5 players Auburn doesn’t want to see in the SEC Tournament

Bruce Pearl's team is good enough to win the 2024 SEC Tournament, but these five players, who are on contending teams, could spoil the party for the Tigers. Why Mark Sears, Antonio Reeves, and other scoring guards are Auburn's worst nightmare in March.

Alabama Crimson Tide guard Mark Sears (1)
Alabama Crimson Tide guard Mark Sears (1) / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Dalton Knecht. 534. . SG/SF. 1. . Senior. player. Dalton Knecht. Dalton Knecht

The Northern Colorado transfer came to the SEC and just took over the conference. Knecht is averaging 20.1 points a game on 47.7% from the field and 40.3% from three. The 6-foot-5 scoring wing has the length to shoot over defenders, the strength to finish around the rim, and the quickness to get separation off screens or with the ball in his hands. 

Though his NBA translation is unclear, Knecht is essentially the Platonic ideal of a wing scorer in college basketball. Auburn has yet to face Knecht and the Vols, so on Wednesday, it will be crucial to watch how they defend him. He’ll just shoot over the 6-foot-4 Denver Jones, bully the 6-foot-7 180-pound Baker-Mazara, and run by 6-foot-8 245-pound Jaylin Williams. 

There isn't any way to stop the SEC’s second-leading scorer, but Kentucky has done the best job of any team. The Wildcats had 6-foot-8 205-pound Justin Edwards with his 6-foot-11 wingspan or 6-foot-8 222-pound Adou Thiero glued to Knecht all game. 

That strategy held Tennessee’s leading scorer to just 16... and gave up 102 points in a loss in the process. There’s no right answer for Knecht and that’s why he’ll be the SEC Player of the Year.

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