Low Expectations for AU Hoops Teams

Birmingham, Ala.--The Auburn men's basketball team is picked to finish at the bottom of the SEC West while the Auburn women, who are doing major rebuilding like the men's squad, are getting a bit more preseason respect.

In voting at the annual SEC Basketball Media Days, Jeff Lebo's team got more votes than only one team, the Georgia Bulldogs, who are predicted to bring up the rear in the other division.

Coach Nell Fortner's Auburn women's team is picked to finish sixth overall in the league. The men's teams compete in divisional play, but the women determine one overall league champion.

The Kentucky Wildcats are the heavy pick to win the SEC East and the overall men's title. Alabama is the favorite over LSU in the SEC West with LSU third followed by Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Auburn.

With Jeff Lebo having an almost totally re-tooled team, none of his Tigers were expected to receive preseason All-SEC honors and that is the case.

Marita Payne, one of just two seniors on the women's team, is a second team All-SEC pick. She is the leading shot-blocker in SEC history.

"We will be counting on Marita for leadership this season," says Fortner, who notes that point guard Nitasha Brown is the only other senior on the team. "We will be counting heavily on our newcomers."

Lebo, who is expected to play at least a half-dozen newcomers this season, says his team will be deeper, more athletic and taller, but extremely inexperienced with all of the top scorers gone. He says that Auburn fans will need to buy a program to figure out who every body is when the Tigers take the court.



Champion: Kentucky (28), Alabama (6), LSU (1)

Eastern Division

Kentucky (33) 207

Florida (1) 146

Vanderbilt (1) 144

South Carolina 114

Tennessee 78

Georgia 46

Western Division

Alabama (25) 199

LSU (7) 173

Arkansas (3) 151

Mississippi State 93

Ole Miss 68

Auburn 51



Chuck Davis, Alabama 32

Glen Davis, LSU 32

Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas 30

Rajon Rondo, Kentucky 27

Ronald Steele, Alabama 16


Corey Brewer, Florida 8

Al Horford, Florida 5

Mario Moore, Vanderbilt 4

C.J. Watson, Tennessee 4

Jermareo Davidson, Alabama 3

Player of the Year: Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas 12; Glen Davis, LSU 11; Chuck Davis, Alabama 6; Rajon Rondo, Kentucky 5; Mario Moore, Vanderbilt 1


Tennessee (10) 251

LSU (11) 248

Georgia (1) 224

Vanderbilt 201

Ole Miss 144

Auburn 129

Florida 114

Alabama 104

Kentucky 87

Arkansas 76

Mississippi State 76

South Carolina 62



Seimone Augustus, LSU 21

Tasha Humphrey, Georgia 20

Carla Thomas, Vanderbilt 17

Sylvia Fowles, LSU 12

Shanna Zolman, Tennessee 11

Armintie Price, Ole Miss 11


Sarah Pfeifer, Arkansas 3

Tye'sha Fluker, Tennessee 3

Dee Davis, Vanderbilt 3

Marita Payne, Auburn 2

Samantha Mahoney, Kentucky 2

Nicky Anosike, Tennessee 2

Player of the Year: Seimone Augustus, LSU 18; Tasha Humphrey, Georgia 3; Shanna Zolman, Tennessee ,

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