Can Vandy Handle The High Expectations?
Terrence Jones Ready For Monster Season
Is This The New And Improved Renardo Sidney?
No More Divisions In The SEC
Best Of Media Day:
Best fast-food reference: "Your interchangeable parts are all about 6-11 and McDonald's All-Americans. We were all about 6-5 or 6-6. All we did was eat at McDonald's."
-- Auburn coach Tony Barbee, a former UMass player and assistant under John Calipari, when asked by Calipari how the Cats can contend for a national title with so many freshmen
Best "question that won't be coming" reference: "It's funny that three or four years ago I was being asked questions about, 'Well, do you think the league is down?' I won't have to do that question today. I would say our league is as healthy and strong as it's been maybe in the 12 or 13 years that I've been in it."
-- Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings
Best "never thought I'd see that today" moment: Former Georgia athletics director Damon Evans, who was fired after being arrested for DUI in July 2011, mingling with SEC officials and coaches in the lobby of the hotel hosting SEC media day. Evans said he was visiting a friend in Birmingham and staying in the same hotel.
Best "woe is me" reference: "They can rate us high all they want. There are 40 teams -- 50, 60 teams -- right now we could not beat. Maybe more, maybe 100 teams. Because we're just not ready to play in a basketball game."
-- Calipari, on his team being picked as an overwhelming SEC favorite
Best presidential reference: "We're aiming for first. I don't want to act like I'm smart here, but was it John Kennedy, was he the one that said when he was asked to be the vice president, or maybe to run as the vice president, 'Why settle for second-best when the best is within your reach?' I'm not sure it was him. But we hope first place is something we can compete for."
-- Stallings on his team's preseason expectations.
Best "we're still the SEC" reference: "Do you know what the buyout is in the SEC? It's zero. If you want to leave, beat it. You'll be replaced in 45 seconds."
-- Calipari on conference realignment
Georgia coach Mark Fox
Vanderbilt's John Jenkins
They said it
Alabama: "Just working on expanding my game this year. I'm going to get double-teamed, so I just want to open my game up so I can knock down some jumpers and take the double-team away and make it easier for myself."
-- Forward JaMychal Green
Arkansas: "I caution fans, it might be more like 40 minutes of hell and 15 minutes of 'What the hell are we doing?'"
-- Coach Mike Anderson
Auburn: "Last year was like going back to elementary school. You're trying so hard to add so much about our philosophy and offense and defense. That's so consuming and cumbersome. Now it's only teaching three freshmen. We were so unprepared for the first half of the season last year."
-- Coach Tony Barbee
Florida: "Well, I don't know if we have the best backcourt in the country or not. I think we have some very, very gifted players. We have two guys that are certainly proven in the league. I think that [freshman Bradley Beal] is a very gifted and very talented player that is going to help us."
-- Coach Billy Donovan
Georgia: "We're more mobile. We're not as big. I think that will allow us to apply a little more pressure. I think we'll be a little more aggressive defensively. We lost two great players and there's no denying that fact."
-- Coach Mark Fox
Kentucky: "This is its own team. Last year's team, we had a whole different role than we have this year. Last year, us being more of an underdog, [we had to] go out and prove what we had to do every game and tournament. I think this year's team will be one of the top-dog teams and are expected to win, and go out there and get it. It's going to be two different teams with two different situations, but we'll have to go out there and get the wins the same way."
-- Forward Terrence Jones
LSU: "I have always tried to approach this thing from the standpoint that I have to put myself in a situation where I can do the best I can to help them. I felt I have done that over the years, but last year with some injuries and there were some games that got away from us that I thought it wasn't them. I suppose it was me."
-- Coach Trent Johnson
Ole Miss: "A lot of times when you project a new guy into your program -- like we have six freshmen -- we don't know what they will be like when the lights come on. With Murphy [Holloway], I've seen him get 20 rebounds in an SEC game. I've seen him have multiple double covers. I know what he can do, so the transition has been seamless." --
-- Coach Andy Kennedy
Mississippi State: "You don't have to score every trip to be a good point guard. Last year [Dee Bost] led the league in assists and still averaged 15 points a game, so I think he's got a good balance right now. He can score the basketball a lot of different ways, but at the same time he's comfortable with getting other people involved."
-- Coach Rick Stansbury
South Carolina: "We just have a different group of guys. It's a different core. We are just preparing every day and working hard. We are ready to come out and prove people wrong this year."
-- Forward Malik Cooke
Tennessee: "You just got to go out there and compete. One word coach Martin uses every practice is competing. Don't wait till the lights come on to go out there on the floor and compete with other teams. It starts in practice. You compete with your fellow big men. You compete with your fellow guards on the other end. So if you do it in practice on an everyday basis, it will translate onto the floor."
-- Guard Cameron Tatum
Vanderbilt: "What we try and do is create our own expectations for our team. What the media and other people say about us is meaningless; what we have to do is perform. We can't just perform in the NCAA tournament; we have to perform all season long. We have established our own expectations and those will be what we try to abide by and adhere to."
-- Coach Kevin Stallings
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin
Kentucky's Terrence Jones
SEC preview content
For a Blue Ribbon breakdown of every SEC team, click here.
• John Gasaway's five key questions for the SEC
• Chad Ford breaks down the SEC's top NBA prospects
• Andy Katz on how Mike Rosario and Patric Young are the keys to Florida's success.
• Mike LaPlante gives the scoop on the top incoming freshmen in the conference.
• Dana O'Neil's report from Kentucky's Big Blue Madness and how expectations at UK are through the roof.
• Diamond Leung breaks down the nonconference schedules of each SEC team.
• SEC coaches weigh in on expansion and future scheduling in the SEC.
• Katz on how basketball at Alabama and Auburn is such a tough sell during these football-crazed days.
• Katz gives due to Kentucky's overlooked Doron Lamb.
• O'Neil on how new Arkansas coach Mike Anderson has hit the ground running.
• Leung with a roundup of the SEC's offseason.
• For more SEC coverage in the Nation blog, click here.