Due to some technical difficulties, we continue our preview with a look at only the SEC today. Breaking down the Southeastern Conference will be David Wonderlich of Team Speed Kills. Makes sure to check back at TSK throughout the season for updates on SEC Favorites like Tennesse and Georgia.
Last season, the SEC East largely dominated the SEC West. The fourth place team in the East, Florida, finished with an identical 9-7 record as that of SEC West champ Ole Miss. There's not much reason to think that 2010-11 will be much different in that regard.
The East division features five teams that will be looking to make the tournament. The top two teams are Florida and Kentucky. Billy Donovan appears poised to make another great run after a few down years, as his team returns all five starters. It helps that he finally has enough depth to properly execute his running and gunning style. Kentucky lost everyone you remember off of last year's team, but John Calipari signed the best recruiting class in the country to reload. The Wildcats should be very good, and if Turkish big man Enes Kanter gets cleared by the NCAA, they'll be great.
More SEC preview after the break
Tennessee doesn't have a superstar, but it has a lot of good players. The Vols must put the distractions of NCAA investigators aside, but they did well at avoiding distractions last season after several players were dismissed in January. Georgia is the opposite of UT, with all-SEC first teamers Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie but not a huge supporting cast. Vanderbilt will be down from where it was the past couple years, but if things fall right, the Commodores could sneak into March Madness. South Carolina has some nice young guys coming in, but without Devan Downey, it's hard to see the Gamecocks making a serious run.
Out West, Mississippi State is the clear favorite. The primary reason is the fact that Renardo Sidney will finally get to play. He missed all of last year and will miss the first nine games of this season because of improper benefits his family got in high school, but he's as good a power forward as you'll find. Standout guard Chris Warren figures to carry defending division champ Ole Miss, and the Rebels will likely be duking it out with Alabama for second in the West. Arkansas qualifies as the division dark horse, and it has a chance to surprise and crack the top three. LSU and Auburn don't figure to play a big role in the conference as they are currently rebuilding under Trent Johnson and Tony Barbee, respectively.
6. South Carolina
1. Mississippi State
2. Ole Miss
So there you have it. Make sure to check back tomorrow when I break down the general landscape of the Pac-10.