By The Associated Press
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.
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.
Preseason SEC predictions, all-conference teams
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Preseason Southeastern Conference predictions and All-SEC teams as voted on by a panel of media members:
Predicted finish with first-place votes in parentheses and total points:
Kentucky (17) 328
Florida (5) 310
Missouri (1) 286
Tennessee (1) 269
Ole Miss 186
Texas A&M 122
South Carolina 54
Mississippi State 37
First Team All-SEC:
BJ Young, g, Arkansas
Kenny Boynton, g, Florida
Nerlens Noel, f, Kentucky
Phil Pressey, g, Missouri
Jarnell Stokes, f, Tennessee
Second Team All-SEC
Marshawn Powell, f, Arkansas
Patric Young, c, Florida
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, g, Georgia
Alex Poythress, f, Kentucky
Michael Dixon, Jr., g, Missouri
Jeronne Maymon, f, Tennessee
SEC Player of the Year: Phil Pressey, Missouri