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.
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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.
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
Texas A&M 139
South Carolina 108
Mississippi State 59
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.