Florida picked as preseason SEC hoops favorite

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Florida Gators are the favorites to win the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball title.

A panel of SEC and national media members picked the Gators to unseat Kentucky in balloting released Monday.

The Gators return all five starters from a team that went 21-13 last season and made the NCAA tournament. They received eight first-place votes while Mississippi State received three. Tennessee and Kentucky got two votes apiece, and Georgia one.

Florida was picked to win the East Division ahead of Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Carolina.

Mississippi State is the West favorite. Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn rounded out the predictions.

Georgia’s Trey Thompkins is the preseason player of the year pick.

Preseason All-SEC men’s basketball teams

Preseason All-Southeastern Conference men’s basketball teams selected by panel of national and SEC media:

FIRST TEAM:

Brandon Knight, g, Kentucky

Travis Leslie, g, Georgia

Jeffery Taylor, f, Vanderbilt

Trey Thompkins, f, Georgia

Chris Warren, g, Ole Miss

SECOND TEAM:

Kenny Boynton, g, Florida

JaMychal Green, f, Alabama

Scotty Hopson, g, Tennessee

Chandler Parsons, f, Florida

Marshawn Powell, f, Arkansas

SEC Player of the Year: Trey Thompkins, Georgia

The Associated Press