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Media picks UK to win SEC, Randle as league’s player of the year

Kentucky was tabbed to win its 46th regular-season Southeastern Conference title on Wednesday in a voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

UK, which garnered 21 of the 27 first-place votes, was picked to finish ahead of Florida (five first-place votes), Tennessee (one), LSU and Missouri. It’s the ninth time since the 1998-99 season that UK has been picked by the media as the preseason favorite.

In addition to the predicted order of finish, the SEC media also named UK freshman forward Julius Randle as the favorite to win the league’s player of the year honor. Randle, a preseason First Team All-SEC selection, got 11 of the 27 player of the year votes, edging out Tennessee’s Jordan McRae.

Randle is the only freshman on the preseason All-SEC First Team. The other four members include three seniors and a junior.

The preseason All-SEC Second Team, which features eight players, includes three Wildcats: Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson.

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

Preseason poll

Team Points
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 38