SEC announces conference basketball schedule

By: Bob Holt
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
A rack of basketballs is shown during halftime of an exhibition game between Arkansas and Missouri Western on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
A rack of basketballs is shown during halftime of an exhibition game between Arkansas and Missouri Western on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — The SEC’s two new men’s basketball coaches — Georgia’s Tom Crean and Ole Miss’ Kermit Davis — will both bring their teams into Walton Arena to face the Arkansas Razorbacks during the 2018-19 season.

The SEC announced Wednesday its schedule of 18 conference games for its 14 teams and the University of Arkansas will play home-and-home games against LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Teams Arkansas will play only at home in addition to Georgia are Alabama, Florida and Mississippi State.

Arkansas will play Auburn, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee only on the road.

The road schedule looks particularly challenging considering Auburn and Tennessee return the majority of players from teams that shared the SEC regular-season championship last year and Kentucky’s roster again will be loaded with McDonald’s All-American recruits.

ESPN.com’s “Way Too Early Top 25” poll has No. 3 Kentucky, No. 5 Tennessee and No. 11 Auburn. Other SEC teams in the poll are No. 21 LSU and No. 22 Mississippi State.

Dates for the SEC games were not released Wednesday.

Crean, the former Marquette and Indiana coach, replaced Mark Fox at Georgia. Davis, who coached at Middle Tennessee State the previous 16 years, is taking over at Ole Miss for Andy Kennedy.

When Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson was at Alabama-Birmingham, he faced Crean’s Marquette teams in Conference USA.

“He had some dynamite teams there,” Anderson said at his golf tournament las month. “They’re going to play up-tempo basketball. He’s a good fit for Georgia. His teams play athletic. Defensively, they get after you a little bit. They want to get up and down the floor.

“Kermit did a great job at Middle Tennessee and he'll do a good job at Ole Miss.”

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