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Author Topic: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball  (Read 4768 times)

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Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2016, 07:39:35 am »

Jon Rothstein ‏@JonRothstein 22m22 minutes ago

Kris Dunn, the SEC, and why Gonzaga is on the verge of becoming a Top-10 team. Observations @CBSSports: http://cbsprt.co/28ICHEb 

SEC continues to try to improve

This league made national headlines in spring 2015 when Tennessee hired Rick Barnes and Mississippi State hired Ben Howland, but the on-court product of SEC basketball continued to struggle last season.

The conference only had three teams in last year's NCAA Tournament and the last team that made the field -- Vanderbilt -- was beaten decisively by Wichita State in the First Four.

The SEC widely tabbed former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese as a consultant for men's basketball in March and then this past week hired former Temple assistant and hartford [sic] coach Dan Leibovitz to serve as the league's associate commissioner.

Both Tranghese and Leibovitz are guys who cut their basketball teeth in the Northeast and know the fabric of the sport.

With Billy Donovan no longer at Florida, the SEC is seriously missing a second marquee program to help elevate its overall brand from a national perspective.

 There's a better chance of that happening now with guys like Tranghese and Leibovitz in tow, but they can't help some of the SEC's programs coach or recruit.

It will be interesting to see how these two personnel moves at the conference office affect a league that's been consistently struggling for respect in college basketball.



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Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #52 on: June 26, 2016, 09:47:55 am »

On Monday, the SEC will hold its annual “summer teleconference” for basketball coaches. It’s a way to beat the promotional drums for a sport forever in the formidable shadow of football.

In the past, you could hear frustration in South Carolina Coach Frank Martin’s voice. SEC basketball was under-appreciated, he’d say with the passion of a tent revivalist. But there never seems to be any converts stepping forward.

The SEC spring meetings a month ago gave Martin a reason to believe.

“Those were the most productive meetings we’ve had as a conference for men’s basketball in my five years in those meetings,” he said. “Mike Tranghese being part of it is the most important reason.”

Tranghese, a former commissioner of the Big East Conference, has been hired to help steer SEC basketball toward national credibility.

“Mike is arguably the most influential, decorated person in college basketball who hasn’t won a game coaching . . . ,” Martin said. “Do you think he would have signed up to be part of a conference he thought was a joke? He wouldn’t have done that.”

Tranghese, who also served on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, will be given the benefit of the doubt when he touts SEC basketball.

“He’s not (someone) sitting in some studio somewhere creating opinions about something they know nothing about,” Martin said. “He’s a person who’s been deeply involved in college basketball for a long, long time.

“It was the most excited I’ve been in five years.”

Martin simply thinks the SEC cares more than ever about basketball.

“The voice of basketball was important to the powers that be,” he said of the tone at the SEC Spring Meetings. “In the past, it was kind of a rehearsal. Go through the rules. Go through this. Go through that. Share ideas, but the voice is not as impactful.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2016, 11:18:22 am »

 Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 8m8 minutes ago Gainesville, FL

Mike Anderson, on state of SEC, "it's not just creating strong non-conference schedules, but beating those teams."

Dave Matter ‏@Dave_Matter 8m8 minutes ago

Mike Anderson says 'staying power' for coaches in SEC is key to improving league, notes that he's already 4th-longest tenured HC in SEC


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2016, 01:00:11 pm »

Kyle Tucker ‏@KyleTucker_AJC 33m33 minutes ago

New SEC associate commissioner for basketball Dan Leibovitz says like it or not, committee wants to see top-50 wins [no kidding]. Can't overdo cupcakes.

SEC hoops czar: sent note to some national media about league having most NBA picks, got "jaded" replies. Gotta chip away at perception.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2016, 06:13:23 pm »


This one will really resonate with the national media, he thought. Dan Leibovitz, the SEC’s new associate commissioner for men’s basketball, was excited to share an impressive draft-night stat with a few prominent sportswriters and broadcasters last week.

It was the kind of number those same folks had drooled over and trumpeted for years in proclaiming the league’s football dominance, and now here it was in hoops: The SEC led all conferences with five first-round picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, including No. 1 overall Ben Simmons. Leibovitz proudly pushed that nugget to a select group of journalists.

“And the reaction was a little bit jaded,” he said Monday, sounding quite surprised. “I’m wondering why that is.”

Start with this: Simmons’ LSU team missed the NCAA Tournament. Vanderbilt made just a brief “first four” appearance in the NCAA tournament, despite first-rounders Wade Baldwin and Damian Jones. Kentucky’s national-best three draft picks didn’t get the Wildcats to the second weekend of the tournament.

For the third time in four years, only three of the SEC’s 14 teams were even invited to the Big Dance. Just three times in the last decade has the league gotten more than four NCAA bids. So yeah, draft bragging or not, the conference is still battling a perception problem in basketball.

