VeeMan projects order of finish, All-SEC teams

VandyMania's peerless hoops prognosticator recaps his preseason picks for the 2004-05 men's basketball season and forecasts the record and order of finish for all 12 SEC teams. VeeMan also names a preseason All-SEC team, an All-Freshman team and an All-Transfer team.

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Predicted Conference Records

Eastern Division

1.Florida12-4
2.Kentucky 11-5
3.Tennessee 10-6
4T.Vanderbilt 8-8
4T.South Carolina 8-8
6Georgia2-14

Western Division

1.Mississippi State 13-3
2.Alabama 12-4
3.LSU 9-7
4.Arkansas 6-10
5.Auburn 3-13
6.Ole Miss 2-14

General Comments:

This isn't the year for comments such as "The SEC will be tough from top to bottom," and "The SEC is tougher than ever." The facts are that the conference appears to be unbalanced and overall not quite up to par. Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, and Tennessee should go to the NCAA, and Vanderbilt and/or South Carolina could go if one of them manages a 9-7 conference record. Auburn, Georgia and Ole Miss all seem destined to struggle.

All-Conference Selections

First Team

Lawrence Roberts (Mississippi State)
Anthony Roberson (Florida)
Kennedy Winston (Alabama)
Brandon Bass (LSU)
David Lee (Florida)

Second Team

Chuck Hayes (Kentucky)
C.J. Watson (Tennessee)
Matt Walsh (Florida)
Jonathan Modica (Arkansas)
Brandon Crump (Tennessee)

Best of the Rest

Carlos Powell (South Carolina)
Kelenna Azubuike (Kentucky)
Chuck Davis (Alabama)
Shane Power (Missippi State)
Mario Moore (Vanderbilt)
Scooter McFadgon (Tennessee)
Earnest Shelton (Alabama)
Brandon Robinson (Auburn)
Ronnie Brewer (Arkansas)
Gary Ervin (Mississippi State)

All-SEC Freshman Team

Glenn Davis (LSU)
Randolph Morris (Kentucky)
Channing Toney (Georgia)
Ronald Steele (Alabama)
Joe Crawford (Kentucky)

All-SEC Transfer Team

Patrick Sparks (Kentucky)
Andre Patterson (Tennessee)
Roderick Trice (South Carolina)
Maurice Hargrow (Arkansas)
Antoine Tisby (South Carolina)

With regard to the "All" teams, one must remember that opportunity is a factor in selection. For instance, Rajon Rondo of Kentucky probably would have been picked for the All-Freshman team, but for probably having to play behind (or share time) with the more experienced Patrick Sparks. Channing Toney of Georgia is likely to make the All-Freshman team, because he will play a lot of minutes.

Final disclaimer:

Who can tell what factors will modify the pre-season picture? Injuries, transfers, players developing unexpectedly, and just plain luck in a few big games, are just some of the things that can make predictions go awry.

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Ed. note: This concludes VeeMan's summer previews of all 12 SEC teams. To reread a more complete assessment of each team, click on the team name below.

Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
LSU
Mississippi State
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vanderbilt

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