The newest edition of SEC Sunrise is officially here.
Before we jump into sports, here is my public service announcement of the day:
Amazon's one click ordering is great and all until you accidentally hit the wrong button and spend $14.22 on The Santa Clause 2.
— Blake Lovell (@theblakelovell) December 14, 2016
Be careful with Amazon’s one-click ordering. It’ll rip out your soul.
Let’s get started.
LSU lands an offensive coordinator
After Lane Kiffin became the new head coach at Florida Atlantic, it became pretty clear where LSU would turn for its new offensive coordinator.
And according to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, Ed Orgeron got his man:
Matt Canada will receive a three-year contract from #LSU at more than $1 million per year.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 14, 2016
Canada had no troubles helping his former Pittsburgh team score points this season. The Panthers averaged 42.3 points per game (10th in the nation) and helped quarterback Nathan Peterman (who played at Tennessee before transferring) have a monster season in setting career highs in passing and rushing.
Considering that quarterback consistency has been a problem for LSU in recent years, Canada might be exactly what the Tigers need right now.
This hire won’t draw the media attention that a Kiffin hire would have, but that doesn’t matter. Canada’s resume speaks for itself, and he’s a great hire for Orgeron.
Now he just needs to turn LSU’s 67th ranked scoring offense (28.3 PPG) into a Top 10 offense, and all will be well in Baton Rouge once again.
SEC basketball: Catch the fever
The good news for SEC basketball on Tuesday night is that no one lost.
The bad news is that Tennessee only beat Tennessee Tech by six points, and LSU somehow found a way to hang on to beat North Carolina Central by four points.
For the Vols, things were going well around the 17 minute mark. Tennessee led 49-27 and seemed to be in complete control. However, just like it did at North Carolina a few days earlier, Rick Barnes’ team struggled to hang onto the lead. The Golden Eagles managed to cut the lead to four with 21 seconds remaining.
Luckily, Tennessee avoided embarrassment and found a way to win. The Vols are young, so finishing out games is definitely a major work in progress.
LSU also managed to avoid disaster in knocking off a NC Central team that had already won at Missouri this season. The Tigers trailed 43-36 at the half, but Antonio Blakeney managed to fuel his team to victory by scoring 27 points and adding six rebounds.
If you’ve read my work long enough, you know my feelings on LSU head coach Johnny Jones. Great guy, but you never know what you’re getting from his teams.
The 71-38 loss to Texas A&M in the SEC tournament semifinals last season was proof of that.
However, I don’t blame last night’s struggles on Jones. LSU hadn’t played a game in 14 days, so this game was destined to be sloppy. Yes, you should still beat NC Central by more than four points at home (even if the Eagles are a MEAC favorite). But this is where we’re at with SEC basketball.
Now, if the Tigers come out and lay an egg against Texas Southern on Saturday, then the questioning of Jones can begin again.
Brick by brick
How will Lane Kiffin build Florida Atlantic? Here’s his strategy:
Lane Kiffin just said he plans to build the FAU program, Brick By Brick…
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) December 13, 2016
I’ve heard that somewhere before. Just can’t quite put my finger on it.
Camron Justice leaving Vanderbilt
It was announced yesterday that sophomore guard Camron Justice was leaving the Vandy basketball program after the fall semester. This developing isn’t surprising.
Justice hasn’t played much this season under new head coach Bryce Drew, and it certainly has a lot to do with style of play. Justice’s biggest strength is his outside shooting, but unfortunately, Drew’s offense requires more of an off-the-dribble type of skill set. Kevin Stallings’ offense was a great fit for Justice. This one wasn’t.
And with freshman guard Payton Willis and 2017 signee Saben Lee likely being mainstays in the backcourt next season, it was simply gonna be hard for Drew to find minutes for Justice.
However, there’s no doubt that Justice can thrive elsewhere. The kid can absolutely shoot it from three, so if he finds the right fit, he can be an outstanding college player.
Video of the day
Christmas came early for Auburn football fans when their team landed quarterback Jarrett Stidham last Saturday. This guy is the real deal.
Today’s SEC hoops schedule
Georgia (5-3) will take the floor for the first time since December 4 when it hosts Louisiana Lafayette (6 PM ET, SEC Network).
Also, Mississippi State (6-2) hosts a sneaky good East Tennessee State team. This won’t be easy at all for the Bulldogs.
Let’s go bowling
Bowl season is close. I’ve already previewed and made my predictions for every single game.