The roster sheet is short on experienced production but long on talent and potential. Make no mistake, this team isn't overly youthful, just lacking in dependable scoring punch taken away with the loss of Gordon, Rhodes, and to a lesser point Ben Hansbrough. Opportunity abounds for newcomers like Bost and Osby. Returning players such as Ravern Johnson, Kodi Augustus, and Elgin Bailey will be pressed to make the most of their college experience in heightened roles. Needless to say, a Rick Stansbury team will learn to play sound defense and with Varnado on the back line there is strong assurance that will continue.
As usual, the summer outlook is generally focused on the SEC West. There have been additions and subtractions notable to most of the rosters, making the division "up for grabs."
Alabama - Alabama loses Hendrix and (whew) Riley, but returns Ronald Steele after a season lost to injury. They have several valuable recruits coming in and Gottfried teams are always a chemistry experiment regardless of talent.
Arkansas - John Pelphrey faces the most turnover with the loss of 5 key contributors, all to graduation. It's hard to see Arkansas being more than a .500 team overall.
Auburn - They are tentatively my "team to watch" in the SEC as they return a lot of experience along with injured players like Korvotney Barber.
LSU - The Tigers lose super frosh Anthony Randolph to the NBA but they keep super guard Marcus Thornton and return Tasmin Mitchell. Super recruit J'mison Morgon was released from his LOI and signed instead with UCLA, leaving new Head Coach Trent Johnson to work with remainders. With Butch Pierre at Oklahoma State, the Louisiana border just got a little softer for basketball recruiting.
Ole Miss - Ole Miss basically lost it's front line experience and muscle, but traded for the type players that Andy Kennedy wants for his system. The redux continues as the Rebels make another strong bid for the NIT.