Tide Men Ranked High

The Southeastern Conference hosts all the men's and women's head basketball coaches and top players from each team to meet with the media in Birmingham. And then a handful of the media members vote on how they think the teams will do.

This year, those few voters think Alabama will do pretty well, though not as well as Florida, in men's competition. It was no surprise that the defending national champions, the Gators, with all hands returning, were the runaway choice to win the 2007 SEC championship.

The Alabama men of Coach Mark Gottfried were a close choice over LSU to win the SEC Western Division championship.

Ronald Steele was selected first team and Jermareo Davidson was a second team selection in pre-season all-star balloting.

The Alabama women's team of Coach Stephany Smith was picked to finish 11th in the 12-team race.

The reigning NCAA champion Florida Gators are predicted to win the Southeastern Conference men's basketball crown while the Tennessee Lady Vols are expected to capture the SEC women's basketball title in voting done at the 2006 SEC Basketball Media Days, held this week in Birmingham.

The Gators were listed on 21 of the 29 ballots cast while LSU received first votes and Alabama three for the men's championship. In the divisional races, Florida drew 28 first place votes for the Eastern Division and Alabama placed first in the Western Division, drawing 16 first place votes.

In the Eastern Division, Kentucky followed the Gators while Tennessee was third, Vanderbilt fourth, South Carolina fifth and Georgia sixth. In the Western Division, LSU followed Alabama with Arkansas third, Mississippi State fourth, Auburn fifth and Ole Miss sixth.

Tennessee was a unanimous choice for the women's basketball title. Georgia placed second and two-time reigning SEC Champion LSU was third. Vanderbilt was voted fourth followed by Kentucky fifth, Florida sixth, Ole Miss seventh, Auburn eighth, South Carolina ninth, Arkansas 10th, Alabama 11th and Mississippi State 12th.

In All-SEC voting, LSU's Glen Davis was the only unanimous selection while Alabama's Ronald Steele was on 28 of 29 ballots and Florida's Joakim Noah was on 26 ballots. Tennessee's Chris Lofton and Florida's Al Horford rounded out the first-team voting. Noah was the pick for SEC Player of the Year by 14 of the 29 voters while Davis received 11 votes, Steele three and Kentucky's Randolph Morris one.

Florida's Corey Brewer and Taurean Green were on the second team as was Alabama's Jermareo Davidson, Vanderbilt's Shan Foster and Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon.

On the women's side, Tennessee's Candace Parker and LSU's Sylvia Fowles were unanimous selections to the All-SEC team, being named on all 19 ballots. Georgia's Tasha Humphrey was listed on 18 ballots and Ole Miss' Armintie Price was on 17 ballots. Florida's Sha Brooks also earned first-team All-SEC recognition. Parker was also a unanimous selection for SEC Player of the Year.

Vanderbilt's Dee Davis and Carla Thomas, Georgia's Cori Chambers and Angel Robinson, Kentucky's Carly Ormerod, Auburn's DeWanna Bonner and Tennessee's Alexis Hornbuckle made the second-team All-SEC squad.


Men's Basketball - 29 ballots

SEC CHAMPION - Florida (21), LSU (5), Alabama (3).

Eastern Division

1. Florida (28) 30

2. Kentucky (1) 62

3. Tennessee 84

4. Vanderbilt 138

5. South Carolina 146

6. Georgia 149

Western Division

1. Alabama (16) 43

2. LSU (13) 46

3. Arkansas 97

4. Mississippi State 108

5. Auburn 147

6. Ole Miss 168

Player of the Year

Joakim Noah, Florida (14), Glen Davis, LSU (11), Ronald Steele, Alabama (3), Randolph Morris, Kentucky (1).

Women's Basketball - 19 ballots

*1. Tennessee (19) 19

2. Georgia 48

3. LSU 51

4. Vanderbilt 85

5. Kentucky 91

6. Florida 126

7. Ole Miss 146

8. Auburn 150

9. South Carolina 163

10. Arkansas 182

11. Alabama 203

12. Mississippi State 218

Player of the Year

*Candace Parker, Tennessee (19)

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