“We’ve just got to continue to bang the drum,” Leibovitz said.

Yes, but also win more. The winning more part is a pretty big part. Schedule tougher, sure, to improve that all-important RPI – “The eyeballs of the committee, they go to those top-50 wins, whether we like it or not,” Leibovitz said – but emphasize the winning.

The league has swung and missed on plenty of top-50 opportunities in non-conference play the last several seasons.

“I’ll be an advocate for them,” Leibovitz said, but “the proof is in the pudding. You’re going to have to schedule well; you’re going to have to play well.”

That's why he gets the big buck$


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #56 on: June 28, 2016, 07:38:29 pm »

SEC coaches look for ways to raise league's basketball profile

Draft night is where SEC basketball shines brightest

Only the ACC has produced more draft picks in the past seven years — with 60 overall selections to the SEC’s 54 and 36 first-rounders to the SEC’s 31.

The SEC can lay claim to four of the past seven No. 1 overall selections, with Simmons joining Kentucky one-and-done stars John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns.

n three of the past four years, the SEC has put only three of its 14 members in the NCAA Tournament, including this year.

Vanderbilt was one of them for the first time since 2012, but it was one of the last four teams invited despite the presence of those two first-rounders. Of course, that was still better than LSU, which couldn’t land an invitation to the dance even with Simmons.

Dan Leibovitz — the former Hartford coach whose résumé includes stints as an assistant at Temple, at Penn and with the Charlotte Bobcats — was brought in to change that.

The league also added Mark Whitfield as coordinator of officials and Mike Tranghese, the former Big East Commissioner, as a consultant.

“It’s wonderful for all of our coaches that we’ve got three guys that we can call on and lean on and guys that we know are going to be right there in the foxhole with us,” Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said. “So great job by Commissioner” Greg “Sankey. He asked us to give him a year to figure out a couple of things, and he’s definitely figured it out, so I’m excited about that.”

South Carolina’s Frank Martin, on the other hand, was lamenting the league’s perceived lack of respect.

“I’m willing to put the coaching staffs that we have in this league up against anybody,” he said. “I don’t think this league gets the credit it deserves. … We have to do a better job on our own campuses and as a league in believing in our product and promoting all the good to overcome all the nonsense negativity that people put out there.”

But ultimately, there’s only one thing that’s going to change perception: results.

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said as much amid all the discussion of what steps the league needs to take to improve its standing nationally.

“We’ve all talked about the nonconference schedule and scheduling teams that are stronger from an RPI standpoint, but it’s not just scheduling,” Anderson said. “You’ve gotta beat those teams.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2016, 07:15:42 am »

Sign o' the times:

Scott Rabalais ‏@RabalaisAdv Jun 27

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl miffed at no calls on SEC teleconference. "That's what you get when you finish 13th." #SEC claims tech difficulties

About that time:

Kyle Tucker ‏@KyleTucker_AJC Jun 27

Fellow scribes: SEC teleconference just go dead for everyone else?

Yo, @SEC, your summer hoops call went to static and now won't ring to get back in.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2016, 09:53:35 am »

Tweet that was met with disdain:



Dan Leibovitz ‏@Dan_Leibovitz Jun 24

@egreenwood11 @SEC @jefflongUA Last year Bobby Portis from @RazorbackMBB was 1 of 6 #SEC in Round 1.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2016, 07:43:14 am »

Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 14h14 hours ago

SEC basketball coaches seek clarity in scheduling to improve postseason possibilities - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160629/ARTICLES/160629871?tc=cr


College basketball has become a numbers game. Not just in shooting percentage or 3-point percentage or points per possession. But in RPI and BPI and KenPom.com index ratings as well.

How teams schedule often determine the difference between an NCAA bid or an NIT invite. With the SEC only earning three NCAA Tournament berths in 2016, coaches from around the league are trying to build more challenging schedules for the 2016-17 season.

But many also have been left bewildered about the criteria the NCAA Selection Committee has used to determine at-large bids.

“From the NCAA perspective I think we have to have certain criteria that’s in stone,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said during Monday’s SEC basketball teleconference. “That way we’re not trying to hit three targets.”

Gaining more clarity on strength of schedule isn’t just a goal for SEC coaches, but for the rest of the country as well. Earlier this month, the National Association of Basketball Coaches set up an ad-hoc committee to communicate with the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. The mission -- to find out more about what goes into earning an at-large bid and how teams are seeded. The SEC’s representative on the committee is Kentucky coach John Calipari.

“Hopefully, the committee can shed some light on what issues should be most important,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “It’s something that I think that all coaches, not just coaches in our league, would like to see.”

