Florida picked second in preseason SEC poll

The Gators were picked to finish second behind Kentucky, while junior guard KeVaughn Allen earned preseason All-SEC first team honors.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Florida ended up in a familiar spot in the SEC preseason men’s basketball poll Wednesday.

The Gators were picked to finish second behind Kentucky, while junior guard KeVaughn Allen earned preseason All-SEC first team honors.

Florida was picked to finish second in the league last year and ended up second, finishing 27-9 with a 14-4 conference record. The Gators return three starters and seven players overall from a team that reached the Elite Eight for the fifth time in the last seven years.

Florida coach Mike White said the prediction is about what he expected based on what he has read in preseason publications.

“I’m not sure if I would have picked us second, to be honest,” White said. “We lost a lot. (Center) John Egbunu is not healthy until January. And I think this league is as good as it’s been since I’ve been a part of the league at 18 years old, that’s 22 years I don’t think the SEC has been from top to bottom any stronger than it is right now.”

The 6-foot-2 Allen, from North Little Rock, Ark., averaged a team-high 14 points for the Gators while shooting 37 percent from 3-point range. At 923 career points, Allen is 77 points shy of becoming the 51st 1,000 point scorer in Florida history.

“It feels good to get that honor,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of guys in this league that are as talented and can be picked in the preseason.”

Points for the poll were compiled on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each media member also voted for a five-player All-SEC Team. Ties were not broken.

Here’s a full rundown of the preseason All-SEC media poll:

First Team All-SEC

KeVaughn Allen – Florida, G, 6-2, 193, Jr., Little Rock, Ark.

Yante Maten – Georgia, F, 6-8, 243, Sr., Pontiac, Mich.

Hamidou Diallo – Kentucky, G, 6-5, 198, R-Fr., Queens, N.Y.

Michael Porter, Jr. – Missouri, F, 6-10, 215, Fr., Columbia, Mo.

Robert Williams – Texas A&M, F, 6-10, 241, So., Oil City, La.

Second Team All-SEC

Collin Sexton – Alabama, G, 6-3, 190, Fr., Mableton, Ga.

Kevin Knox – Kentucky, F, 6-9, 215, Fr., Tampa, Fla.

Terence Davis – Ole Miss, G, 6-4, 201, Jr., Southaven, Miss.

Deandre Burnett – Ole Miss, G, 6-2, 192, Sr., Miami Gardens, Fla.

Quinndary Weatherspoon – Mississippi St., G, 6-4, 205, Jr., Canton, Miss.

Tyler Davis – Texas A&M, C, 6-10, 266, Jr., Plano, Texas

Matthew Fisher-Davis – Vanderbilt, G/F, 6-5, 186, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.

SEC Player of the Year (tie)

Yante Maten – Georgia

Michael Porter, Jr. – Missouri

Robert Williams – Texas A&M

Preseason Media Poll

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Alabama
  5. Missouri
  6. Arkansas
  7. Vanderbilt
  8. Georgia
  9. Auburn
  10. Ole Miss
  11. South Carolina
  12. Mississippi State
  13. Tennessee
  14. LSU



  1. I’ll never understand why freshmen are allowed on pre-season All-anything teams (conference, American, etc). The committees should’ve learned as much when Harrison Barnes was named preseason player of the year 2 months after he was still deciding who to ask to prom and before he even knew what number he’d wear at UNC. If a freshman earns his way onto the actual All-conference team, then great, vote him on. But pre-season should be for known commodities

  2. Just saw another article talking about how Kentucky might be the youngest team in the country (shocking), and may be starting 5 freshmen. They also have no juniors of seniors. They will no doubt be talented, but I like Florida’s chances this year.

  3. no Chris “Cheese” Chiozza on the 1st or 2nd team. These pre-season awards are just useless and a complete joke, all it does is, give the writers/voters something to discuss. The credibility of these voters goes out to door when can’t objectively look at the body of work for a guy like Cheese for the last 3 years and recognize him for his accomplishments.

  4. I am really excited about the ”2017-’18 Florida Basketball team” this year. It will be interesting to see how the ”transfers” help out this team. I, personally, believe that Coach White hasn’t and isn’t getting his ”proper due” for his immediate success at U.F. But he will… in time! He had a Final Four appearance in the N.I.T. in his 1st year at U.F., and an Elite ‘8’ appearance in the N.C.A.A. tourney in his 2nd year.
    I know his early successes will bring ”pros and cons” (expectations, etc..). But I love his coaching style, his demeanor, and A.D. Foley certainly NAILED IT with his U.F. Men’s Basketball Coach choices (Billy ‘D’ and Mike White). Coach Mike White could very well take and keep Florida at the level of success which Coach Billy D’ had here at U.F.