SEC Schedule Released for Men’s Basketball


The SEC schedule was released for the men’s basketball program on Wednesday night on the SEC Network. Along with it comes good news and bad news for the Gamecocks. First, we’ll look at the schedule courtesy of Gamecocks Online:

Tue., Jan. 5, at Auburn, 7 p.m., SEC Network
Sat., Jan. 9, Vanderbilt, 3 p.m., ESPNU
Wed., Jan. 13, at Alabama, 9 p.m., SEC Network
Sat., Jan. 16, Missouri, 1 p.m., SEC Network
Tue. Jan. 19, at Ole Miss, 7 p.m., SEC Network
Sat., Jan. 23, at Tennessee, Noon, SEC Network
Tue., Jan. 26, Mississippi State, 7 p.m., SEC Network
Sat., Jan. 30, Alabama, 6 p.m., SEC Network
Tue., Feb. 2, at Georgia, 7 p.m., ESPN/U/SEC Network
Sat., Feb. 6, at Texas A&M, 4 p.m., ESPNU
Wed., Feb. 10, LSU, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Sat., Feb. 13, Kentucky, Noon, ESPN/2
Tue., Feb. 16, at Missouri, 7 p.m., SEC Network
Sat., Feb. 20, Florida, Noon, SEC Network
Wed., Feb. 24, Tennessee, 9 p.m., SEC Network
Sat., Feb. 27, at Mississippi State, 2:30, SEC Network
Thurs., March 3, Georgia, 7 p.m., ESPN/2
Sat., March 5, at Arkansas, 5 p.m., SEC Network

Home games in bold
All times Eastern and subject to change

The schedule features six games against teams that made post season tournaments last season: Georgia (2), Arkansas, Kentucky, and Ole Miss all made the NCAA tournament and Vanderbilt and Alabama each made the NIT.

The good news for the Gamecocks is that they face Florida, Kentucky, and LSU all at home. Kentucky will once again be the team to beat in the SEC and should be considered the favorite to win the SEC. Florida is looking to get back on the right track after a disappointing season and the departure of Billy Donovan.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky, LSU and Texas A&M signed top 6 recruiting classes for the 2015 class according to 247Sports. Kentucky was first overall and continues to reload on talent as usual. LSU landed the number 2 player in the nation Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons and Chris Silva met during high school when Silva thrived against Simmons bursting for 27 points and 14 rebounds in a tough loss. A&M looks to be a difficult match up again this season adding the number 6 recruiting class in the nation to returning stars Alex Caruso and Danuel House.

What is even worse is that these three teams are lined up consecutively on the Gamecocks schedule. Tack on an away game at Georgia before that, and this could be the worst part of the schedule for the team.

Auburn loses KT Harrell and Antoine Mason. They do return Cinmeon Bowers and are bringing in the 19th ranked recruiting class in the nation.

Vanderbilt made the quarterfinals of the NIT last season and return their top 3 scorers: Damian Jones, Riley LaChance, and Wade Baldwin.

The SEC has four new head coaches and each will visit Colonial Life Arena this season. Those coaches are Ben Howland (Mississippi State), Avery Johnson (Alabama), Michael White (Florida), and Rick Barnes (Tennessee).

The Gamecocks do have a favorable stretch of conference games starting with a home game against Missouri on January 16. The Gamecocks then have consecutive away games against Ole Miss (January 19) and Tennessee (January 23). The Gamecocks return home for a game against Mississippi State. The Gamecocks were able to get wins against all four of these teams last season and should be able to do so again.