Georgia hoops picked low, but Fox thinks 'we'll have a good team'

semerson@macon.comOctober 16, 2013 

ATHENS - The Georgia men's basketball team says it's optimistic it can still succeed without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but the media that covers the SEC isn't so sure.

Georgia was picked to finish 11th in the SEC in a preseason media vote. The Bulldogs were picked ahead of only South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn.

Caldwell-Pope was the SEC player of the year as a sophomore last season, then left for the NBA. The Bulldogs do return three other starters, and get junior forward Marcus Thornton back after a medical redshirt season.

"Kentavious made us better last year, but it's just a different vibe this year," sophomore guard Kenny Gaines. "Knowing that we all have to depend on each other, instead of just one person. I feel like it'll help other people to step up."

Head coach Mark Fox is entering his fifth season as Georgia's coach. He led the team to an NCAA tournament berth in his second season, but the other three have finished with losing records.

"I think we're gonna have a good team," Fox said last week. "This group, we just function so much more maturely than we have for a couple years. We finally have returning players at every position, which has made a difference already, because we can put an experienced group together."

The full poll:
Preseason Media Poll Pts
Kentucky (21)................................... 371
Florida (5)........................................ 353
Tennessee (1).................................. 320
LSU................................................... 270
Missouri........................................... 262
Alabama.......................................... 257
Ole Miss........................................... 216
Arkansas.......................................... 197
Texas A&M...................................... 139
Vanderbilt........................................ 125
Georgia............................................ 119
South Carolina................................. 108
Mississippi State............................... 59
Auburn............................................... 39

First Team All-SEC
Trevor Releford – Alabama, G, 6-0, 190, Sr., Kansas City, Mo.
Julius Randle – Kentucky, F, 6-9, 250, Fr., Dallas, Texas
Johnny O’Bryant III – LSU, F , 6-9 , 256 , Jr. , Cleveland, Miss.
Marshall Henderson – Ole Miss, G, 6-2, 177, Sr., Hurst, Texas
Jordan McRae – Tennessee, G, 6-6, 185, Sr., Midway, Ga.

Second Team All-SEC
Scottie Wilbekin – Florida, G, 6-2, 176, Sr., Gainesville, Fla.
Patric Young – Florida, C, 6-9, 240, Sr., Jacksonville, Fla.
Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky, F, 7-0, 244, So., Olathe, Kan.
Andrew Harrison – Kentucky, G, 6-6, 215, Fr., Richmond, Texas
Dakari Johnson – Kentucky, C, 7-0, 265, Fr., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jabari Brown – Missouri, G, 6-5, 214, Jr., Oakland, Calif.
Jeronne Maymon – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 260, Sr., Madison, Wis.
Jarnell Stokes – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 260, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

SEC Player of the Year: Julius Randle, Kentucky

***

I was on the voting panel. Here is how I voted:

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

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



All-SEC Team

1. F Julius Randle, Kentucky
2. G Andrew Harrison, Kentucky
3. G Trevor Releford, Alabama
4. G Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss
5. F Jordan McRae, Tennessee

POY: Jordan McRae, Tennessee

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