Florida could potentially receive a significant boost in its strength of schedule numbers due to the O’Connell Center’s $64.5 million renovation. The Gators will play all but one of its non-conference games away from the O’Dome due to the renovation not being complete until late December. Games will be held throughout the state in Tampa, Orlando, Lakeland, Sunrise and Jacksonville, but will be weighed as neutral-court games because UF won’t be distributing the tickets.

Putting emphasis on just getting in the tournament which helps with job security.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2016, 07:58:39 am »


COLUMBIA, MO. • The Southeastern Conference produced more first-round picks (five) than any conference in last week’s NBA draft, including the No. 1 overall pick for the fourth time since 2007. The SEC was the only conference with multiple teams with multiple first-rounders.

OK, so SEC basketball enjoys another June. Now, what about March?

For the third time in four years the SEC landed just three teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament, a trend that’s drawn nationwide criticism for a conference that continually talks about upgrading its quality of basketball but has yet to deliver. A year ago, the arrival of several high-profile head coaches indicated the league’s serious investment in hoops. From Ben Howland at Mississippi State to Rick Barnes at Tennessee to Avery Johnson at Alabama, league members went after big names who have had success in other conferences — or in Johnson’s case, the NBA.

The makeover was not instant. While SEC teams signed 12 of the top 50 players in Rivals.com’s national rankings...


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2016, 08:11:59 pm »

Calipari believes he has at least one solution to help increase scoring in the college game

Automatically calling a foul on a defender for making contact with a shooter whose feet haven’t touched the ground during jump shot might be a bit extreme. If the ball has been released and minor contact follows, that obviouly wouldn’t affect the shot and usually shouldn’t be a foul. But Calipari’s larger point has merit.

He isn’t the first basketball coach to suggest a reduction in the amount of contact defenders are allowed. The NCAA instituted changes last year that seemed to be effective as the season wore on and players, coaches and officials adjusted. Perhaps members of the rule committee will take notice of Calipari’s suggestions and consider further changes to make the game more exciting because there are still some games that are tough to watch.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2016, 08:58:56 am »

 Dave Matter ‏@Dave_Matter 17h17 hours ago

Mizzou basketball finalizes reg-season noncon schedule with home games vs. Alabama A&M ([11-18]) & North Carolina Central ([13-19])

Should help raise RPI for SEC, especially those that play Mizzou twice.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2016, 07:36:57 am »

With the announcement of the non-conference schedule for next season, Kentucky Deputy Athletics Director Dewayne Peevy can take a bow

Mike Tranghese, the former Big East Conference commissioner hired to help elevate the profile of SEC basketball, applauded Kentucky’s schedule. The game at Louisville is important, he said.

“In the eyes of the committee, the one thing you can do that is the most important thing is to win a quality road game,” Tranghese said. “No ifs, ands or buts about it.”

Tranghese said it was “shocking” to see how few teams have victories in “true” road games against top-level competition. So if Kentucky were to win at Louisville, it would have “tremendous influence on the committee,” Tranghese said.

As an example, Tranghese pointed out how Providence punched its NCAA Tournament ticket by winning at Villanova last season.

“I remember telling (Providence coach) Eddie Cooley, that’s it,” Tranghese said. “Just hold onto your hat. You’re in.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2016, 07:39:41 am »

High Tide

The ongoing effort to gin up excitement for SEC basketball came to mind with the news that Alabama planned to publicly announce its non-conference schedule this week

The unveiling will come at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Birmingham on Wednesday afternoon.

Coach Avery Johnson and his staff will comment on each opponent. Chris Stewart, the play-by-play announcer for radio broadcasts of Alabama games, will be the host of what’s being called the “Alabama Basketball Summer Tip Off Event.”

The event will be seen on RollTide.com or via Facebook.com/AlabamaMBB.

It’s all in stark contrast with the past when Alabama simply sent out a news release and/or posted the schedule on its website.

Alabama chose to stage the event before the start of football season (and even preseason practice), when any non-football news would fail to register.

It will be interesting to see how Alabama fans react to the pomp and circumstance.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #65 on: July 29, 2016, 03:55:54 pm »

Jerry Tipton ‏@JerryTipton Jul 27

In an effort to improve officiating, SEC joining with American Athletic Conference and ASUN Conference in training, assigning, grading refs.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2016, 09:03:30 am »

WWMCD: Alabama Coach Avery Johnson referenced The Jackson Five last week

“This league can’t be Michael Jackson and The Jackson 13,” Johnson said in a telephone interview.

After only three SEC teams played in this year’s NCAA Tournament (the third time in the last four years for that embarrassment), the league pledged yet again to gain national respect for its basketball.

“There’s more room at the top,” Johnson said. “So we need more teams to win these recruiting battles. We need more teams to not only get in the NCAA Tournament, but advance.”

For all the talk about hiring a consultant (Mike Tranghese) and a new associate commissioner for men’s basketball (Dan Leibovitz), for all the urging of teams to play better non-conference schedules, for the all marketing and promotion, Johnson offered a simple and unassailable formula for gaining nation-wide respect.

