You’d have to trek back over a decade to find the last time the Southeastern Conference underwent a coaching overhaul like the one that occurred before the start of the 2015-16 season.
Four new coaches were hired, replacing a combined 29 years of head coaching experience by their respective predecessors.
Halfway through the college basketball regular season, here’s a look at how each coach is faring in his first year in charge, ranked by record.
1. Mike White, Florida Gators
Record: 10-6 (2-2 SEC)
In trying to replace a legend, Mike White’s first season at Florida has had its ups and downs.
The Gators opened the regular season with three straight wins but lost by 15 points in a neutral-site contest against its first ranked opponent in then-No. 21 Purdue.
UF followed up the loss with three more wins at home, but subsequently fell by 11 points to then-No. 17 Miami and by six points to then-No. 1 Michigan State on the road.
UF has won four of its last seven, including a home win against conference foe LSU, but also suffered an embarrassing 14-point loss in Knoxville to Tennessee that led White to question his team’s effort.
Offense: Not only does UF have one of the worst offenses in the SEC, but it’s also hard to argue otherwise on the national level. Heading into its game against Texas A&M on Tuesday, Florida is averaging 72.8 points per game, 190th in the country.
The Gators also rank 289th in field goal percentage (41.4) and 336th in three-point percentage (28.3), all last in the SEC.
Defense: This is the bright side. White embraces a defense-first mentality, and with a team that struggles mightily to score, the first-year coach has no choice but to play to his strengths.
Florida is tied for 22nd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score just 63.4 points per game. In fact, the Gators held the top-ranked Spartans to their lowest point total on the season when the two teams faced off on Dec. 12.
And Florida isn’t too shabby in three-point field goal defense (43rd in the nation), steals (tied for 68th), and total rebounds (tied for 77th) either.
Avery Johnson, Alabama Crimson Tide
Record: 9-5 (0-2 SEC)
Replacing Anthony Grant wasn’t going to be easy.
A former Florida assistant coach, Grant walked away from his head coaching position at Alabama and followed Billy Donovan to the NBA to serve as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
From 2009-15, Grant finished with a 117-85 record in Tuscaloosa, made it to the NIT three times — once finishing as runner up — and the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament once.
Enter Avery Johnson.
The 50-year-old brings a ton of coaching experience with him, serving as a head coach in the NBA for six and a half years and compiling a 254-186 record. That span includes one NBA Finals appearance with the Dallas Mavericks in 2005-06.
His first few months at Alabama have been slightly less prolific.
The Tide opened the season with a victory but then lost two of their next three games, falling by 32 points to Dayton and by 19 to then-No. 23 Xavier.
From there, Alabama went on a five game winning streak, squeaking out victories over then-No. 20 Wichita State and then-No. 17 Notre Dame.
Lately, the Tide have cooled off, as they’ve lost three of their last five games.
Offense: Offensively, Alabama isn’t much better than Florida. The Tide rank last in the SEC in points per game (66.0), 12th in field goal percentage (42.8) and 197th in the nation in three-point percentage (33.7).
Defense: Alabama ranks a respectable 72nd in the country in scoring defense, allowing 66.4 points per game, but ranks last in the SEC in rebounds per game (33.5).
The Crimson Tide also rank tied for 10th in the conference with 6.0 steals per game and sixth in blocks per game at 5.1.
Rick Barnes, Tennessee Volunteers
Record: 8-7 (1-2 SEC)
After the departure of Bruce Pearl in 2011, the Volunteers have struggled to find an adequate replacement.
Although Cuonzo Martin saw some success in his three-year tenure as head coach — including two NIT appearances and an NCAA Sweet 16 run in 2013-14 — he resigned in 2014 and took the vacant head-coaching job at California.
After a season with a mediocre 16-16 record under Donnie Tyndall, in which Tennessee fired Tyndall after the coach was alleged to have committed NCAA violations, the Volunteers hired Rick Barnes.
Barnes made the move from Texas, where he oversaw 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including fourteen straight, in his 17 years as head coach.
UT started off the season winning four of its first five games but then lost three straight, including a 94-86 defeat at then-No. 18 Butler on Dec. 12.
The Vols have been largely inconsistent since then, dropping three games and winning four.
Offense: Tennessee sits in fourth place in the SEC with 80.1 points per game, but is ninth in field goal percentage (44.3) and seventh in three-point percentage (.345).
Defense: Barnes’ defense is worse than his offense, ranking 270th in the nation in scoring defense (76.1 points per game) and 11th in the SEC in steals (5.6 per game). However, the Vols rank first and fourth in the conference in blocks (5.9 per game) and rebounds (40.0 per game), respectively.
Ben Howland, Mississippi State
Record: 7-7 (0-2 SEC)
After 10 years, seven NCAA Tournament appearances and two finishes in the Final Four at UCLA, Ben Howland made the move from the Pac-12 Conference to the SEC.
Howland takes over a program with low expectations after three years and a 37-60 record under former coach Rick Ray.
The Bulldogs began the season slowly, dropping three of their first four games, including a 26-point loss to Miami in the Puerto Rico Tipoff on Nov. 19.
After going 3-2 over its next five games, MSU won three in a row before dropping both of its conference matchups against Texas A&M and Arkansas.
Offense: Mississippi State ranks ninth in the SEC in points per game at 76.4 and 12th in three-point percentage at .306 percent. However, they sit in fourth place with a field goal percentage of 46.9 percent.
Defense: In Howland’s first season, the Bulldogs rank 206th in the country in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score 72.7 points per game.
They are also tied for 10th in the SEC in steals (six per game), 13th in rebounds (34.6 per game) and ninth in blocks per game at 4.29.
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