Media picks Kentucky to win SEC, Randle to be player of year

October 16, 2013 

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UK forward Julius Randle, right, and forward Marcus Lee share a laugh during a break in the action. The University of Kentucky Men's Basketball held their annual photo day, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at the Joe Craft Center in Lexington. Photo by Jonathan Palmer

JONATHAN PALMER — Jonathan Palmer

The University of Kentucky men's basketball team was named the favorite to win the Southeastern Conference this season, and freshman Julius Randle was picked to win the league's Player of the Year award, in results of media voting announced Wednesday.

UK collected 21 first-place votes, while Florida earned five first-place votes and Tennessee received one.

Randle received 11 votes for top player. Tennessee's Jordan McRae was second with five votes. Five other players received at least one vote.

UK's freshman from Dallas was also picked to the pre-season All-SEC First Team, and is the only freshman to earn that honor. The other four members of the first team were three seniors and a junior.

Three Kentucky players received second-team honors: sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson.

Voting was conducted by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

■ Follow @JerryTipton on Twitter all day Wednesday and Thursday for more updates from the opening day of Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

ALL-SEC

First Team

Trevor Releford – Alabama, G, 6-0, 190, Sr., Kansas City, Mo.

Julius Randle – Kentucky, F, 6-9, 250, Fr., Dallas, Texas

Johnny O'Bryant III – LSU, F , 6-9 , 256 , Jr. , Cleveland, Miss.

Marshall Henderson – Mississippi, G, 6-2, 177, Sr., Hurst, Texas

Jordan McRae – Tennessee, G, 6-6, 185, Sr., Midway, Ga.

Second Team

Scottie Wilbekin – Florida, G, 6-2, 176, Sr., Gainesville, Fla.

Patric Young – Florida, C, 6-9, 240, Sr., Jacksonville, Fla.

Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky, F, 7-0, 244, So., Olathe, Kan.

Andrew Harrison – Kentucky, G, 6-6, 215, Fr., Richmond, Texas

Dakari Johnson – Kentucky, C, 7-0, 265, Fr., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jabari Brown – Missouri, G, 6-5, 214, Jr., Oakland, Calif.

Jeronne Maymon – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 260, Sr., Madison, Wis.

Jarnell Stokes – Tennessee, F, 6-8, 260, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

SEC Player of the Year: Julius Randle, Kentucky

PRE-SEASON MEDIA POLL

Team (First-place votes) Points

Kentucky (21) 371

Florida (5) 353

Tennessee (1) 320

LSU 270

Missouri 262

Alabama 257

Mississippi 216

Arkansas 197

Texas A&M 139

Vanderbilt 125

Georgia 119

South Carolina 108

Mississippi State 59

Auburn 39

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

All events in Rupp Arena

Friday — Big Blue Madness, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 29 — Blue-White Scrimmage, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1, 4 — Exhibition games vs. Transylvania and Montevallo, 7 p.m.

Nov. 8 — Regular-season opener vs. UNC Asheville, 7 p.m.

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