“We’ve got to win,” he said, echoing a bottom line previously cited by Tranghese, Leibovitz and several coaches through the years.

In the interim, the SEC promotes its basketball. It tries to excite the masses. Toward that end, Alabama announced its non-conference schedule for next season at a Birmingham hotel on Wednesday. A crowd of about 100, including former coach Wimp Sanderson, watched Tide players take turns revealing the names of opponents. Then Johnson commented on the teams and each participating Alabama player.

The event was “part of my marketing ideas from the NBA,” said Johnson, a former NBA player and coach. “I’m always thinking, what would Mark Cuban do?”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2016, 08:06:12 am »

That he is about to serve on the Selection Committee thrills UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart. He called it among the “two or three things in college athletics” that administrators would like to experience.

Barnhart, who officially joins the committee on Sept. 1, attended an orientation meeting in July. “I just tried to listen and learn,” he said. “I’m the rookie on the committee.”

Two old hands, former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese and new SEC Associate Commissioner Dan Leibovitz, plan to meet with Barnhart this summer. The UK AD said they will help him “gently walk through” the process.

This year, Barnhart proposed not insignificant changes in how the Selection Committee operates. Echoing UK Coach John Calipari, he suggested a set criteria for judging teams and regular updates during the season so teams know where they stand.

Barnhart voiced confidence he can handle the torrent of fan and media second-guessing that comes with Selection Committee decisions.

“That’s what they do with my job every day,” he said with a smile.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2016, 08:07:47 am »

No surprise that Mitch Barnhart supports SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey’s effort to raise the league’s basketball profile regionally and nationally.

That effort includes the hiring of Mike Tranghese and Dan Leibovitz as a consultant and associate commissioner focused on basketball, respectively.

“He’s been very strategic in what he’s done,” Barnhart said of Sankey. “And, obviously, we’ve got to go win more games on the court.”

Everyone, including Tranghese and Leibovitz, agree that ultimately there’s no substitute for winning games, especially the marquee non-conference matchups and then in the all-consuming NCAA Tournament.

In the interim, Sankey has doubled down on his predecessor Mike Slive’s emphasis on making improvement in men’s basketball a league priority.

“I don’t know how it will not benefit us what he’s done,” Barnhart said of Sankey. “It can’t do anything but help.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #69 on: August 11, 2016, 08:00:19 am »

Next season is important for the SEC's perception

SEC only had three teams in the NCAA Tournament last March and one of those teams -- Vanderbilt -- lost by twenty points to Wichita State in the First Four.

Will this conference get that many teams in the field of 68 in 2017?

There's no way to truly tell.

Florida and A&M look like the second and third best teams on paper, but this group of Gators has never collectively played in the NCAA Tournament and the Aggies lost four starters -- Anthony Collins, Alex Caruso, Danuel House, and Jalen Jones -- from last year's team that reached the Sweet 16.

Georgia meanwhile has legitimate star power in J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten, but it remains to be seen how its supporting cast handles higher expectations and the need to produce with consistency.

SEC is at mini-crossroads; this league is doing all the right things off the court to try to make men's basketball relevant, but it's still not showing up in between the lines.

It doesn't reflect well on this conference when a program like South Carolina goes 24-8 last season with an 11-7 conference record and winds up on the wrong side of the bubble.

Going into 2016-17 with fewer hyped players.




Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #71 on: October 20, 2016, 08:14:49 am »

The problem for SEC basketball

“It’s not the perception,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “It’s the reality. The reality is that we have not been able to get enough teams in the NCAA Tournament.”

The 14-team SEC had just three teams invited last year – the third time that’s happened in the last four years – and hasn’t had more than five teams in the dance since 2008.

“The league is better now than when I was at Tennessee, but it’s not better at the top of the league,” Pearl said, “and that’s how leagues are always judged: how good you are at the top. Kentucky’s always going to be Kentucky, but when Billy (Donovan) was at Florida, they were always there. When I was at Tennessee, we were always there.”

But Pearl, who at one point had the Volunteers ranked No. 1, left the Volunteers under NCAA sanctions in 2011 and is in Year 3 of an arduous rebuild at Auburn. Donovan, who led the Gators to four Final Fours and two national titles, is coaching in the NBA.

“We need a couple more programs to step up on a national level for the league to be what it needs to be,” Pearl said. “The top of our league, we’ve got to have separation. Will it be Texas A&M? Will it be Florida? Will it be Georgia?”

SEC office is doing its part to help, intervening to improve strength of schedule across the board and hiring former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese – who oversaw that league’s rise to basketball prominence – as a hoops consultant. Coaches sang the praises of that hire Wednesday and also pointed to recent high-level coaching hires around the league, improvements in facilities and a recruiting uptick as reasons to believe in a breakthrough.

