SEC Basketball Inside the Numbers: Maten’s brilliance, LSU’s defense and more

In SEC Basketball by Blake Lovell

You know I love stats. So, to celebrate that love, I’m beginning a new weekly stroll through interesting SEC basketball numbers that catch my eye.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to excel in math to understand all of this.

It’s very simple, and you can even impress your girlfriend or boyfriend by dishing out these stats at the dinner table.

Let’s dive right in.

58.2%

Vanderbilt guard Riley LaChance leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage. Considering that the Commodores are the best shooting team in the SEC and have a plethora of great outside shooters on the roster, they can beat anyone when they’re hot.

93-18

The combined record of the seven teams that Tennessee has lost to this season. The Vols have played one of the toughest schedules in the entire country, and Rick Barnes has to be hoping that it’ll translate into wins as conference play progresses.

60.0

South Carolina is 15 games into the season and just now giving up 60 points per game. That’s best in the SEC and good enough for 10th in the country.

 90.9%

Both Daryl Macon (Arkansas) and Deandre Burnett (Ole Miss) are shooting a league-best 91% from the charity stripe. Both players also lead their teams in scoring, and converting at such an efficient rate at the foul line certainly helps.

94.5

The amount of points given up by LSU in its last four games. Defense appears to be optional for the Tigers right now.

66

Total number of turnovers for Texas A&M through its first three SEC games. Something tells me the Aggies will lower their mistakes this week against LSU and Mississippi State.

19.2

Auburn’s Jared Harper is averaging 19.2 points per game in the team’s last five games. He’s now the Tigers’ second leading scorer, and although Bruce Pearl’s team has struggled mightily in SEC play, the freshman guard has been a huge bright spot.

10

The SEC has 10 teams in the Top 100 of the RPI. That may obviously fluctuate throughout the week, but here’s where teams stand at the moment:

  • Florida #3
  • Kentucky #8
  • Arkansas #27
  • South Carolina #35
  • Ole Miss #42
  • Georgia #52
  • Vanderbilt #55
  • Tennessee #66
  • Alabama #85
  • Auburn #93
2-16

Missouri’s record in its last 18 SEC games. Auburn does not want to be this team’s third conference win since January 11, 2016.

17.7

Mississippi State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon is quietly the fourth leading scorer in the conference in averaging nearly 18 points per game. Delaying his wrist surgery until after the season continues to be the most significant moment of the Bulldogs’ season thus far.

1

Florida has played the toughest schedule of anyone in the country. The Gators’ next four SEC games (at Bama, vs. Georgia, at South Carolina, vs. Vandy) won’t offer much relief.

12.1

Sebastian Saiz is fourth in the nation with 12.1 rebounds per game. The Rebels as a team are third in the SEC in offensive and defensive rebounds per game.

30.3

Kentucky’s average margin of victory in its three SEC games (23 at Ole Miss, 42 vs. Texas A&M, 26 vs. Arkansas). I’d be surprised if the Wildcats hit that number in the always difficult Memorial Gym.

9-0

Alabama’s record this season when holding opponents to 61 points or less. The Crimson Tide’s record when allowing more than that? 0-5.

48

The number of double-digit scoring games for Georgia star Yante Maten in his last 53 games for the Bulldogs. He’s had only one single-digit scoring game this season (6 points at Oakland).

Have you read my preview of Tuesday night’s games? If not, you should: Kentucky at Vandy, Florida at Alabama and more.

Blake Lovell has worked in sports media for over 10 years. His work has been featured on The New York Times, Rivals, Time Warner Cable, Scout.com, FanRag Sports, FanSided and many more. He currently covers SEC football and basketball for various publications.