The SEC has a reputable name for creating accomplished NBA players and having dynamic teams who are continuously improving and competing with each other. Since its creation in 1933, powerhouses such as Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU have proven their worth to this date with 7 of the SEC participating in the NCAA Tournament. With these strong teams come sensational players and coaches that have paved the road for greatness for years to come. Nevertheless, here are some of the SEC’s finest over its course of its creation.
Pete “Pistol Pete” Maravich (LSU)
Why not begin with arguably the best player of all time in the SEC? Pistol Pete was an absolute force to deal with and set records that players now can only dream to reach. Averaging a monstrous 44.2 points per game in only three years at LSU, Maravich set the highest total point scoring record for the Tigers and it seems that the title is going to be his for quite a while before perhaps another superstar enters the scene.
Shaquille O’Neal (LSU)
The NBA on TNT star makes a strong entrance on this list, however, his superb NBA career should not deter diehard basketball fans from his college career. Spending 3 years at LSU, he put up amazing numbers by averaging 21.6 points and 13.5 rebounds. Shaq also was named an All-American twice and won SEC Player of the Year twice as well.
Charles Barkley (Auburn)
“The Round Mound of Rebound.” Charles Barkley earned this interesting nickname for a plain and obvious reason: rebounds and rebounds. By leading the SEC in rebounding for three years and averaging over 9 rebounds each game, this led him to win SEC Player of the Year in good fashion.
Dominique Wilkins (Georgia)
Playing at Georgia in the early 80’s, Dominique Wilkins was a threat on the court and had to be accounted for all the time. Wilkins averaged 21.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game during his tenure at Georgia. This strong performance led him to earn SEC Player of the Year and an All-American his second year at Georgia.
Arguably one of the greatest college coaches of all time, Adolph Rupp, although it was quite a while ago, led the Kentucky Wildcats to the beginning of a long and glorious dynasty. There only have been 10 out of his 39 seasons of coaching where he did not win the conference championship or appear in a postseason tournament. Although there lies some controversy behind his name, Rupp still led his team to a perfect season amidst the noise and proved himself worthy.
Lastly, today’s Kentucky coach cannot be overshadowed by Rupp, however, Calipari surely made a name for himself by his consistent placement in the NCAA Tournament. With UMass, he reached the tournament 5 out of 8 times while reaching the Final Four his last year coaching there. Fast forward to today, where at Kentucky he has reached the tournament 9 out of 10 times and won once in 2011. He has certainly made a name for himself and will most definitely go down in history.