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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Can the Ole Miss Rebels finish at the top of the conference standings?

The Ole Miss Rebels are off to their best start since 2007-08 in year 1 under head coach Chris Beard at 13-0. They are one of three unbeaten teams left in college basketball alongside the Houston Cougars and James Madison Dukes and ranked 22nd in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.

The Rebels have already secured victories over NC State, Memphis and California and they'll have a lot much more to prove with league play starting up on Saturday. Coach Beard and his crew have proven to be a tough opponent thus far and January, they could be another surprise team in the SEC.

Ole Miss ranks ninth in all of college basketball in 3-point field goal percentage (40.3 percent) with four players shooting 40 percent or better heading into a big meeting this Saturday against the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. They've got an interesting cast of names looking to make some noise in the conference this season.

Matthew Murrell, Allen Flanigan, Jaylen Murray and Jaemyn Brakefield are a few of the names who have the Rebels playing a good brand of basketball. Flanigan is putting up 16.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per contest while Murrell is posting 17.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals per contest.

Murray leads the way in assists per contest (3.7) and 3-point field goal percentage (46 percent) while Brakefield leads the way in offensive rebounds per game (1.9). They've got some versatile pieces in their rotation that Coach Beard has led to one of their best starts in school history. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up as league play ramps up.