“I think the league’s closer than the outside perception is,” said second-year Tennessee coach Rick Barnes, who led Texas to a Final Four. “I think we’re there. I think we’re in a position that we can turn that this year, and I’ll be shocked if we don’t.”

But if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it …


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2016, 09:36:09 am »

Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 3h3 hours ago

With changes in league office, SEC aims to place more teams in tourney - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20161020/ARTICLES/161019951

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — South Carolina coach Frank Martin led the Gamecocks to 24 wins before Selection Sunday last season.

Yet due to a soft non-conference schedule and some erratic play down the stretch, South Carolina settled for an NIT bid rather than a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

“They told me we’ve got to win more,” Martin said at SEC basketball media day Wednesday. “But we just won 24. Maybe we have to win 46.”

South Carolina is Exhibit A for the perception problem pertaining to SEC basketball. In a football-mad conference, basketball hasn’t gained traction league-wide since the 1980s and 1990s. Florida won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007 and has reached the Final Four as recently as 2014. Kentucky won a national title in 2012 and has been to the Final Four four times in John Calipari’s seven years as coach.

But as a league, the SEC has only sent an average of between three and four teams to the NCAA Tournament in the past four years. Only three SEC teams made the NCAA Tournament last season — Kentucky, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Texas A&M needed a miracle finish against Northern Iowa to become the only team from the league to make it past the first weekend of the tournament.

New hires include new SEC associate commissioner for basketball Dan Leibovitz, new SEC head of basketball officials Mark Whitehead and new SEC basketball consultant Mike Tranghese. As former commissioner of the basketball mad Big East, Tranghese instituted a rule that SEC teams must schedule non-conference opponents with a minimum three-year RPI average of 175 or better.

“The coaches are going have to continue to do their part,” Jones said. “We’ve gotta do a great job in the preseason, prior to conference play, and winning those basketball games, that’s going to be really important.”

Florida coach Mike White said the state of SEC basketball isn’t as bleak as it appears considering how many teams from the league were on the NCAA Tournament bubble last season.

“The easiest things to say are recruiting will continue to pick up and with the new coaches as they establish themselves and re-establish themselves,” White said. “Some of it too is just a little bit of luck. If you look at last season, two or three of our teams were just this close, I mean, it’s a missed free throw, it’s a loose ball, it’s a missed block out, it’s a halfcourt buzzer shot.

“We’re right there. I don’t think you have two or three teams that are definites and eight that are really far away. I think last year and this year the optimistic point of view is you are going to have seven or eight that are in the conversation, and just the way the ball bounces is another factor, will determine how many we actually get."

Andy Kennedy said some teams with chances to lock up an NCAA Tournament bid, most notably South Carolina, faltered in the SEC Tournament last season.

“We have to do a better job of finishing,” Kennedy said. “Since I’ve been here, going into the SEC Tournament, there’s been six or seven teams in play, those teams just haven’t helped themselves in this venue and that’s obviously the thin line between in and out.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #73 on: October 24, 2016, 10:16:07 am »


The only way the SEC can change its perception is on the floor

Media Days are a platform for optimism, but it’s hard to not to question some of the things that were thrown around by SEC supporters last week when the league convened in Nashville.

Some suggested this league was in position to earn five-or-six bids to the NCAA Tournament on a regular basis.

Others insisted that the conference was ready to turn a corner.

We’ve all seen this movie before.

The facts are the facts; the SEC is a bad basketball league right now...

Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas all have a chance to be better than they were a season ago, but all three of those teams need to prove that they’re going to be legitimate contenders for NCAA bids in March. None of the three was close to earning an at-large bid last year...

Another thing to remember about the SEC?

South Carolina won 24 games and finished with an 11-7 mark in conference play last season, yet failed to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in a year where Louisville and SMU — two teams that would have been in the field of 68 — were ineligible to participate in the bracket.

The SEC is in a position similar to what the Big East was in following the 2013-14 season when it only had four teams in the NCAA Tournament in its first season since realignment.

The conference then gained momentum the next season by winning key games in November and December, which ultimately increased the Big East’s RPI and led to better representation in the NCAA Tournament.

There’s only one place for this league to change its perception — on the court.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #74 on: October 26, 2016, 09:05:57 am »


Calipari never misses an opportunity to inject biting sarcasm into a conversation, so when he saw SEC commissioner Greg Sankey last week at the league's basketball media day the Wildcat pounced.

"You're killing this league," Calipari said. "I thought you were supposed to be coming in here..."

The SEC commissioner was in the middle of a one-on-one interview with a reporter, and Kentucky's coach threw a grenade right in the middle of it. One of the most influential figures in sports was giving another power broker a hard time about the embarrassing rescheduling mess between the LSU and Florida football teams. Seated with the commissioner for the interview were the league's new associate commissioner for basketball, Dan Leibovitz, and Mark Whitehead, the SEC's new coordinator of men's basketball officials.

