Bulldogs picked to finish eighth in SEC men's hoops

semerson@macon.comOctober 22, 2012 

ATHENS - Georgia is expected to be better in men's basketball this season. But not too much better, according to a media preseason vote.

The Bulldogs were picked to finish eighth in the 14-team conference. They finished tied for 10th last year, in a 12-team conference that has since added Missouri and Texas A&M.

Georgia sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was selected as a member to the preseason All-SEC second team.

The vote included 28 media members, including two that cover each program. Here is the final tally, with first-place votes in parenthesis:

Team.............. Pts 1. Kentucky (17)....328
2. Florida (5)..........310
3. Missouri (1)........286
4. Tennessee (1).....269
5. Arkansas............226
6. Alabama.............222
7. Ole Miss.............186
8. Georgia..............149
9. Texas A&M.........122
10. Vanderbilt.........120
11. LSU..................116
12. Auburn..............95
13. South Carolina...54
14. Mississippi St. ...37

First Team All-SEC
BJ Young – Arkansas, G, 6-3, 180, So., St. Louis, Mo.
Kenny Boynton – Florida, G, 6-2, 190, Sr., Pompano Beach, Fla.
Nerlens Noel – Kentucky, F, 6-10, 228, Fr., Everett, Mass.
Phil Pressey – Missouri, G, 5-11, 175, Jr., Dallas, Texas
Jarnell Stokes – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 270, So., Memphis, Tenn.

Second Team All-SEC
Marshawn Powell – Arkansas, F, 6-7, 240, Jr., Newport News, Va.
Patric Young – Florida, C, 6-9, 249, Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Georgia, G, 6-5, 205, So., Greenville
Alex Poythress – Kentucky, F, 6-7, 239, Fr., Clarksville, Tenn.
Michael Dixon, Jr. – Missouri, G, 6-1 , 190, Sr., Kansas City, Mo.
Jeronne Maymon – Tennessee, F, 6-7, 260, Sr., Madison, Wis.

SEC Player of the Year: Phil Pressey, Missouri
***

Here is how my ballot looked:

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Florida
2. Kentucky
3. Tennessee
4. Missouri
5. Arkansas
6. Alabama
7. Ole Miss
8. Georgia
9. Texas A&M
10. Vanderbilt
11. Auburn
12. LSU
13. Mississippi State
14. South Carolina

All-SEC Team
1. Kenny Boynton, Florida
2. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
3. Phil Pressey, Missouri
4. Alex Poythress, Kentucky
5. B.J. Young, Arkansas

SEC Player of the Year: Boynton.

Some comments:

- I was in the minority on picking Florida over Kentucky. It's not that Kentucky is too young. As the past three years have proved, that's not an issue. I just think Florida has a good mix, led by Boynton and Young, along with some good recruits. But I have no problem with people picking Kentucky to win it. Who would argue?

- Georgia has enough backcourt talent to make a run to the NCAAs. It's the frontcourt that's the problem.

- On paper Vanderbilt should be down there with the bottom two teams, which are in a rebuilding state with new coaches. But I've got trust in Kevin Stallings, who for whatever reason couldn't coach a talented team in the NCAA tournament, but always seems to do well when least expected.

- If I had been allowed to pick an All-SEC second team, it would have included Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ole Miss' Murphy Holloway, Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon, Florida's Patric Young and Tennessee's Trae Golden.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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