BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Kentucky is picked to win the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball title.
The Wildcats received 21 first-place votes while Florida got five and Tennessee one in balloting released Wednesday at SEC media days. SEC and national media members voted.
Kentucky is the preseason favorite for the ninth time since the 1998-99 season.
Wildcats freshman Julius Randle was chosen preseason player of the year with 11 votes. Six other players received at least one vote, led by Tennessee’s Jordan McRae with five.
Randle and McRae are joined on the All-SEC first team by LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant III, Mississippi’s Marshall Henderson and Alabama’s Trevor Releford.
Randle headlines coach John Calipari’s eight-member signing class. The Wildcats return 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein and forward Alex Poythress.
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Kentucky (21) 371, Florida (5) 353, Tennessee (1) 320, LSU 270, Missouri 262, Alabama 257, Ole Miss 216, Arkansas 197, Texas A&M 139, Vanderbilt 125, Georgia 119, South Carolina 108, Mississippi State 59, Auburn 39.
First Team All-SEC
Trevor Releford, g, Alabama; Julius Randle, f, Kentucky; Johnny O’Bryant III, f, LSU; Marshall Henderson, g, Mississippi; Jordan McRae, g, Tennessee.
Second Team All-SEC
Scottie Wilbekin, g, Florida; Patric Young, c, Florida; Willie Cauley-Stein, f, Kentucky; Andrew Harrison, g, Kentucky; Dakari Johnson, c, Kentucky; Jabari Brown, g, Missouri; Jeronne Maymon, f, Tennessee; Jarnell Stokes, f, Tennessee.
SEC Player of the Year: Julius Randle, Kentucky