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Posted: Tuesday November 09, 1999 01:07 AM
Auburn primed for repeat; Gators, Vols poise threats
By Josh Kendall, Special to CNN/SI
Chris Porter leads a talented returning cast for Auburn. Todd Warshaw/Allsport
Can Billy Donovan's super-talented Florida Gators, who have nine freshmen and sophomores on their roster versus only one senior, grow up in time to meet high preseason expectations? Tennessee won the SEC East regular season title last year and returns the nucleus of that team but isn't expected to repeat. If the Vols can find a little team chemistry and get point guard Tony Harris on the same page with coach Jerry Green, they could delay the Gators' date with greatness. National player of the year candidate Chris Porter led Auburn to a 29-4 record and the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year. To improve on that, he'll have to get the Tigers to the Final Four.
How they will spend Selection Sunday
Players to Watch
| Top Three Frontcourt Players |
Chris Porter, Auburn |
Tremendous leaper shot 350 jumpers every day this off-season to improve his overall game.
Mike Miller, Florida
Lived up to hype as freshman (12 points, 5 boards per game), now the pressure's really on.
Jamaal Magloire, Kentucky
Decided at last minute to return to Wildcats rather than enter NBA Draft, must now step up offensive game to steady young team.
| Top Three Backcourt Players |
Doc Robinson, Auburn |
Overshadowed by Chris Porter but may be more valuable due to experience, leadership.
Tony Harris, Tennessee
Will be leaguešs best if he improves attitude, comes to play every night.
Kenyan Weaks, Florida
Second on team in scoring, second in league in steals last season.
| Top Three Newcomers |
Schea Cotton, Alabama |
JUCO All-American in only season at Long Beach City College.
Brett Nelson, Florida
McDonald's All-American could start at point from Day 1.
Marvin Stone, Kentucky
'Cats coach Tubby Smith says freshman could be best big man ever at Kentucky.
| Hot Coach |
Billy Donovan, Florida |
Has Gators in preseason top 10 in fourth seson. Fabulous recruiter.
| Coach on the Hot Seat |
Eddie Fogler, South Carolina |
Gamecock fans can't take another 8-21 mark like last season.
| Toughest Schedule |
Wildcats play Indiana, at Maryland, Louisville and Michigan State before SEC season begins.
| Quickest-Way-to-20-Wins Schedule |
Ole Miss |
Rebels face Souteastern Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Prairie View and Birmingham-Southern consecutively in two weeks prior to conference slate.
Mark Your Calendar
Nov. 27, Auburn vs. Stanford |
Tigers learn where they stand this season before December.
Dec. 11, Kentucky at Maryland
Let the SEC vs. ACC debate begin.
Jan. 18, Tennessee at Florida
Volunteers' chance to prove East title is still theirs' to lose.
March 4, Florida at Kentucky
To be the man, you've got to beat the man. SEC regular-season finale for both.
Josh Kendall covers the SEC for Athens (Ga.) Daily News/Banner-Herald. Look for his CNN/SI conference insiders during the season.
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