A look at the weekend around the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 9 Tennessee (8-1, 2-1 SEC) at Texas A&M (6-3, 1-2). The Volunteers lost for the first time this season in a 71-63 defeat at home to Alabama last Saturday. Tennessee now tries to right itself in a difficult stretch of three games, two on the road, in a six-day span. The run began at home Wednesday with a 79-74 victory over Arkansas. It continues at Texas A&M, which is led by one of the most effective two-way players in the SEC in Emanuel Miller. The 6-foot-7 sophomore leads the Aggies at 17 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. His rebounding total is fourth in the SEC and he’s second in league shooting percentage at 60.9 this season with three double doubles. The Vols, led by Victor Bailey Jr. at 13.5 points a game, are fifth in the SEC in scoring this season at 77.6 points a game. A successful stretch could give them a foothold among the top SEC teams the as the season truly gets going.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. has upped his game in his sophomore season. He’s second in SEC scoring at 22 points and second in league assists at five per game. The son of NBA great Scottie Pippen has started league play with 18 points in losses to Florida and Kentucky. The Commodores look to break through in league play against Mississippi State on Saturday.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Kentucky guard Dontaie Allen was named the SEC freshman of the week last week with 23 points and five rebounds in a double overtime, 78-73 win at Mississippi State last Saturday. Allen played 32 minutes against the Bulldogs after playing a total of 20 minutes in four appearances this season. … Mississippi State forward Tolu Smith leads the league this season with four games with double figures in points and rebounds. Smith is a 6-10 transfer from Western Kentucky, who sat out last season. He’s been a big part of Mississippi State’s 2-1 start in the SEC. He had 12 points and nine rebounds as the Bulldogs took down No. 13 Missouri 78-63 this past Tuesday. Mississippi State will face Vanderbilt on Saturday.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE
No. 8 Texas A&M (10-0, 2-0) at No. 13 Arkansas (10-2, 1-1) headline the women’s slate. The Aggies are the league’s only undefeated team and will be tested against the Razorbacks. Chelsea Dungee is one of the more dynamic scorers in the league, averaging 19.5 points this season for Arkansas. A&M is off to its best start since opening with 11 straight wins in 2014-15. The Aggies were picked third in the SEC preseason, behind defending champion South Carolina and Kentucky. … The fifth-ranked Gamecocks showdown with the 10th-ranked Wildcats is in jeopardy after South Carolina paused activities due to COVID-19 issues. The team postponed Thursday’s home game with Georgia and are waiting on other testing to see if they can make the trip to Kentucky.
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