FMCBCP is a stupid acronym I just came up with. When it’s not football season, we do a FWP (Fearless Weekend Predictions) post every Friday where one of us predicts what will transpire over the upcoming sports weekend. Well, College Basketball is about to start so we needed to do FMCBCP (Fearless Men’s College Basketball Conference Predictions) to document all our picks for the 2008-09 season. I wanted to do a post that would feature a comprehensive coverage of all the conferences together. EDay then reminded me that might be a 25,000 word post. Since most of our readers (and contributors for that matter) have the attention span of a three year-old monkey, we decided to break each down by conference. We’re only doing major conferences, so don’t whine when you don’t see the MEAC being featured. We’ll be picking conference winners, POYs, COYs, FOYs, biggest disappointments and number of tournament teams. As always, this will be done in a way that only APIAS.net can.
Lastly and most importantly, the SEC…
Bru’s Pick: Tennessee
TGC’s Pick: I’ll assume for the moment that you mean Regular Season and take the Vols. If you mean tourney champion, and you’ll give me the field at anything better than 1-to-10 I’d love to have your money. But I think Billy D gets it righted (whited?) before March, so I’ll take the Gaytors to win the tourney… but I’m sure we’ll be promoing that anyway. So. Vols.
EDay’s Pick: Tennessee; The guys play together and have a ton of talent. A patient
team may be able to beat them by making better decisions, but I don’t think
there is one of them in the SEC with enough talent to beat UT.
Smoothron’s Pick: Arkansas; Is it going to be a trendy pick? No, but I’ll make it anyway. First off, they play in the West, so they get two games apiece against that crappy division. Second, they’re coached by John Pelphrey, the next coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats (at least that’s what my drunk friend Will said via text message about 4AM last weekend after the VMI debacle).
More SEC (and a possible commentary on that other SEC) after the jump.
SEC Player of the Year
Bru’s Pick: Patrick Patterson
TGC’s Pick: I’ve thought about this long and hard because I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who is so penetratively orange (and makes up words) that you just skip over. Is it Ogilvy? No. When was the last time someone that boring won a POY? Is it Patterson? No. Clearly most of UK’s team has forgotten that he’s on the roster, and if Meeks keeps stealing his touches by firing into large crowds with no clear objective, he won’t get the numbers anyway. Is it Calathes? No. He won’t be able to dominate games at the point, and his supporting cast is, if young, still pretty damn good. But they’ll struggle to another 5-7 conference losses this year. It’s obviously not anyone in the West, though I think a 22-year-old Ron Steele still plays over there somewhere. Which really only leaves Tyler Smith. And I’ve gotten 3-months worth of earfuls from my close friends who happen to also be basketball coaches that UT doesn’t have a go-to guy at the end of the game, and Tyler’s game lacks too much to be dominant, especially in a system that rewards right-place-right-time fast breaks more than chug-chug-feed-post-score-points. But I just haven’t seen anyone better yet this year. Yeah it’s early, and we’ll learn a lot at the Old Spice Classic next week (against Marquette, Georgetown, Maryland, Gonzaga, Michigan State, etc.) but until then… this face convinces me that he won’t be touched. And definitely not fucked with.
EDay’s Pick: Jodie Meeks; I say this mostly because his numbers will be so gaudy that he’ll get the votes. I don’t think he’ll be the best player this year (give that vote to Tyler Smith) but I believe that he’ll bet the ones to get the votes. If the first two UK games are any sign of the year to come, Meeks will continue to shoot 20 times per game and end up with a scoring average nearing 25 – 27.
Smoothron’s Pick: Patrick Patterson; At some point his teammates will pass him the ball. He showed against UNC that he CAN score the basketball when he actually touches it, it’s just a matter of actually getting the ball. His numbers should be gaudy as he will probably have to play 40 minutes a night to keep UK competitive.
SEC Coach of the Year
Bru’s Pick: Trent Johnson
TGC’s Pick: Last year Pearl and Gillispie shared the award (and probably most of Merrick Inn’s talent). This year it goes to John Pelphrey. 23 wins in his first year was surely a great surprise for Hog faithful. In a down year in the West, that shouldn’t be tough to duplicate.
EDay’s Pick: Bruce Pearl; Again, give it to Bruce, Bruce. He lost a lot of talent at point guard and if he can find a way to get Prince and the newer players to settle down at that position I will be impressed.
Smoothron’s Pick: John Pelphrey; I have three reasons for this pick: 1) He looks like 2SL. 2) He is a good coach. 3) He looks like 2SL.
SEC Freshman of the Year
Bru’s Pick: Scotty Hopson
TGC’s Pick: If anyone has watched the Vols first 2 games, you’ll agree. Scotty Hopson has shown flashes of defense and dominance around the rim that none of us that watched him play in high school even knew he had. I expect him to get more familiar with B-Maze’s passes and his own ability and run away with this award… and about 12 a game.
EDay’s Pick: Renaldo Woolridge; Guy’s already starting and has a ton of talent. I almost wanted to go with Liggins out of UK here because I feel like he’ll be starting soon, but he can’t put up points.
Smoothron’s Pick: Scotty Hopson; Not sure if you have seen UT yet this year, but Hopson has met or exceeded all expectations so far. NBA-ready doesn’t quite describe him and he’s averaging something like twelve dunks a game so far (or something like that).
TGC’s Pick: Kevin Stallings is a tool. It’s not disappointing to me. But I take every chance I get to remind the world how big a tool he his. And so is Dan Werner.
EDay’s Pick: UK fans. It’s already began, and again this year the biggest disappointment for me will be the UK fan base. If Billy somehow won the next 10 games you would hear every person in the Bluegrass talking about how they were behind him all the way and they were telling people in November that he’d turn it around. That’s just how UK fans are and that’s how they’ll always be. It’s truly sad that a coach is judged as if every game was an NCAA Final Four game.
Smoothron’s Pick: Kentucky. I could have said Kentucky, but I’m just not going to be that guy. Instead, I’ll go with AJ Ogilvy. I just don’t see him being able to repeat his pretty good performance last year. Plus, he plays at Vanderbilt and there are not as many hot girls there as say… Florida?
Bru’s Pick: 5; Tenn, Fla, UK, Bama, LSU
TGC’s Pick: 5; Vols, Cats, ‘Dores, Gators, and whoever wins the West (Arkansas?
EDay’s Pick: 5; UT, Florida, UK, and 2 teams out of the SEC West to be named later. I think that 2 of the West teams will pull ahead of the rest and win enough games in conference to earn an at large bid to the NCAA’s. I also realize UK might be pushing it at this point but they won’t be this bad all year. Too much talent on that team for them to be this bad all year.
Smoothron’s Pick: 5; Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt
Aaaaand that will do folks. The SEC is probably the conference we think we know the most about, so it probably means nothing we have predicted will actually come to realization. It was a hell of a time looking through all the conferences and trying to figure out all these winners, but the best thing about this is that college basketball is in full swing. There are great tournaments going on all through the holidays and conference play will be here soon. And, as always, you know where to come to for all your homeriffic needs… APIAS.net.