After missing out for two straight years, KENTUCKY should be back on top this season. For one thing, the Wildcats play their key conference games at home. Adolph Rupp's best newcomers are two junior-college All-Americas, 6-foot-5 Vince Del Negro and 6-foot-2 Doug Pendygraft. Then there is Roger Newman, a senior who has never played varsity ball because of ineligibility. Billy Lickert apparently has recovered completely from his leg operation and he leads 10 returning lettermen, including Guards Dick Parsons and Larry Pursiful, and front-court men Ned Jennings (6 feet 9), Allen Feldhaus and Harry Hurd, both 6 feet 5. Rupp also has plenty of good sophomores, AUBURN, the nation's best-shooting team last year (52%), was also one of the smallest. This season, Auburn has some help in the rebounding department: sophomores Layton Johns (6 feet 7) and Jim Leonard (6 feet 6). Porter Gilbert, Ray Groover, Jimmy Fibbe and Dave Vaughn bring back heavy varsity experience. Billy Tinker, another soph, can be used at either forward or guard. Auburn is well grounded in the fundamentals by Coach Joel Eaves. At GEORGIA TECH Whack Hyder is set for another good year. In Roger Kaiser he has one of the best players in the nation. Tech also has the most depth it has had in nine years. Wayne Richards, Josh Powell (both 6 feet 7) and Bill Poteet (6. feet 3) are strong up front. John Gher and sophomores Frank Landry and Keith Weekly complete a fine backcourt. At VANDERBILT Coach Bob Polk has a club with enough experience to put it in the running for the championship. Center Bill Depp is one of the better big men in the league. Bobby Bland and Bill Johnson give Vandy good ball control, and Forwards Larry Banks and Ray Clark are fine rebounders. TENNESSEE starts its second season under Coach John Sines. Four forwards (Eddie Test, John Martin, Howie Moss and Bob Perigo) return, as do two guards (Glenn Campbell and Bobby Carter) and two centers (6-foot-6 Dick Fisher and 6-foot-5 Bill Gilley). MISSISSIPPI has Jack Waters, their leading scorer last season (19.5), and Sterling Ainsworth, 6 feet 6½, up front. At the other forward post is Bill White, while Larry Wagster, Tommy Farley and Danny Caldwell divide the backcourt positions. Four sophomores are being brought up to the varsity, TULANE'S Coach Cliff Wells looks for a great year from 6-foot-9 Center Jack Ardon, who was named the outstanding sophomore in the SEC last season. Forward Gus Wenzel and Guards Bob March and Rex Krider, all used as starters last year, all return. Jim Kerwin, a 6-foot-3 guard, probably will make the starting lineup. MISSISSIPPI STATE switches from a controlled offense to a fast break this season, and Coach Babe McCarthy has brought up the nucleus of a 21-0 freshman team. All-SEC Forward Jerry Graves (6 feet 6) leads eight returnees. Forward Dave Glasgow and Guard Jack Bershire were starters last year and both are back. The starting freshman team completes a tall, fast, deep squad that may develop into one of the SEC's best. GEORGIA will be helped by 10 home games this season. Coach Red Lawson is counting heavily upon his 10 lettermen. John Johnson, Don Keiser, Pat Casey, Phillip Simpson, Ken Taylor and W. S. Booth are all 6 feet 4 or over. Allen Johnson, Frank Clark and Gordon Darrah are best in the backcourt. Charles Adamek, 6 feet 5, is one of the league's top sophomore prospects. ALABAMA has a new coach, Hayden Riley, but needs height and defense. Bob Gavin, Larry Pennington and Henry Hoskins are the three returning starters. Larry Back, a guard, and Hinton Butler, a forward, are the only two sophomores with a chance of making the first five. LOUISIANA STATE will be helped by more speed and better defense. Four low-scoring starters—Tom Conklin, George Nattin, Ray Lewis and John Hudson—are back. Six sophomores will get the chance to play, and 6-foot-7 Maury Drummond will be the starting center. At FLORIDA Norm Sloan, moving from The Citadel, finds a good shooter, Bobby Shiver, and not much more. George Jung, Paul Mosny and Cliff Luyk are back, and Lou Merchant, who played well in service, may help.
HIGH-FLYING Roger Kaiser of Georgia Tech demonstrates potent jump shot that makes him one of the outstanding players in a league well stocked with scorers.