BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Defending national champion Kentucky is the preseason favorite to win its 46th Southeastern Conference title, according to a media poll released by the conference Monday.
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.
UK received 328 total points (17 first-place votes), ahead of second-place Florida’s 310 points (five first-place votes). Missouri (286 points) and Tennessee (269 points) each received one first place vote and placed third and fourth in the poll, respectively.
Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel was selected as a preseason All-SEC first-team member, while freshman Alex Poythress was tabbed to the second-team.
Missouri junior point guard Phil Pressey is preseason player of the year. His six votes outpaced Florida senior Kenny Boynton (five). Arkansas’ BJ Young, Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes and Noel each got three votes. Those five also make up the All-SEC preseason first-team.
The Wildcats will hold their annual Blue/White Scrimmage in Rupp Arena on Wednesday. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will air live on Fox Sports South and the UK IMG Network.