasheem Barrett, PG-Quantez Robertson

Player to Watch: Waller- A gunner in every sense of the word, Waller attempted ten of more three-pointers in ten games last season.  He shot a respectable 37% from deep and will need to provide that long-range threat along with returning starting point guard DeWayne Reed if Auburn is to make any noise in the conference.

LSU Kentucky Basketball6. LSU (1st, 13-3, 26-7, NCAA Second Round)

2009-2010 Outlook:
From first to worst, the Tigers lose five of their top seven players from a year ago and will undergo some growing pains this season.  They nearly lost six of their top seven but Tasmin Mitchell pulled his name out of the draft and decided to return for his senior season.  He and point guard Bo Spencer will be asked to carry the load while the new starters try to fill the void left by the likes of Marcus Thornton and Chris Johnson.

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Garrett Green (So)/Eddie Ludwig (Fr)
F: Tasmin Mitchell (Sr)/Dennis Harris (Fr)
F: Storm Warren (So)/Zach Kinsley (So)
G: Chris Bass (So)/Aaron Doston (Fr)/Alex Farrer (Sr)
PG: Bo Spencer (Jr)

Gone: C-Chris Johnson, SG-Marcus Thornton, G-Garrett Temple, SG-Terry Martin, PF-Quinton Thornton, F-Delwan Graham

Player to Watch: Mitchell- After missing most of the 2007-2008 season due to a stress fracture in his shin bone (OUCH), Mitchell had a great comeback year last season averaging more than 16 points and 7 rebounds per game and earning first team All-SEC honors.  He has NBA potential and could average around 20 points per game this season with all the new talent trying to step into bigger roles.

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Comments

  1. my first cheerleader shot… just for Banks

  2. paulmbanks says

    ha ha, well done! she’s shorty!!!

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