In a vote that surprised no one, the media believe Kentucky will win its 45th SEC regular-season crown this year.
Voted on by a select panel of both SEC and national media members, Kentucky is predicted to capture the 2012 SEC championship. UK earned 18 of the 23 first-place votes. Vanderbilt tallied four first-place votes while Florida received one.
UK, ranked second nationally in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, earned 282 points in the media poll, followed by Vanderbilt (265), Florida (235), Alabama (219) and Mississippi State (191). The league has ditched its two-division format in favor of league-wide standings, although each team’s schedule will reflect the traditional East-West scheduling of the past this season.
The Wildcats have won one regular-season SEC title and two SEC Tournaments under the direction of third-year coach John Calipari.
Kentucky sophomore forward Terrence Jones was tabbed the preseason SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year with 12 votes. Jones beat out Vanderbilt junior John Jenkins (nine votes), Alabama senior JaMychal Green (one) and UK teammate Anthony Davis (one) for the preseason distinction.
Jones, somewhat surprisingly, was the only Wildcat named to the preseason All-SEC first team. He’s joined by Green, Jenkins, Mississippi State’s Dee Bost and Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor.
Three UK players, however, made the All-SEC second team. Davis, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller were named to the All-SEC second team along with Florida’s Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker and Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli.
Predicted order of finish
All-SEC first team
JaMychal Green, Alabama – F, 6-8, 228, Sr., Montgomery, Ala.
Terrence Jones, Kentucky – F, 6-9, 252, So., Portland, Ore.
Dee Bost, Mississippi State – G, 6-2, 176, Sr. , Concord, N.C.
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – G, 6-4, 220, Jr., Hendersonville, Tenn.
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – G/F, 6-7, 225, Sr., Norrkoping, Sweden
All-SEC second team
Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.
Doron Lamb, Kentucky – G, 6-4, 210, So., Queens, N.Y.
Darius Miller, Kentucky – G, 6-8, 235, Sr., Maysville, Ky.
Kenny Boynton, Florida – G, 6-2, 189, Jr., Pompano Beach, Fla.
Erving Walker, Florida – G, 5-8, 177, Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt – C, 6-11, 255, Sr., Benin City, Nigeria
340 pack Craft Center for Coaches’ Clinic (with photo gallery)