March 09, 2013
No. 6 seed LSU (19-10)
KEY STARTERS: F Theresa Plaisance (17.6 points, 2.8 blocks per game), G Adrienne Webb (13.9 ppg, 81.5 FT pct.), G Danielle Ballard (12.6 ppg, 3.1 steals per game).
OUTLOOK: No one enters the tournament hotter than LSU, winner of six straight games. But winning four more games in four days with an eight-player roster is a lot to ask.
No. 1 TENNESSEE (23-6)
KEY STARTERS: G Meighan Simmons (17.7 ppg), F Bashaara Graves (14.3 ppg), C Isabelle Harrison (9.5 ppg, 7.8 rebounds per game).
OUTLOOK: Nothing unusual about seeing the Lady Vols as SEC champions, but they did throw in two clunkers at Missouri (80-63 loss) and against Kentucky (31 turnovers). Harrison (knee) is doubtful, making Tennessee upset prone.
No. 2 Kentucky (25-4)
KEY STARTERS: G A’dia Mathes (16.0 ppg), C DeNesha Stallworth (12.5 ppg), F Samarie Walker (9.5 ppg, 54.5 FG pct.).
OUTLOOK: With Tennessee’s Harrison hobbled, the Wildcats may be the team to beat. Kentucky’s combination of inside-outside scoring and defensive pressure makes them the SEC’s most dependable squad.
No. 3 Georgia (24-5)
KEY STARTERS: F Jasmine Hassell (12.6 ppg), G Jasmine James (11.0 ppg, 3.8 assists per game), G Khaalidah Miller (8.7 ppg).
OUTLOOK: With six seniors, this should be the SEC’s most solid team. Instead, it’s the most erratic. Georgia could win the title or get bounced by LSU, and neither would be a surprise.
No. 4 Texas A&M (21-9)
KEY STARTERS: C Kelsey Bone (17.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 56.7 FG pct.), G Courtney Walker (10.5 ppg, 2.7 spg), F Kristi Bellock (9.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg).
OUTLOOK: The Aggies are slumping badly, having lost three straight and 4-of-5. A likely quarterfinal meeting with No. 5 South Carolina could send A&M home quickly.
No. 5 S.Carolina (23-6)
KEY STARTERS: F Aleighsa Welch (12.2 ppg), F Ashley Bruner (9.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg), G Iesia Walker (9.4 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.8 spg).
OUTLOOK: Led by SEC defensive player of the year Walker, USC plays brilliant defense. It also plays woeful offense, 13th in scoring. Not likely it’s offense will be on enough here to win four straight games.
No. 7 Vanderbilt (19-10)
KEY STARTERS: F Tiffany Clarke (16.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg), G Christina Foggie (14.5 ppg, 32.5 pct 3-point FG pct.), G Jasmine Lister (12.5 ppg).
OUTLOOK: Few teams come alive in the SEC tournament like Vandy (six titles). There are some nice pieces here, but the Commodores were only 2-6 against ranked opponents.
No. 8 Arkansas (18-11)
KEY PLAYERS: C Sarah Watkins (12.9 ppg), F Quistelle Williams (10.3 ppg), F Keira Peak (9.3 ppg).
OUTLOOK: The Razorbacks are unusual in that their best player, Watkins, comes off the bench. Arkansas lost 3-of-4 entering the tournament, including a loss at Florida.
No. 9 FLORIDA (17-13)
KEY STARTERS: G Jaterra Bonds (12.4 ppg, 3.4 apg), F Jennifer George (11.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg), G Sydney Moss (10.2 ppg, 3.8 apg).
OUTLOOK: Go figure the Gators. They took Tennessee to OT then lost at home to last-place Ole Miss. Still, if Florida gets past Arkansas, it has a puncher’s chance vs. the Lady Vols.
No. 10 Missouri (17-13)
KEY PLAYERS: F Bri Kulas (14.1 ppg), G Morgan Eye (12.6 ppg, 41.7 3-point pct.), G Sydney Crafton (9.7 ppg, 54.4 FG pct.).
OUTLOOK: Not strong enough for a deep run, but Mizzou can get hot enough from 3-point range to beat anyone. Ask Tennessee.
No. 11 Auburn (16-13)
KEY STARTERS: G Hasina Muhammad (14.7 ppg), G Tyrese Tanner (13.0 ppg), F Blanche Alverson (12.6 ppg).
OUTLOOK: Auburn has size inside if not an abundance of skill with the 6-3 Alverson and 6-5 C Peyton Davis, enough to make LSU grind for a win.
No. 13 ALABAMA (13-17)
KEY PLAYERS: G Daisha Simmons (12.4 ppg entering tournament), G Shafontaye Myers (11.2 ppg), G Jasmine Robinson (9.7 ppg).
OUTLOOK: Wednesday’s 63-36 rout of Mississippi State was nice, but no way Bama gets past South Carolina.