SEC pre-season voting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Lady Vols are predicted to repeat as Southeastern Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Champions in a vote of media attending the 2003-04 SEC Basketball Media Day at the Sheraton Birmingham. <br><br>Bama's Men's and Women's squads were both voted to finish next-to-last in the West.

Kentucky received 21 of 40 votes to repeat as conference champions while Florida was on 18 ballots and Mississippi State received one vote.

The Wildcats edged out Florida for first place in the Eastern Division, being listed on 22 of 40 ballots while Florida was on the other 18. The final margin for first in the East was four points. Kentucky and Florida were listed as the top two teams in the Eastern Division on all 40 ballots. Tennessee was predicted third, Vanderbilt fourth, Georgia fifth and South Carolina sixth.

LSU was named on 21 ballots as the predicted winner of the Western Division. Auburn was named as the winner on 10 ballots and placed second while Miss. State was predicted first on six ballots and was third. Arkansas, Alabama and Ole Miss rounded out the Western Division. Each team in the Western Division was named as a predicted winner of the division on at least one ballot.

On the women's side, Tennessee was listed first on 14 of 24 ballots while LSU was predicted first on six ballots and placed second. Georgia received three first-place votes and was third while Vanderbilt obtained one first-place vote and was fourth. Auburn, Miss. State, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama and Ole Miss rounded out the field.

In Player of the Year voting, Vanderbilt senior forward Matt Freije was predicted for the honors, receiving 13 votes. Last season, Freije averaged 17.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and is the SEC's top returning scorer. Florida's David Lee and LSU's Jaime Lloreda received 10 votes each and Kentucky's Gerald Fitch was on four ballots. Florida's Anthony Roberson joined those four on the first-team All-SEC squad.

On the second-team All-SEC men's squad was Miss. State's Timmy Bowers and Lawrence Roberts, Ole Miss' Justin Reed and Auburn's Kyle Davis and Marco Killingsworth.

LSU sophomore guard/forward Seimone Augustus was named the SEC Player of the Year on 10 of the women's ballots. Last season, Augustus was named National Freshman of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year, averaging 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Miss. State's Tan White, Vanderbilt's Jenni Benningfield, Tennessee's Shyra Ely and Florida's Vanessa Hayden joins Augustus on the first-team.

On the second-team All-SEC women's squad was Georgia's Christi Thomas, LSU's Temeka Johnson, Arkansas' Shameka Christon, Auburn's Natasha Brackett and in a tie for the fifth spot - Loree Moore of Tennessee, Georgia's Kara Braxton and Auburn's Le'Coe Willingham.

The breakdown of the voting is below. (First place votes in parenthesis):

Men's Basketball SEC Champion

  1. Kentucky 21
  2. Florida 18
  3. Mississippi State 1

Eastern Division

  1. Kentucky (22) 223
  2. Florida (18) 219
  3. Tennessee 129
  4. Vanderbilt 119
  5. Georgia 87
  6. South Carolina 72

Western Division

  1. LSU (21) 205
  2. Auburn (10) 181
  3. Miss. State (6) 167
  4. Arkansas (1) 107
  5. Alabama (1) 93
  6. Ole Miss (1) 87

Men's All-SEC, First-Team

  • Gerald Fitch, Kentucky 36
  • Matt Freije, Vanderbilt 31
  • David Lee, Florida 29
  • Jaime Lloreda, LSU 23
  • Anthony Roberson, Florida 17

Men's All-SEC, Second-Team

  • Timmy Bowers, Miss. State 15
  • Justin Reed, Ole Miss 12
  • Kyle Davis, Auburn 8
  • Lawrence Roberts, Miss. State 5
  • Marco Killingsworth, Auburn 4

Men's Player of the Year

  1. Matt Freije, Vanderbilt 13
  2. David Lee, Florida 10 and Jaime Lloreda, LSU 10
  3. Gerald Fitch, Kentucky 4
  4. Matt Walsh, Florida 1

Women's SEC Basketball Champion

  1. Tennessee (14) 266
  2. LSU (6) 247
  3. Georgia (3) 236
  4. Vanderbilt (1) 186
  5. Auburn 179
  6. Miss. State 157
  7. Arkansas 131
  8. Florida 124
  9. South Carolina 117
  10. Kentucky 92
  11. Alabama 78
  12. Ole Miss 59

Women's All-SEC, First-Team

  • Tan White, Miss. State 17
  • Seimone Augustus, LSU 17
  • Jenni Benningfield, Vanderbilt 13
  • Shyra Ely, Tennessee 13
  • Vanessa Hayden, Florida 12

Women's All-SEC, Second-Team

  • Christi Thomas, Georgia 9
  • Temeka Johnson, LSU 7
  • Shameka Christon, Arkansas 6
  • Natasha Brackett, Auburn 4
  • Loree Moore, Tennessee 2
  • Kara Braxton, Georgia 2
  • Le'Coe Willingham, Auburn 2

Women's SEC Player of the Year

  1. Seimone Augustus, LSU 10
  2. Tan White, Miss. State 4
  3. Jenni Benningfield, Vanderbilt 3
  4. Christi Thomas, Georgia 2
  5. Shyra Ely, Tennessee 1 and Vanessa Hayden, Florida 1 and Shameka Christon, Arkansas 1 and Temeka Johnson, LSU 1

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