The race at the top of the SEC seems to be pretty clear in terms of what teams will be competing for the conference crown this season.
But there are a few teams projected in the middle of the league that have some intriguing aspects that could make them a tournament team come March.
Arkansas was my sleeper pick in the SEC, and even though they don’t have Mike Anderson recruits yet, it seemed like the talent was in place to at least make a run at a bid in the Big Dance.
Well, those hopes took a big hit today as last year’s leading scorer and rebounder, Marshawn Powell, was officially ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
Needless to say, anytime you lose a player like that, it greatly impacts your team.
Aside from Rotnei Clarke, Powell was the guy that this team looked to for big buckets a year ago, and now that pressure will have to be put on the backcourt.
A lot of teams in the SEC are hard to figure out right now, especially towards the bottom. Tennessee and Georgia might be better than we thought they were, while teams like Ole Miss, South Carolina, and LSU haven’t done a whole lot to impress anyone just yet.
So even with the loss of Powell, even though Anderson doesn’t have much depth, they could still make a push to at least finish in that 6-8 range in the conference.
But without Powell this season, it looks like their NCAA tournament hopes might have to wait a year.