BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Defending national champion Kentucky is the preseason favorite to win the Southeastern Conference title.
The Wildcats received 17 of the 24 first-place votes in balloting by a panel of media members despite losing six NBA draft picks, including national player of the year and No. 1 selection Anthony Davis. Kentucky went 38-2 last season and won all 16 SEC games, and coach John Calipari brought in a highly rated recruiting class.
Florida was first on five ballots, while Missouri and Tennessee got one first-place vote apiece. South Carolina is picked 13th among the 14 teams.
Missouri point guard Phil Pressey is preseason player of the year. His six votes outpaced Florida’s Kenny Boynton (five). Arkansas’ BJ Young, Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes and Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel each got three votes.
Those five are first-team preseason All-SEC picks. Second team was Arkansas’ Marshawn Powell, Florida’s Patric Young, Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Missouri’s Michael Dixon Jr. and Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon.
SEC PRESEASON POLL
Preseason Media Poll
Kentucky (17) 328
Florida (5) 310
Missouri (1) 286
Tennessee (1) 269
Texas A&M 122
South Carolina 54
Mississippi State 37
First-Place Votes in Parentheses
SEC Player of the Year: Phil Pressey, Missouri
First Team All-SEC
BJ Young, Arkansas, G;Kenny Boynton, Florida, G; Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, F; Phil Pressey, Missouri, G; Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee, F.
Second Team All-SEC
Marshawn Powell, Arkansas, F; Patric Young, Florida, C; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, G; Alex Poythress, Kentucky, F; Michael Dixon Jr., Missouri, G; Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee, F.