The 2020-21 SEC men’s basketball preseason media poll and All-SEC teams were announced on Thursday, and the Tennessee Volunteers were chosen to finish first in the conference by the media for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
The Vols have been getting a lot of love recently as they bring back senior forward John Fulkerson who averaged almost 14 points last season along with almost 6 rebounds per game, and 2020 SEC defensive player of the year Yves Pons also decided to return. In addition, Tennessee brings in a highly touted recruiting class that includes two five-star prospects in Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer.
Meanwhile, Florida junior forward Keyontae Johnson was named Preseason Player of the Year. The previous All-SEC player averaged a team-high 14 points per game along with 7.1 rebounds and led the Gators with 38 steals.
First Team All-SEC
John Petty Jr. - Alabama
Keyontae Johnson - Florida
Brandon Boston Jr. - Kentucky
Trendon Watford - LSU
John Fulkerson - Tennessee
Second Team All-SEC
Olivier Sarr - Kentucky
Javonte Smart - LSU
Dru Smith - Missouri
AJ Lawson - South Carolina
Yves Pons - Tennessee
Savion Flagg - Texas A&M
SEC Player of the Year
Keyontae Johnson – Florida
First-team selections are par for the course. Kentucky’s Brandon “BJ” Boston gets in as the only freshman. A consensus five-star prospect and the top-ranked recruit in Kentucky’s 2020 class, he comes in at 6’7 and can score just about anywhere on the court.
Preseason Media Poll
9. Ole Miss
11. Texas A&M
The top four feels about right, but once you get past that, a lot of teams figure to be jockeying for position throughout the season.
Alabama might appear to be a little high at first, but they actually received several votes in the recent preseason AP poll to be the de-facto No. 29 team in country. While Kira Lewis left the program to likely become a high NBA draft pick, the Tide return John Petty and Jaden Shackelford, which should make them dangerous. Still, fifth place might be too optimistic.
Auburn is projected to finish in the middle of the conference after going 12-6 in the conference last season. They lost a lot of guys after last season and could struggle as this will probably be a rebuilding year. However, they also bring a consensus five-star point guard in Sharife Cooper. Bruce Pearl is looking to surprise people once again.
South Carolina is a dark horse among some media members, although it wasn’t reflected in the official preseason poll. Keyshawn Bryant, A.J. Lawson, and Jermaine Couisnard all return under Frank Martin who doesn’t mind being an underdog.
Missouri returns a ton of guys and could finish closer to the middle of the pack rather than in the bottom half.
Texas A&M started to get better towards the end of last season and comes into this season with Savion Flagg receiving second-team honors. They will look to keep it going in Buzz Williams second year.
Do you agree with the rankings? Think there were any snubs? Let us know in comments!