The SEC regular season is over and like all seasons it gave us a little bit of everything. The SEC saw the two Mississippi schools share the Western Division Title while pre-season elite teams LSU and Alabama fell with a resounding thud. The conference saw a season in which the fifth-place team in the East (Georgia) had the same conference mark (8-8) as the Western co-champs.
The SEC saw the Florida Gators win the league race by three games despite not having any of the top 15 scorers in league play. It saw Kentucky fall to fourth in the East and have to once again play on the first day of the SEC Tournament. The SEC saw the usual number of emerging stars, sensational newcomers and exceptional veterans. And it saw several teams and players come up short.
But what were the “most” notable performances? Here we’ll offer up our “most” teams in a number of categories with an individual singled out as the “mostest” of all (so what if it’s not a word?).
Note: All stats are for SEC games only.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYERS
AL HORFORD, FLORIDA: The junior big man was a consistent force against SEC teams averaging 13.4 points and 9.2 rebounds and added 40 assists and blocked 31 shots. He was also Florida’s one stalwart when the Gators slumped.
GLEN DAVIS, LSU: Normally I don’t like picking someone off a last place team, but Davis is the only SEC player to average a double-double for the year (16.1/10.3). And he did it with defenses surrounding him and often ignoring LSU’s erratic guards.
DERRICK BYARS, VANDERBILT: This outstanding forward had a fine year scoring 19.1 a game, second best in the league. He also grabbed 5.4 rebounds a night and seemed to play well in all the toughest games. He’s a prototypical small forward and a fine all around player.
CHRIS LOFTON, TENNESSEE: He didn’t make my mid-season team because he missed three games the first half and the first game of the second half. But when the year was over, there’s Lofton with 18.5 points a game and the one shooter that scares you more than any other.
TAUREAN GREEN, FLORIDA: The best point guard in the SEC this season, Green was the floor leader of the SEC’s best team. For most of the year, Green was incredibly consistent and a player of the year candidate. He had four poor games down the stretch that’ll cost him that honor, but they didn’t cost UF the Title.
THE MOSTEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Derrick Byars
THE MOST UNDER-APPRECIATED TEAM
JAMONT GORDON, MISSISSIPPI STATE: This guy is something else. He’s the SEC’s only power-point guard. Gordon averaged 16.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while dishing out more than five assists a game.
DANE BRADSHAW, TENNESSEE: He’s not that tall. He’s not that strong. He’s not that quick. He’s not that good a shooter. He’s just the most annoying player in the SEC … and I mean that as a compliment. He’ll guard guys a foot taller than he is and risk his body for every loose ball. No one likes playing against him, but everyone wants a guy like him on their roster.
JOSH DOLLARD, AUBURN: He’s definitely a guy most SEC fans don’t know about, but he’s a really good player. Dollard is good for 13.1/6.1 every night and is a solid defender who always seems to be dealing with someone much larger. He’s a big reason Auburn was such a pleasant surprise this year with a 7-9 league mark.
TODD ABERNETHY, OLE MISS: This guy reminds you of the neighborhood kid who somehow keeps winning games of horse and things like that. He leads the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (3.26) as well assists with 6.31. Ole Miss is not SEC West co-champs without Abernethy.
LEE HUMPHREY, FLORIDA: He’s the equivalent of Ringo Starr to the Gator version of the Fab Four. Humphrey wasn’t even wanted by his home town Volunteers four years ago, but he’s got one ring on and another on order. Humphrey’s three-point shooting is appreciated, but his defense; improved ball handling and low turnover numbers hardly get noticed.
THE MOSTEST UNDER-APPRECIATED: Jamont Gordon
Coming tomorrow we’ll look at the most impressive newcomers, the most outstanding coaching jobs and more.