The unbalanced SEC women’s basketball schedule will be kind to viewers but not so kind to Kentucky.
The Wildcats will play league heavyweights Tennessee and South Carolina twice this season. All three teams are ranked among the nation’s top 11 teams.
Kentucky plays the Gamecocks twice annually. The Lady Vols, along with Ole Miss, are the rotating opponents.
As for some of the league’s other top contenders and who they will play twice:
— Texas A&M: Missouri, LSU, Arkansas.
— South Carolina: LSU, Kentucky, Alabama.
— Tennessee: Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kentucky.
— Georgia: Tennessee, Florida, Auburn.
— Mississippi State: Ole Miss, Alabama, Vanderbilt.
Advantage A&M. But the Aggies play Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi State on the road.
Same Defense: South Carolina has upgraded its offense without sacrificing any defense.
The Gamecocks lead the conference and are among the nation’s best in scoring defense (47.6 points per game). They held their last three opponents to 46 points per game.
Higher profile: South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson and Jatarie White and Tennessee’s Jaime Nared all were ranked among the top 10 recruits in the Class of 2014 by ESPN HoopGurlz.
Yet Victoria Vivians has made the biggest first impression among SEC freshmen.
Mississippi State’s 6-foot-1 wing, who was ranked 24th by HoopGurlz, is tied for second in the league in scoring (16.3) and has been named freshman of the week as many times as Wilson (twice).
Butler Update: Georgia guard Marjorie Butler, who played at Webb School, has started all 13 games for the Lady Bulldogs. She leads the team in assists (48) and is third in steals (27).
Didn’t Expect This: The league’s leading scorer is Kelsey Brooks, a sophomore guard from Arkansas who is averaging 17.5 points per game.
Didn’t Expect This Either: LSU is 6-6 entering league play. Guard Danielle Ballard, the team’s leading returning scorer, was suspended before the season’s start for a violation of team rules and hasn’t played.
Full-Service Star: The conference’s most productive player is Ole Miss’ Tia Faleru. The 6-0 senior forward is tied for second in scoring (16.3) and leads in rebounding (10.5). She’s second in field goal percentage (57.0) and fourth in blocks (1.6)