Player of the Week
Elston Turner - Texas A&M
In what will probably go down as the best individual performance of the season, the Aggies' Elston Turner dropped 40 on the Kentucky Wildcats helping his team to improve to 12-3 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. He shot 14-19 (73.6%) from the field, including 6-10 from distance, pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists all while dealing Kentucky their first conference loss at home in the John Calipari era. Turner has scored in double figures in each of the Aggies' first 15 games but his 40 point outburst Saturday set a new career high and turned plenty of heads. In his other game earlier in the week against Arkansas, the senior scored 15 points and pulled down 8 rebounds in the win. He is now third in the league in scoring at 17.1 points per game.
Murphy Holloway - Ole Miss
Holloway has quietly had one of the best seasons of any player in the SEC. He doesn't get very much attention as Ole Miss wasn't picked to finish very high pre-season but he currently leads the conference in rebounding (both offensive and defensive) and is in the top 10 in scoring and field goal percentage. He is averaging 18.5 points and 10 rebounds in conference thus far and was key in the team's win over #10 Missouri on Saturday. The Rebels are off to a hot start in the SEC and Holloway is a big reason why. He's not only getting in done of the offensive end but on the defensive side of the ball as well. He had four steals against the Tigers and now is in the top ten in the league in that category as well.
Johnny OBryant - LSU
O'Bryant has been one of the more disappointing players in the SEC so far this season. He played well early on but an injury set him back and he has still never fully gotten back into the groove since he came back. He has yet to score in double figures since his return and is shooting an abysmal 26% from the floor over his last three games. The Tigers have dropped their first two conference games after going 9-2 in the non-conference and the suspect play of O'Bryant is a big reason why. If the Tigers are going to try and right the ship, they will need him to get back to playing like he did pre-injury.
Top 5 Players to Watch
Jabari Bird - Missouri
With Lawrence Bowers out indefinitely, someone will need to fill the void left behind by his absence. Bird is the logical choice as he is slowly but surely getting used to the offense and how to play with his teammates after sitting out the first half of the season due to transfer rules.
Ray Turner - Texas A&M
He'll be known as the "other" Turner on this team after teammate Elston's breakout game against the Wildcats. With the defense looking Elston's way more now, the team's second leading scorer should find more space to maneuver around the rim.
Bruce Ellington - South Carolina
Ellington is officially back on the team after his football career came to an end with a bowl win over Michigan. He has averaged double figures during his first two seasons on the basketball team and is poised to make it three in a row as he is this team's best player.
Nerlens Noel - Kentucky
With Ryan Harrow's comments about some of the guys on the team needing to possibly stay another year, look for the Wildcats' best player to take that as a personal challenge to step his game up and live up to the hype that surrounded him as a high school senior.
Kenny Boynton - Florida
Boynton has had a very up and down year but has played well of late with two 20 point performances in his last three. The Gators are a different team when he is effective. His shooting opens up space on the interior for their bigs to operate and creates driving lanes for others on the perimeter.