SEC Basketball: Power rankings heading into the SEC season

A power ranking across the Southeastern Conference heading into the SEC schedule

The SEC season gets underway in just a few days
The SEC season gets underway in just a few days / Marc Weiszer/Athens Banner-Herald / USA
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SEC Basketball Power Rankings:
No. 11 Missouri Tigers

The Dennis Gates hire in Columbia, Missouri last offseason paid immediate dividends for a proud Mizzou program. The Tigers won 25 games in his first season in CoMo and played their way to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was their first trip to the second round since doing so five times in a row under Frank Haith.

However, things aren't going quite as smoothly in year 2.

The Tigers have played an absolutely brutal out-of-conference schedule that has included three Power-6 road games (including one in Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks) and a neutral site contest against 11th-ranked Illinois. If they end up on the bubble this season, their pre-conference schedule likely will push them into the Dance.

But because of their 8-5 start to the year, they have a lot of ground to make up in the win column. Mizzou likely will need to win 10 games in the SEC and win a game or two in the SEC Tournament to have a real chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament again.

Most notably Kobe Brown, Missouri lost some important pieces off of last year's team, but the perimeter group of Nick Honor, Sean East, and Noah Carter are all having nice years to keep postseason hopes alive in CoMo.

Certainly a candidate to rise up these rankings as the year progresses, Missouri will need to inflate their league-worst rebounding numbers if they are to improve enough to make any postseason noise.