Bulldogs Beat

Bulldogs picked to finish eighth in SEC men's hoops

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.............. Pts1. 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:


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.