SEC play started last Wednesday, with a handful of teams taking part in their conference openers.

Then, things just sort of … stopped. The SEC took the rest of the week off and won’t play again until more league games tip off on Tuesday night. Then, we’ll get into our usual Tuesday/Wednesday and Saturday schedules, assuming COVID-19 doesn’t wreak too much havoc on the season moving forward.

The games that were played on Wednesday night were highly entertaining, though, and taught us a lot about the teams at the top of the SEC standings.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how this week’s SEC men’s basketball power rankings stack up:

14. Georgia (5-8 overall, 0-0 in SEC, Last week: 14)

The Bulldogs were blown out 77-60 at home against Gardner-Webb on Wednesday night. That was perhaps the worst loss of the Tom Crean era, and there have been plenty to choose from. About the only good news for the Dawgs lately is that 1 AP Poll voter made a horrendous mistake, leading to Georgia receiving 22 points in this week’s poll:

Expect that to be the last time Georgia receives votes this year, barring any other embarrassing voter errors.

13. Mizzou (6-7, 0-1, LW: 13)

The Tigers didn’t do much well in Wednesday night’s 83-56 loss at Kentucky. This team doesn’t shoot well, defend particularly well or sustain success. The Tigers made a couple of runs to make things interesting against the Wildcats, but sustained periods of not being able to make shots doomed them. Now, they’re dealing with COVID issues. Wednesday night’s home game against Mississippi State has already been postponed and Saturday’s home contest against Alabama is in jeopardy.

12. Ole Miss (8-4, 0-0, LW: 12)

Ole Miss had its SEC opener against Florida postponed, so we still haven’t seen the Rebels on the court since a bad home loss to Samford. They’re supposed to play at Tennessee on Wednesday and at home against Mississippi State on Saturday. Those are important games if Ole Miss wants to turn things around this year.

11. South Carolina (9-3, 0-0, LW: 11)

South Carolina also hasn’t played in a while, as last week’s game against South Carolina State was postponed due to COVID issues in the Gamecocks’ program. Frank Martin’s squad is supposed to play host to Auburn on Tuesday night. That won’t be an easy game if the Gamecocks’ aren’t back to full strength.

10. Vanderbilt (8-4, 0-0, LW: 10)

Vanderbilt is another team that we haven’t seen in action in a while. The Commodores haven’t played since Christmas Day in Hawai’i. Then, the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic against Stanford was canceled due to COVID (a familiar, and tiresome, story). Vanderbilt gets back on the court with a tough road trip to Fayetteville to take on a struggling Arkansas squad. Speaking of Arkansas …

9. Arkansas (10-3, 0-1, LW: 6)

Arkansas was outclassed in Starkville to open SEC play, falling 81-68 to Mississippi State. But, 2 huge games loom large for Eric Musselman’s squad. On Tuesday, the Hogs will host Vanderbilt in what has to be considered a must-win game to avoid an 0-2 start to SEC play. Then, the Hogs head to Texas A&M. The Aggies have been feisty this year and won’t be an easy win, either.

8. Texas A&M (11-2, 0-0, LW: 8)

The Aggies keep rolling along, albeit among some weaker competition. On Wednesday, they trounced Central Arkansas 85-59. Quenton Jackson had 31 points in that game, and threw down this impressive dunk:

Now, it’s finally time to see what the Aggies can do in SEC play. They travel to face a bad Georgia team on Tuesday night, then host a struggling Arkansas squad on Saturday. That’s potentially a 2-0 start to SEC action!

7. Florida (9-3, 0-0, LW: 7)

Florida wasn’t able to play its SEC opener at Ole Miss last week due to COVID issues in the Gator program. It seems everything is on track for the Gators to play Alabama in Gainesville on Wednesday night, so hopefully that remains the case. Then, a Saturday trip to Auburn looks like a tough one for Mike White’s squad.

6. Mississippi State (10-3, 1-0, LW: 9)

Arkansas’s post defense is suspect this year, and Mississippi State took advantage of that in the SEC opener on Wednesday night. Tolu Smith had perhaps his best game of the year so far, scoring 18 points and grabbing 6 rebounds and 5 steals. His post moves were too much for the Arkansas big men to handle:

That’s the sort of thing I wanted to see from Mississippi State all year long. If the Bulldogs continue to play like this, they’re a top-6 team in the SEC, no doubt about it. Wednesday night’s game at Mizzou has been postponed due to COVID issues within the Tiger program, so we won’t see the Bulldogs in action again until Saturday night in a rivalry game at Ole Miss.

5. LSU (12-1, 0-1, LW: 2)

Yes, LSU lost 70-55 at Auburn to start SEC play. Yes, LSU fell behind 18-1 out of the gates. But, I’m not giving up hope just yet. Will Wade’s squad still plays strong defense. Playing at Auburn is no easy task, and LSU’s nonconference schedule simply didn’t do much to prepare the team for a game of this magnitude. I’ll definitely have my eye on Tuesday night’s home game against a ranked Kentucky squad, though!

4. Tennessee (9-3, 0-1, LW: 3)

Yes, the Vols lost at Alabama to start SEC play, but a 73-68 defeat to the reigning SEC regular-season and tournament champions isn’t a bad loss. It’s even harder to ding the Vols for this when you consider both star big man John Fulkerson and freshman sensation Kennedy Chandler weren’t in the game due to COVID protocols.

One of the bright sides in the game was Olivier Nkamhoua, who continues to give the Vols great minutes on both ends of the court. He had 15 points, 9 rebounds and this block:

He can also knock down some tough jumpers in the mid-range game:

The Vols should have Fulkerson and Chandler back for Wednesday night’s home game against Ole Miss. We’ll see if they can get back on track then.

3. Kentucky (11-2, 1-0, LW: 5)

Oscar Tshiebwe is the best rebounder in the nation. He’s also a pretty solid scorer in the post. After a 13-point, 20-rebound effort against Mizzou, he was evened out at 190 points and 190 boards:

Now, after scoring 15 points and grabbing 8 rebounds against High Point on New Year’s Eve, those numbers are a bit skewed. But, he’s still one of the most dominant big men in the country. He crushes the souls of his opponents:

Kentucky is going to have to shoot better on Tuesday night at LSU if it wants to improve to 2-0 in league play. But one thing seems certain – Tshiebwe is going to keep doing his thing inside. Rebounds will be tough to come by for the Tigers.

2. Alabama (10-3, 1-0, LW: 4)

Basketball is a simple game. As many like to say, you have to make shots to win. Well, the Tide didn’t have their best shooting night on Wednesday against a short-handed Tennessee squad, but they found a way to win. Now, the Vols were playing without arguably their 2 best players in big man John Fulkerson and freshman PG Kennedy Chandler and still managed to keep the game close, losing 73-68. So, that wasn’t a great look for the Tide.

But, Noah Gurley came up big, scoring 20 points and adding 10 rebounds. Still, the Tide aren’t going to win many games when they shoot 22.6% (7-for-31) from 3-point range and 66.7% (14-for-21) from the free-throw line. Particularly concerning is Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly combining to go 3-for-17 from 3-point land. That’s going to have to change moving forward.

1. Auburn (12-1, 1-0, LW: 1)

It’s no surprise Walker Kessler earned the SEC’s Player of the Week honors after he put up the second triple-double in Auburn history in a 70-55 win over LSU.

He finished the game with an impressive 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks. His defensive instincts are plain to see:

And, when he can knock down tough jumpers like this, Auburn isn’t going to lose many games:

We’ll see if Kessler can keep dominating on both ends of the floor as Auburn faces a road trip to South Carolina on Tuesday and a home game against Florida on Saturday.