The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 22, 2012

Kentucky picked to repeat as SEC champions


Associated Press

— BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — 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.

Predicted finish with first-place votes in parentheses and total points:

Kentucky (17) 328

Florida (5) 310

Missouri (1) 286

Tennessee (1) 269

Arkansas 226

Alabama 222

Ole Miss 186

Georgia 149

Texas A&M 122

Vanderbilt 120

LSU 116

Auburn 95

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