Florida's Johnson voted Preseason SEC Player of the Year

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Florida junior All-SEC forward Keyontae Johnson was voted the Preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Florida junior All-SEC forward Keyontae Johnson was voted the Preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by select conference and national media members, the league announced Thursday.

Johnson earns Player of the Year and First-Team All-SEC preseason accolades after leading UF in points per game (14) and steals (38) in 31 appearances as a sophomore in 2019-20. The Norfolk, Virginia, native received recognition on the 2019-20 All-SEC teams (Coaches First Team, AP Second Team) to cap off his second collegiate season after leading the Gators in points 15 times, as well grabbing the most rebounds in 13 contests. 

This is the second consecutive season a UF player has been named SEC Preseason Player of the Year. Last season, Kerry Blackshear Jr. received the honor.

In addition to Johnson's honor, the voters projected Florida to finish fourth in the preseason poll behind Tennessee, Kentucky and LSU.

The Gators are set to begin their 2020-21 campaign at the Basketball Hall of Fame Bubbleville on Nov. 25 against UMass Lowell and Nov. 27 versus Virginia at the Mohegan Sun Arena. After an eight-game nonconference slate, Florida will jump into SEC action on Dec. 30 at Vanderbilt before welcoming LSU on Jan. 2 in their conference home opener at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

t’s the latest scheduling shuffle for Florida, which initially had UConn coming to Gainesville for its Dec. 6 home opener. But the Huskies pulled out to play North Carolina State a day earlier in Connecticut. Teams across the country have moved games to make schedules more regional in hopes of minimizing travel and the potential spread of COVID-19.

Florida scrambled to fill the void with Stetson.

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 Pones, Tennessee

Savion Flagg, Texas A&M

SEC Player of the Year

Keyontae Johnson, Florida

Preseason Media Poll

1. Tennessee

2. Kentucky

3. LSU

4. Florida

5. Alabama

6. Arkansas

7. Auburn

8. South Carolina

9. Ole Miss

10. Missouri

11. Texas A&M

12. Mississippi State

13. Georgia

14. Vanderbilt