UK BASKETBALL | Kentucky picked to repeat as SEC champs

10/21/2015 08:23 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Losing its top seven scorers to the NBA apparently won’t slow down the Kentucky Wildcats in 2015-16 — at least not in conference play.

Local and national media members picked UK to repeat as conference champions on Wednesday at SEC Basketball Media Days, handing the Wildcats the preseason crown for the 11th time since 1998.

Kentucky, who was also selected as the preseason No. 1 in the 2015-16 coaches poll, received 406 points, edging Vanderbilt (357), Texas A&M (344), LSU (333), and Georgia (266) in league voting.

Three Wildcats also earned preseason All-SEC honors.

Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis and incoming freshman forward Skal Labissiere (the No. 1 player in the 2015 recruiting class) were voted First Team members with returning senior forward Alex Poythress landing on the Second Team.

LSU freshman Ben Simmons is the league’s preseason Player of the Year. He’s currently projected to go No. 2 overall in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft, behind only Labissiere at Kentucky.

The Wildcats tip off the 2015-16 season on November 13 vs. Albany, with their first SEC game scheduled for January 2 vs. Ole Miss.

Preseason Media Poll (points)

  • 1. Kentucky (406)
  • 2. Vanderbilt (357)
  • 3. Texas A&M (344)
  • 4. LSU (333)
  • 5. Georgia (266)
  • 6. Florida (258)
  • 7. South Carolina (204)
  • 8. Mississippi State (203)
  • 9. Ole Miss (184)
  • 10. Auburn (168)
  • 11. Arkansas (118)
  • 12. Tennessee (86)
  • 13. Alabama (85)
  • 14. Missouri (33)

All‐SEC First Team

  • Tyler Ulis – Kentucky, Guard, Sophomore
  • Skal Labissiere – Kentucky, Forward, Freshman
  • Danuel House – Texas A&M, Guard, Senior
  • Stefan Moody – Ole Miss, Guard, Senior
  • Damian Jones – Vanderbilt, Center, Junior
  • Ben Simmons – LSU, Forward, Freshman

All‐SEC Second Team

  • Alex Poythress – Kentucky, Forward, Senior
  • Dorian Finney‐Smith – Florida, Forward, Senior
  • Charles Mann – Georgia, Guard, Senior
  • Alex Caruso – Texas A&M, Guard, Senior
  • Tim Quarterman – LSU, Guard, Junior
  • Malik Newman – Mississippi State, Guard, Freshman

SEC Player of the Year: Ben Simmons, LSU

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