Busting Brackets

SEC Basketball: 5 storylines to watch as 2023-24 league play gets going

SEC basketball already has it's own share of storylines as two teams already have 12 wins as the mid-season approaches. Take a look at five storylines to watch as league play heats up.

Dec 19, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Lamont Paris
Dec 19, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Lamont Paris / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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SEC basketball has already produced some compelling storylines heading into conference play this Saturday. The Ole Miss Rebels are the lone unbeaten team in the conference at 12-0 while the South Carolina Gamecocks have turned heads in Lamont Paris' second year on the sideline.

Ole Miss and South Carolina aren't the only teams with double-digit wins, either, heading into league play. The Auburn Tigers, Kentucky Wildcats and Mississippi State Bulldogs are 10-2 while the
Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs are 10-3. With the conference regular season crown wide open, here's a look at five storylines to keep an eye on heading into Saturday.

Are the Gamecocks for real this season?

Head coach Lamont Paris had a rough go in his first year in the SEC with the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2022-23. Paris led the Gamecocks to an 11-21 record on the year and 4-14 in conference play. With conference play around the corner on Saturday, the Gamecocks are in a completely different position in Year 2 under Paris with a 12-1 record,

The Gamecocks have the 21st ranked scoring defense heading into January, allowing just 63.1 points per contest. They went 2-1 against the ACC, falling by just five points to the Clemson Tigers back on Dec. 6. Outside of the ACC, they haven't faced a whole lot of high-major competition in their non-conference slate.

Things won't be easy for them in their first three games on the schedule as they'll host Mississippi State on Saturday before traveling on the road to Alabama and Missouri in their next two games.

South Carolina received four votes in this week's AP Top 25 College Basketball rankings, so the media is certainly taking notice of their body of work. Their strength of schedule hasn't been the strongest on the non-conference front, but they'll have a ton of tests with the conference slate ahead of them.