Sankey was making a point to interact with reporters at SEC Tipoff 2017 in the hopes of raising the perception of SEC basketball, but the commissioner couldn't get away from his league's recent controversy.

"This is a professional media interview," Sankey said. "It's good to see you though, John."

Calipari was joking, of course, and Sankey took the ribbing well. More than anything, Calipari was making light of the criticism Sankey endured after Hurricane Matthew exposed some league politics that under normal conditions would have remained behind the curtain...


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #75 on: November 07, 2016, 06:50:46 am »

Reasons to be optimistic about the future of SEC basketball

1. The hiring of Mike Tranghese (consultant) and Dan Leibovitz (associate commissioner for basketball) signals that the league office cares about the sport.

2. Eleven of the 14 coaches have led teams to the NCAA Tournament; three (Rick Barnes, John Calipari and Ben Howland) led teams to the Final Four. Plus Avery Johnson was NBA Coach of the Year in 2005-06.



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #76 on: November 10, 2016, 07:17:19 am »

South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner joined Jay Philips and Tommy Moody on The Halftime Show and was asked about South Carolina being left out of last year’s NCAA basketball tournament since he’s been a part of the baseball tournament selection committee...

“What was your intent to schedule good opponents? That wasn’t the case for us last year. Our schedule was challenging,” Tanner said. “The bad news is a lot of those teams that we had scheduled – that we knew were going to be difficult – did not have good years. That ended up hurting us, from a numbers standpoint. You just have to accept it and move on.

“I know that coach (Frank) Martin likes his team. I’ve been to a few practices. He’s guarded, but he’s got some great leadership right now in Sindarius (Thornwell) and Duane (Notice) and (P.J. Dozier), some guys that have played a little bit, so they’ve got a lot of minutes back. Ticket sales have been good. I think people are excited about what (Martin) brings to the table.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #78 on: November 22, 2016, 08:05:27 am »

You're doing a heckuva job Mikey and Danny



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #79 on: November 24, 2016, 11:05:22 am »

Jeff Goodman ‏@GoodmanESPN 16h16 hours ago

Frank Martin and South Carolina knock off Michigan. SEC needed that one. Badly.





Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #81 on: December 29, 2016, 01:29:15 pm »


Checking in as the non-conference season concludes (RPI from the NCAA):

RPI: 131

Notable win: St. Louis

Notable loss: Valparaiso


RPI: 23

Notable win: Texas

Notable loss: Minnesota

The skinny: Impressive record and RPI but the schedule lacks “wow” factor. After a win over Texas (6-6), Arkansas’ best win is over a Houston team ranked 85th in the RPI. First SEC game is hosting No. 25 Florida –

AUBURN (10-2)

RPI: 53

Notable win: Texas Tech

Notable loss: Boston College

The skinny: The surprise addition of top recruit Austin Wiley mid-season makes the Tigers a much better team, as evidenced by beating Oklahoma and UConn in Hartford.

NO. 25 FLORIDA (9-3)

RPI: 5

Notable win: Miami

Notable loss: Florida State

The skinny: The other losses were to Duke and Gonzaga. Gators are very strong, although not very deep


RPI: 58

Notable win: George Washington

Notable loss: Oakland

The skinny: They’ve lost to the good teams they’ve played, which puts them in a hole for SEC play.

NO. 8 KENTUCKY (10-2)

RPI: 9

Notable win: North Carolina

Notable loss: Louisville

LSU (8-3)

RPI: 74

Notable win: Houston

Notable loss: Wake Forest

The skinny: The Tigers will hope nobody notices them. Perhaps that’s the best approach in post-Ben Simmons life, but it may not bode well for coach Johnny Jones’ future.

STATE (8-3)

RPI: 210

Notable win: Boise State

Notable loss: Lehigh

The skinny: The Bulldogs caught a break when best player Quinndary Weatherspoon was thought to be lost for the season, but he discovered he could play with a torn ligament in his wrist. That’s helped through a weak non-conference slate (how did this schedule get SEC-approved?) but it may not in the next 18.


RPI: 250

Notable win: Western Kentucky

Notable loss: North Carolina Central

The skinny: It’s another rebuilding team, but how much losing can the school can stomach? Kim Anderson is a terrific guy and coach and walked into a horrible situation, but he’s going to have to answer for things at the end of the year.

OLE MISS (9-3)

RPI: 35

Notable win: Memphis

Notable loss: Middle Tennessee

The skinny: Another strong run through the non-conference with the one expected trip-up.


