As the NCAA Tournament gets rolling, who are the players from the SEC we’re keeping an eye on for the future?
March Madness kicks off with a beautiful schedule of games. We’ve been waiting two years for a tournament and here we are, ready for the craziness of the bracket busting and underdog legends to be born.
The SEC is well represented in the brackets this year, led by conference champion Alabama as a number two seed. There are some terrific players from the conference who will be on a national stage in the coming days.
Here are ten SEC prospects to watch in the dance.
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Herbert Jones, F, Alabama
Jones was The Man in the SEC this year. He was named the conference Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-SEC. He averaged 11.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game and drove the Crimson Tide to a two seed in the tournament. His draft stock is rising and he’ll be a big part of a potentially deep run for Bama.
Cameron Thomas, G, LSU
Thomas was first team All-SEC after averaging 22.6 points per game. LSU is a high scoring team that gave Alabama all they could handle in the conference championship game. Thomas is another guy whose draft stock is climbing; he’s a dynamic guard who drives the offense.
Trendon Watford, F, LSU
Watford scored 30 against a really good Alabama defense in the SEC championship game. He averaged 16.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season for LSU and will look to carry his confidence over from a big conference tournament.
Jeremiah Tilmon, F, Missouri
Tilmon is the leader for Missouri. The man in the middle, Tilmon averaged 12.3 points, seven rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. The Tigers have an interesting first round matchup against a banged-up Oklahoma squad before potentially getting the top overall seed, Gonzaga.
Moses Moody, G, Arkansas
Moody was named the SEC Freshman of the Year after averaging 17.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He also earned first team All-SEC honors. Notae and Moody give Arkansas a dynamic backcourt which could make them a sneaky pick for the Elite Eight.
Ja’Vonte Smart, G, LSU
Smart was named second team All-SEC after averaging 15.9 points, four assists and 1.3 steals per game this season. LSU is coming off a really good conference tournament and could be a big test for Michigan, the top seed in their region.
Jaden Shackelford, G, Alabama
Shackelford averaged 14.2 points per game this season, good enough for second team All-SEC honors. Alabama’s balanced scoring and willingness to launch the three will be big for them; the Crimson Tide led the nation in three-point attempts this year. Shackelford led Alabama with 21 points in the SEC championship game.
Tre Mann, G, Florida
Mann was also first team All-SEC after leading Florida in scoring at 16 points per game. He’s a big guard (6-5, 190) who averaged 5.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game in the regular season for the Gators.
JD Notae, G, Arkansas
Notae is one of the better defenders in the SEC, averaging 1.5 steals per game. He average better than 15 points per game as a freshman and sophomore before taking a little step back to 13.3 this season. He was named the SEC Sixth Man of the Year. Arkansas is a three seed with an intriguing draw.
Jahvon Quinerly, G Alabama
Quinerly, a native of Hackensack, NJ, took a huge step forward in his sophomore season this year. His scoring went up almost 10 points per game from 3.2 to 12.7 and he added three assists per night. He’s an important part of Alabama’s deep shooting threat; he shot 44.3 percent from three-point range during the regular season.