Below are the SEC’s top 5 centers heading into next year.
1) Aliyah Boston — South Carolina
Boston stands at 6-foot-5 and is a walking double-double. Against Arkansas, Boston posted 19 points, 25 boards, and five blocks, having put her name on the map to stay. In her debut, Boston recorded a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and ten blocks. She added three steals.
Boston will only improve, as her ceiling is sky-high. She has a feel for today’s game and should have her way through the majority of the season. Boston will be a problem and then some for the opposition.
2) Jessika Carter — Mississippi State
Mississippi State boasts a pipeline of bigs. Like Boston, Carter has taken on her role beautifully and is a double-double waiting to happen. She averaged 13 points, 8.7 rebounds, and added 60 blocks last season. Carter has struggled with foul trouble but should address that issue come next year.
Carter’s standout performance came against South Carolina. She recorded 12.4 points, 9.5 boards, and a season-high five blocks. Carter torched Murray State with a double-double that included 25 points and 18 boards. Expect Carter to emerge into an even more formidable paint presence on both ends of the floor.
3) Faustine Aifuwa — LSU
Aifuwa has on and off nights but can be a force when on. She excels most on the defensive end. Aifuwa had 63 blocked shots. The Tigers need her to show up if they want to climb up the SEC ladder in wins.
Like Carter and Boston, Aifuwa is a versatile weapon and can show up in big moments. Aifuwa is an experienced upperclassman and leader who knows what it means to win.
4) Jasmine Walker — Alabama
Though listed as a forward, Walker can command the paint. Walker was the main reason for the Bulldogs loss to the Tide, as she posted 20 points, four steals, and a block. Walker can shoot from anywhere on the floor.
She is best on the offensive boards and as a shooter. She can get on a hot streak at any moment and change a game. Look for Walker to lead Alabama through some upset wins and a respectable season.
5) Yemiyah Morris — Mississippi State
Morris showed flashes throughout the SEC Tournament, most notably against Kentucky with a double-double that included 11 points and season highs of 10 boards, five blocks, and 26 minutes. Reminiscent of former star Bulldog center Teaira McCowan, Morris plays with a high level of energy.
Coach Nikki McCray-Penson should give Morris her share of opportunities. Morris will need to improve as a passer but should develop a steady offensive and defensive game.
All five centers will hear their names called and make the most of their minutes. Expect Carter and Morris to see the floor and possibly develop a lethal tandem down low.