RPI: 31

Notable win: Michigan

Notable loss: Clemson

The skinny: Without Sindarius Thornwell, Gamecocks aren’t the team they were when they soared into the Top 25. All indications are he returns for the entire SEC schedule


RPI: 107

Notable win: East Tennessee State

Notable loss: Chattanooga

The skinny: Give Rick Barnes credit –

A&M (8-3)

RPI: 70

Notable win: Virginia Tech

Notable loss: Southern Cal

The skinny: All three losses were to great teams and they beat a Hokies team that will be around in March.


RPI: 87

Notable win: Chattanooga

Notable loss: Bucknell

The skinny: Commodores are down to nine players for the season.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #82 on: January 22, 2017, 08:50:05 am »

Jon Rothstein ‏@JonRothstein 1h1 hour ago

Have always been fair and objective, but the narrative that the SEC is on the up as a basketball league needs to STOP. It is what it is.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #83 on: January 23, 2017, 07:42:57 am »

Jeff Goodman ‏@GoodmanESPN Jan 21

Just looked at SEC success (or lack thereof) vs. KenPom Top 50 teams: League is 7-32 against Top 50 teams —with 2 of those wins vs. Houston.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #84 on: January 23, 2017, 07:51:24 am »

 Matt Jones ‏@KySportsRadio 10h10 hours ago

Here is the notice I received from Twitter about @SEC decision to take down all UK BB highlights (and my thoughts) http://kentuckysportsradio.com/basketball-2/sec-has-twitter-take-down-matt-joness-uk-basketball-tweets/

Let’s be honest about something. Besides our beloved Kentucky Wildcats, it is beyond clear by now that SEC Basketball sucks. This year may be the worst year for the conference basketball-wise in history and every night seems to produce some result just a bit more embarrassing than the one before. Whether it is the painful non-conference losses, the alleged 2nd best team in the league taking a home loss to below .500 Vanderbilt or the most egregiously horrendous officiating of my lifetime, SEC Basketball has been a royal train wreck all season long. ... the overall average crowd attendance of league games would likely barely hover above that of your favorite 14th Region High School game. The SEC is a basketball wasteland.

Below is the notice we received from Twitter…nice job SEC…


The following material has been removed from your account in response to the DMCA takedown notice copied at
the bottom of this email:

Tweet: https://twitter.com/kysportsradio/status/822964904881754113 – Derek creates a Poster! RT @Scott_Charlton: #BBN https://t.co/jzkhYqPWoQ
Tweet: https://twitter.com/kysportsradio/status/822974680684437504 – Brad with the Nipple pinch on Tai RT @BluegrassHunter: @KySportsRadio https://t.co/fxA4VR3hd6
Tweet: https://twitter.com/kysportsradio/status/822965860902047744 – What did you say SKJ? RT @hunnner: @KySportsRadio https://t.co/ZaUCloTM9c

If you believe the material has been removed as a result of mistake or misidentification,
you may send us a counter-notification of your objection pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3).


Please note that repeat violations of this policy may result in suspension of your account. In order to avoid this, do not post additional material in violation of our Copyright Policy and immediately remove any material from your account for which you are not authorized to post.

DMCA Takedown Notice

== Copyright owner: Southeastern Conference
== Name: Rebecca Bowden
== Company: XOS Digital

== Description of original work: Southeastern Conference copyrighted basketball game footage

== Reported Tweet URL: https://twitter.com/KySportsRadio/status/822964904881754113

== Description of infringement: Kentucky basketball footage is copyrighted material of the Southeastern Conference.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #85 on: January 29, 2017, 06:37:37 am »

Jerry Tipton ‏@JerryTipton 9h9 hours ago

The SEC and Big 12 each won 5 games in the Challenge. That marked the first time that the SEC did not lose more than it won.




Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #87 on: February 09, 2017, 05:59:18 am »

He was asked about the state of SEC basketball, and his response was pretty simple and direct: the conference is judged by the NCAA Tournament.

Seems reasonable to me that teams IN the SEC ought to be judged by the same standard.



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #88 on: February 09, 2017, 07:23:37 am »

Kyle Tucker ‏@KyleTucker_AJC 14h14 hours ago

There's a chicken/egg issue and fans can say "build it, THEN I'll come," but SEC hoops is gonna stink as long as nobody cares to show up.



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2017, 08:11:10 am »


It’s no secret the SEC has endured an image problem when it comes to men’s basketball. The national narrative has been that the SEC is a bad conference, and to a degree, that has been hard to argue.

But the recent influx of previously proven coaches — South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, Mississippi State’s Ben Howland, Tennessee’s Rick Barnes, Alabama’s Avery Johnson and Vanderbilt’s Bryce Drew — has the SEC poised for a brighter future.

Also, take into consideration this study the SEC conducted at the beginning of the season: Of the Power 5 conferences, the SEC entered the year with the fewest returning minutes played when each conference’s roster is taken into account and averaged. There been a great deal of coaching turnover, and the players are mostly young yet inexperienced.

