I was thinking about how I might need a better name for the Sunday Blog after the transition was made from football to basketball season and since it automatically goes to Twitter and I want as many clicks as possible I thought about calling it “Tim Tebow new Florida coach” or “Chris Walker finally cleared” just so people would click on it. But that wouldn’t be right.
1. So I was thinking about this during the Florida-Tennessee game and decided to look up the numbers. The question I asked myself was this — “Is Michael Frazier II the best young 3-point shooter in Florida history?” The numbers will tell you that Kenyan Weaks was the best at 50.8 percent in his sophomore year. Joe Lawrence made 50.4 percent as a senior. Walter Hodge made 50 percent as a sophomore but took only 68 shots from beyond the arc. Then, there is Lee Humphrey, considered by many (including me) to be Florida’s best three-point shooter ever. I feel this way because he made so many big shots during Florida’s run to the two national titles. Humphrey shot 46 percent in each of the last two seasons which ties him for seventh (twice) all time. Frazier’s 46.8 percent last year ranked him sixth and his 45.6 this year would put him 10th all time. Frazier is being asked to shoot more as a starter this year and his 114 attempts have already exceeded last year’s total by three. I’m not sure if I answered my own question, except to say that Frazier has a chance to be Florida’s best ever. He may not equal Lawrence’s 50.4 percent career mark but that was set in the only season Lawrence had with the three-pointer in play. Frazier is currently second in career percentage.
2. We’re going to make this a weekly feature in the Sunday Blog — the SEC Bubble Watch. And while the league may not be very good (seventh in RPI among conferences) it has plenty of bubble-licious teams to dissect. Florida and Kentucky are marching towards March but these teams have issues.
Good news: Early season wins over Virginia and Xavier; RPI is 51 which should be inside the bubble.
Bad news: The Vols are 1-4 on the road; Tennessee already has seven losses.
In or out: In, but could use another couple of quality wins.
Good news: The RPI of 54 is just a couple of notches below Tennessee; big win over UCLA in December.
Bad news: The strength of schedule is 101st in the country; losses to Vanderbilt and Georgia are resume killers.
In or out: Probably just out but plenty of big games to come.
Good news: At 56, the RPI is respectable and the Rebels have a player everyone wants to see in the tournament in Marshall Henderson; four road wins don’t hurt.
Bad news: A loss to Mississippi State is not good and the Rebels have only two wins against teams in the top 100 in RPI.
In our our: I’m going to sneak them into the field, but they need to finish strong.
Good news: With a 63 RPI, it could come down to some head-to-heads in SEC and Tigers have already beaten Missouri; it depends on how important eye test is but this is a good-looking team.
Bad news: The loss at home to Rhode Island is a black mark; LSU has four of its wins over teams that are ranked over 200 in RPI.
Good news: The Razorbacks have three quality wins over top 50 teams in Kentucky, Minnesota and SMU.
Bad news: If there is one thing consistent about Mike Anderson’s teams it is their inability to win on the road and that’s important to the committee.
In or out: Out but a win or two away from home could get the Hoggies in.
3. One team I have been watching a lot that has an interesting RPI is Florida State. The Seminoles have played uninspiring first-half basketball in losses at Virginia and Duke the last two weeks. They already have six losses, tied for the most of any team in the top 48 of RPI. They have five wins over teams ranked 200th or higher in RPI. They have four double-digit losses. Yet, the Seminoles are 26th in RPI. The reason? No bad losses and a win over UMass. All six of FSU’s losses are to teams ranked in the top 24 in RPI. FSU may be the poster team for how to get into the tournament with mediocre results. Anyone listening in the SEC?
4. Finally, the Sunday Blog wants to salute the Michigan team. Remember when the Wolverines ended Florida’s dreams in Arlington, Texas? Before that game, most Gator fans had never heard of Nik Stauskus. He lit up the Gators that day and has improved remarkable as an overall player. Michigan won three games against top 10 teams last week and has won nine in a row since losing Mitch McGary for the season. As a result, the Wolverines are crowned as our first ever Sunday Blog team of the week. For that they receive this laurel … and hearty handshake.