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How Kentucky WBB stacks up against the rest of the SEC

Screenshot 2023-11-10 at 1.25.30 PMby:Phoenix Stevens05/20/24

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Right when Kenny Brooks was hired, he made it known that Kentucky was a “sleeping giant” within the Southeastern Conference.

Whether you like it or not, the SEC is the best conference in women’s college basketball. The last three national champions (South Carolina twice and LSU) came from the SEC. It’s just not a two-team league either. There were six total teams from the SEC in On3’s post-spring Top 25 as well. When you add in Texas and Oklahoma — two top-15 programs — the league just gets deeper.

So, in what is the deepest, most talented, and most physical conference in the nation, where does Kentucky stack up? It’s only late May, but Brooks has already nearly finalized this roster. You throw in another backcourt depth piece and potentially his daughter, Gabby, and then that’s pretty much it.

Let’s start with the obvious…

South Carolina, LSU, and Texas are pretty much in a league of their own. Year in and year out, they contend for Final Fours and trophies.

Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks just completed a season of literal perfection, going 38-0. They become the fifth program to go undefeated, joining UConn, Baylor, Tennessee, and Texas. LSU won the national title in 2023, and Texas has made three Elite Eights in the last four seasons.

Of course, Brooks has done an excellent job building up Kentucky from the ground up. However, to say that the ‘Cats will be making history in year one of the Brooks era is a bit of a stretch.

Bottom feeders no more

Trivia time.

How long has it been since Kentucky has finished at least top 10 in the SEC? The answer would be two seasons. And while they may not seem like a super long time, we’re talking about 10th place or better.

Last season, the ‘Cats finished 12th in the SEC, and in the year before, they were tied for last. If it weren’t for a “mini-run” toward the end of last season, Kentucky would have probably finished last in the SEC in back-to-back seasons.

However, it should be safe to say that the days of playing on Wednesday in the SEC Tournament are over.

Kentucky lies somewhere in the middle

Spots four through nine are about as wide open as they can be in the SEC. You have Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, and Kentucky as the next best group of teams behind the untouchables in South Carolina and LSU.

This is where things get really tricky because it could really come down to one or two games to decide the difference between three, four, or even five seeds in the SEC.

With the addition of All-American Oregon State transfer Raegan Beers, Oklahoma is probably the fourth-best team in the SEC currently. Then, it really just becomes a dog fight for sports five through nine.

Call it a “way-too-early” prediction if you want, but as of right now, I would expect that Kentucky will finish 6th place in the SEC. South Carolina, Texas, LSU, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, then Kentucky.

Give Brooks an additional year or two, and we might be talking about fighting for a double-bye in the SEC Tournament. For now, let’s just be glad that the days of winning fewer than five conference games are over.

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2024-06-20