Vols Picked to Finish 2nd in SEC for Upcoming Basketball Season

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    Photo credit: Allie Suber/RTI

    This time last year, Tennessee’s men’s basketball team was picked to finish 13th out of 14 SEC teams by media members at SEC Media Day. This year, the Vols were picked to finish quite a bit higher.

    Tennessee was picked to finish second in the SEC for the upcoming 2018-19 season by the media at SEC Media Day on Wednesday. For the 14th time in the last 21 seasons, Kentucky was picked to win the SEC during the regular season.

    Last year, the Vols were predicted to finish second-to-last in the conference but ended up winning a share of the SEC regular season title and played Kentucky in the SEC Tournament Finals. Tennessee also earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament but got bounced in the second round by Cinderella team Loyola-Chicago.

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    This year, however, the Vols have been picked as runner-ups to Kentucky. And the hype is at all-time high for UT’s men’s basketball team.

    Not only are expectations raised for the Vols’ whole team, but some of Tennessee’s individual players are also being recognized before the start of the upcoming season.

    Grant Williams was voted as the preseason SEC Player of the Year. He was awarded the SEC Player of the Year after last season and goes into this year as the favorite to win it once again. He was also voted onto the preseason First Team All-SEC team. His teammate, Admiral Schofield, was voted onto the Second Team All-SEC squad.

    The Vols return all five starters, Co-SEC Sixth Man of the Year Lamonte Turner, and SEC Coach of the Year Rick Barnes from last year, and Tennessee is expected to build off last year’s success and have an even better season this year.

    Tennessee’s regular season begins on November 6th when they host head coach Rick Barnes’ alma mater, Lenoir-Rhyne.

    Here’s how the preseason predictions played out by the media members gathered at SEC Media Day:

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

    First Team All-SEC
    Daniel Gafford – Arkansas
    Reid Travis – Kentucky
    Tremont Waters – LSU
    Chris Silva – South Carolina
    Grant Williams – Tennessee

    Second Team All-SEC
    Bryce Brown – Auburn
    Jared Harper – Auburn
    Jalen Hudson – Florida
    PJ Washington – Kentucky
    Quinndary Weatherspoon – Mississippi State
    Jontay Porter – Missouri
    Admiral Schofield – Tennessee

    SEC Player of the Year
    Grant Williams – Tennessee