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SEC women’s basketball: Previewing the 2016-17 conference schedule

Top 10 Mississippi State and South Carolina lead the way in loaded SEC.

NCAA Womens Basketball: South Carolina at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

As conference play is about to begin for the SEC, it’s not hard for one to come to the conclusion that the conference is very strong..once again. There is not one team with a losing record; it speaks volumes that the worst team by record is Georgia at 7-5.

Here is the total conference preview:

Favorites

Mississippi State and South Carolina, both ranked in the top 10, are the early favorites to win the conference. Juniors Victoria Vivians (15.8 PPG) and Morgan William (11.4 PPG) lead the balanced Bulldog squad. They are currently undefeated at 13-0. Sitting at 10-1 are the Gamecocks. Their one loss came at Duke, but they have very convincing wins against #12 Ohio State, #8 Louisville, and #10 UCLA. The key statistic for Carolina is that they have four players who average double digits in scoring: A’ja Wilson (16.4), Alaina Coates (14.6), Kaela Davis (13.6), and Allisha Gray (13.5). It is very possible to see the regular season title be determined by the last conference game, as both teams are looking very solid.

Contenders

The fact of the matter is, each team in the SEC has a chance to win the conference, but there are a couple that stick out.

Alabama: The Tide have four double-digit scorers of their own (Meoshonti Knight, Hannah Cook, Shaquera Wade, Jordan Lewis) and could be the biggest threat to the favorites.

LSU: Raigyne Moncrief leads the Tigers with 15 points per contest, along with Chloe Jackson and Alexis Hyder serving as key contributors. Look for these three to make it interesting for conference foes.

Kentucky: Senior in-state guard Makayla Epps could be the potential conference player of the year, and she has help in Evelyn Akhator, Taylor Murray, Maci Morris, and Makenzie Cann. The only concern for this team is depth, as there is a big drop off after those five in terms of production.

Ole Miss: The Rebels have one of the deepest backcourts in Madinah Muhammad, Shandricka Sessom. Erika Sisk, and Chrishae Rowe. However, the production in the frontcourt from forwards Taylor Manuel and Shelby Gibson will dictate how successful Ole Miss will be.

Key Games

Mississippi St @ South Carolina (1/23)

South Carolina @ Kentucky (2/2)

Alabama @ LSU (2/5)

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt (2/5)

Mississippi St @ Ole Miss (2/12)

Predicted All-Conference Teams

First Team

G- Makayla Epps (Kentucky)

G- A’ja Wilson (South Carolina)

G- Danni Williams (Texas A&M)

F- Evelyn Akhator (Kentucky)

F- Mercedes Russell (Tennessee)

Second Team

G- Diamond DeShields (Tennessee)

G- Sophie Cunningham (Missouri)

G/F Katie Frerking (Auburn)

F- Victoria Vivians (Mississippi State)

F- Ronnie Williams (Florida)