UK Men's Basketball

Media pick Cats to finish third in SEC East

The media have unusually little expectations for Kentucky's basketball team this season.

For only the second time since divisional play began in 1991-92, a media pre-season vote did not place UK in either first or second place in the league's Eastern Division. Kentucky finished behind Tennessee and Florida in the balloting, which was released on Monday by the league.

The Wildcats have been picked to win the Eastern Division 11 times, and finished second in the vote five times.

The only other time the media voted Kentucky third was in 2002. UK proceeded to win all 16 regular-season league games, the overall championship and then swept three more SEC opponents in the conference tournament.

This marked the third straight year that Kentucky was not the pick to win the Eastern Division. The vote, which was done by a select panel of 30 reporters, picked defending overall champion Tennessee to win the East. The Vols received 23 first-place votes. Florida had five and Kentucky two.

Kentucky sophomore center Patrick Patterson was voted to the five-man All-SEC team. Others on the team were Tyler Smith of Tennessee, Nick Calathes of Florida, Devan Downey of South Carolina and A.J. Ogilvy of Vanderbilt.

Smith received 17 votes for SEC Player of the Year. Patterson got nine votes and finished second in the balloting.

Alabama edged LSU for first place in the media's voting for the Western Division. Each team received 11 first-place votes.