Tennessee picked near bottom of SEC basketball preseason poll

Photo: Wes Rucker, 247Sports)
Photo: Wes Rucker, 247Sports)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee men’s basketball team on Wednesday was picked to finish 13th in the SEC standings in the league’s preseason media poll.

Kentucky, for the 12th time since the 1998-99 season, was picked to win the league. The Vols were also shutout of the first- and second-team All-SEC teams.

Arkansas senior forward Moses Kingsley as picked as the league’s preseason player of the year.

“We’re not worried about that,” senior guard Robert Hubbs said of Tennessee’s predicted finish. “Half of the people that predicted us to be 13th have never really seen us play this year, what the new guys can really do.

“We’re not worried about that at all. We’re just going to go out there and compete each and every time we step on the floor.”

Kingsley was joined on the first team by Georgia guard J.J. Frazier, Kentucky freshmen Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox and Texas A&M sophomore center Tyler Davis.

Kentucky freshman Malik Monk and sophomore Isaiah Briscoe were named to the second team, along with Florida sophomore guard KeVaugh Allen, Georgia forward Yante Maten, LSU guard Antonio Blakeney, Mississippi State guard Quindary Weatherspoon and Vanderbilt senior center Luke Kornet.

Florida, in its second season under head coach Mike White, was picked to finish second in the league. Texas A&M was third and Georgia was fourth.

Only Missouri was picked below the Vols. LSU was picked 12th, one spot ahead of Tennessee.

“You guys did us a favor,” second-year Tennessee coach Rick Barnes told the media on Wednesday, “I told (our players) they were going to be picked last. Now I’m going to have to go back and apologize.

“They read it, they see it, but I never pay attention to it. That’s why we play the games.”

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