Alabama Basketball Gets No Respect

Remember last summer when the Southeastern Conference football media days included sportswriters and broadcasters selecting Auburn as the 2015 SEC football champion?

The SEC doesn’t give up easily. The conference put together a group of what it calls “a select panel of both SEC and national media members” to predict the upcoming basketball season. The group had no love for Alabama under new Coach Avery Johnson.

In a selection your dog could make, Kentucky was predicted to win the 2016 SEC men’s basketball championship. That was the 11th time since the 1998-99 season the Wildcats have been pegged the preseason favorite.

Alabama was predicted to finish 13th, ahead of only Missouri. No Crimson Tide players were selected for either the first or second preseason All-SEC team.

LSU freshman Ben Simmons was the choice of the media for SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Simmons becomes just the second freshman chosen as preseason player of the year by the media, joining Kentucky’s Julius Randle in 2013-14. Florida’s Dorrian Finney-Smith, Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis, Texas A&M’s Danuel House and Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones also received votes in the Player of the Year voting.

House, Jones, Simmons and Ulis were each All-SEC First Team selections along with Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere and Ole Miss’s Stefan Moody.

The preseason poll had it:

1. Kentucky, 2. Vanderbilt, 3. Texas A&M, 4. LSU, 5. Georgia, 6. Florida, 7. South Carolina, 8. Mississippi State, 9. Ole Miss, 10. Auburn, 11. Arkansas, 12. Tennessee, 13. Alabama, 14. Missouri.

Points were compiled on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each media member also voted for a five-player All-SEC Team. Ties were not broken.

The 2015-16 campaign begins November 13, with conference play set to begin January 2. The 2016 SEC Tournament will be March 9-13 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

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