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Rick Barnes compliments new wave of coaches in the SEC

On3 imageby:Sam Gillenwater01/27/23


The SEC has seen a rise in competition over the last few seasons of basketball. A lot of that is a credit to the caliber of players that are now in the conference. Just as much of it, though, is due to this era of coaches within the league.

After Tennessee defeated LSU over the weekend, Volunteer head coach Rick Barnes applauded the coaches around the SEC, specifically the new ones. They’ve only added to the fight that the league is game in and game out, especially with the new styles that they’ve brought to the table.

“I have a great respect for coaches. It’s hard. We’re all dealt different hands at different times. But when I think about the coaches in the league that are new? The ones that are trying to build programs? The SEC is in great hands,” Barnes said. “We had a big turnover and we’ve had a wave of new coaches coming in. And, when you watch them, there’s so many good schemes going on. It’s really neat watching.”

The SEC added five new faces over the course of the last offseason. They’ve all had varying amounts of success as Todd Golden (Florida), Dennis Gates (Missouri), Lamont Paris (South Carolina), Chris Jans (Mississippi State), and Matt McMahon (LSU) are all finding their ways in their first campaigns in the league.

That’s not even to mention Mike White who moved within the conference and currently has Georgia sitting at 13-7 after seven seasons with the Gators. All of that is added on top of the cream of the crop that the league has to offer in Barnes, Nate Oats, John Calipari, Bruce Pearl, and Eric Musselman as well as the previous wave from the last few seasons in Buzz Williams, Jerry Stackhouse, and Kermit Davis.

Plenty of things have had to come together to get SEC basketball to the point that it’s at. However, a massive part of it is who all is at the helm of the conference’s 14 programs.