Media tabs Kentucky Wildcats as preseason favorites to claim SEC championship

Despite losing seven players to the NBA ranks from last year's team, Kentucky has been tabbed to win the Southeastern Conference men's basketball championship in preseason voting by league and national media.

The Wildcats, who have claimed 46 SEC titles in school history, are the preseason pick for the 11th time since the 1998-99 season. Last week, they were voted the preseason No. 1 team in the country alongside co-favorite North Carolina in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. 

Kentucky was followed in the voting by Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and LSU, three additional SEC teams that have received preseason votes for the Top 25.

Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis and freshman forward Skal Labissiere were chosen for the six-man All-SEC first-team unit, along with Danuel House of Texas A&M, Damian Jones of Vanderbilt, Stefan Moody of Ole Miss and Ben Simmons of LSU. Simmons, the crown jewel of the Tigers' highly-touted recruiting class, was named the preseason SEC Player of the Year.

UK forward Alex Poythress, who is coming back from a knee injury that cost him most of last season, was a second-team selection.

Preseason Media Poll (points)

1. Kentucky (406)

2. Vanderbilt (357)

3. Texas A&M (344)

4. LSU (333)

5. Georgia (266)

6. Florida (258)

7. South Carolina (204)

8. Mississippi State (203)

9. Ole Miss (184)

10. Auburn (168)

11. Arkansas (118)

12. Tennessee (86)

13. Alabama (85)

14. Missouri (33)


All-SEC First Team

Danuel House – Texas A&M, G, 6-7, 212, Sr., Fresno, Texas

Damian Jones – Vanderbilt, C, 7-0, 245, Jr., Baton Rouge, La.

Skal Labissiere – Kentucky, F, 6-11, 225, Fr., Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Stefan Moody – Ole Miss, G, 5-10, 179, Sr., Kissimmee, Fla.

Ben Simmons – LSU, F, 6-10, 225, Fr., Melbourne, Australia

Tyler Ulis – Kentucky, G, 5-9, 160, So., Lima, Ohio


All-SEC Second Team

Dorian Finney-Smith – Florida, F, 6-8, 220, Sr., Portsmouth, Va.

Malik Newman – Mississippi State, G, 6-3, 178, Fr., Jackson, Miss.

Charles Mann – Georgia, G, 6-5, 215, Sr., Alpharetta, Ga.

Alex Poythress – Kentucky, F, 6-8, 230, Sr., Clarksville, Tenn.

Tim Quarterman – LSU, G, 6-6, 190, Jr., Savannah, Ga.

Alex Caruso – Texas A&M, G, 6-5, 186, Sr., College Station, Texas

SEC Player of the Year: Ben Simmons, LSU

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