There are two SEC men’s basketball matchups tonight, kicking off another exciting week of conference action. The South Carolina Gamecocks (11-6, 1-3 SEC) are traveling to Missouri (13-4, 2-2 SEC) to take on the Tigers who are coming off a big loss to the Florida Gators last weekend in Gainesville. The Kentucky Wildcats (12-5, 3-1 SEC) are also on the road tonight, traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide (11-6, 3-1 SEC).
South Carolina is coming off a 58-51 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday that gave the Commodores their first conference win of the season. Head coach Frank Martin is in his first year with the Gamecocks, but during his time as head coach at Kansas State, had a 6-4 record against Missouri. Martin talks about the mentality teams take when preparing for their conference schedule.
Missouri is in its first year in the SEC and currently leads the conference in rebounds per game (42.7), total offensive rebounds (250), and total defensive rebounds (476). The Tigers star player, junior guard Phil Pressey, has played well for Missouri this year (12.2 ppg, 7.2 assists per game), but has been mostly absent during SEC play (5 points against Georgia, 2 points/10 turnovers against Florida). Tiger coach Frank Haith says that Pressey needs to focus on the basics and the rest will come.
Tip off for that game is set for 7pm. The game can be seen on ESPNU and ESPN3.
After winning three straight conference games, Alabama hosts the defending NCAA champion Kentucky Wildcats tonight. Junior guard Trevor Releford leads the way for Alabama in scoring (16.2 ppg) and is shooting 49.0% from the field. Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks about the way the Alabama guards have been playing.
On the other side of the ball, Kentucky is coming off a 73-52 win against Auburn on Sunday. Freshman forward Nerlens Noel is averaging 10.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and also leads the SEC in blocked shots (69, 4.1 per game). Alabama head coach Anthony Grant talks about Noel and how he is the centerpiece of the Wildcat defense.
Tip off is set for 9pm. The game will be covered on ESPN and ESPN3.