Arkansas has taken flack for what has been seen as a soft non-conference schedule but entered Wednesday fourth in conference play [and exited third]...

Shelby Mast, the head bracketologist at USA Today and BracketWAG.com: “A bunch of teams I still have under consideration but not there yet — Vanderbilt, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia. I still have four that are in play. Georgia and Ole Miss might be done just because of the lack of opportunity to get another big win. But the other teams, the fact they have that many still alive says a lot. I’ve got five in and four more still alive. That’s nine teams. That’s not too bad.”

SEC hired Dan Leibovitz, a former basketball coach, as the associate commissioner for men’s basketball and Mike Tranghese, the former Big East commissioner, as a consultant. The conference has delved into analytics to see various ways where the SEC can improve its perception.

One area, which Sankey said will be further strengthened in future seasons, is in non-conference scheduling. The SEC began making its teams schedule tougher out-of-conference teams in 2014. That will continue to occur, Sankey said...

Optimizing the number of teams under tournament consideration without actually winning many of the big games.  Also, the signal has apparently been sent to game officials to level the  "playing court" for road games.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #90 on: March 12, 2017, 06:00:49 pm »


Don’t judge SEC men’s basketball on the fact that a few stragglers showed up for the start of its tournament at Bridgestone Arena —

*SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is serious about seeing this through, and that’s where it had to start.

“Very serious,” Sankey told me this week, and the moves he has made in the past year speak more to that determination than he could.

He hired former Big East commish Mike Tranghese as a consultant, respected hoops guy Dan Leibovitz as associate commissioner for men’s basketball, and longtime and prominent official Mark Whitehead to revamp SEC officiating. And yes, things can still get much better on that front.

This has been a “holistic” approach, Sankey said, and strong facilities, recruiting, academics and early season interest are part of the conversation. Interest beyond March, interest in general.

“I think you’ll see more progress,” Sankey said of the near future. “I look two years down the road and I think you’ll have the level of excitement and fan engagement that we expect and see in any other number of sports (in the SEC).”

That’s a big one. I can’t shake every SEC fan and scream that spring football means nothing, but I know SEC fans are passionate about their schools and will rally around a winner.

This comes down to individual programs improving, and I see positive signs at Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and certainly South Carolina, which has grown quickly into a legit operation under Martin (and no, he didn’t threaten to dunk my head in a Bridgestone toilet and stuff me in a locker if I didn’t say that).

Kentucky rolls on and Florida doesn’t look like it will fade under Mike White. Arkansas and Georgia are solid. I still think Bruce Pearl will figure it out at Auburn.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #91 on: March 14, 2017, 08:43:34 am »


“It was a very different feeling from last year, when we only had the three selected,” Sankey told Finebaum. “And it was a year, I think, of progress. And the NCAA committee demonstrated that we’ve taken a step forward in men’s basketball.”

The conference would benefit from a deep run by at least one of its teams. It will be fun to see how Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas do in the tournament.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #92 on: March 18, 2017, 07:45:22 am »

 Jon Rothstein‏Verified account @JonRothstein 2h2 hours ago

Credit needs to be given where credit is due: The SEC has four of the final 32 teams in the NCAA Tournament. Very good sign for the league.

 Not Jerry Tipton‏ @NotJerryTipton 17h17 hours ago

Florida won yesterday. Arkansas won today. The SEC would be undefeated in the NCAA Tournament if Matthew Fisher Davis knew how to keep score


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #93 on: March 19, 2017, 08:30:39 am »

 Dari Nowkhah‏Verified account @ESPNDari 11h11 hours ago

Just sayin...the much-maligned @SEC is about to be 5-1 in this dance.  Kentucky and two underdogs go tomorrow, but what a start. @SECNetwork


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #94 on: March 20, 2017, 12:35:22 pm »


Had made push to improve men's basketball






Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #97 on: January 06, 2018, 06:49:45 am »

On Thursday, the SEC announced the hiring of Dan Leibovitz to be the SEC’s new Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball

Jerry Palm‏Verified account @jppalmCBS

First bracket of the new year

4 Arkansas
4 Auburn
5 UK
5 A&M
7 Vols
8 UF
8 Mizzou
9 UG
9 Bama

1st 4 Out: Miss. St.

Guys are earning their pay


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #98 on: January 07, 2018, 09:06:25 am »

Shelby Mast
‏Verified account @BracketWAG
38m38 minutes ago

What a day of college hoops we had yesterday. As promised - there was a shake-up in the bracket - go check it - http://buff.ly/2F76NBR

Multi bid conferences - ACC (9), SEC (9), ...


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #99 on: January 13, 2018, 02:34:46 pm »

With the improved profile is the most parity in recent memory, especially with the 14-team league.  Will see how beating each other up affects the number of teams selected for the Tournament and where they are seeded.
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