UK Picked as Preseason Favorites by Media

Oct. 19, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men's basketball team was picked by the media to win the Southeastern Conference this season as announced by the SEC on Monday.

Each SEC school selected media members that cover their team and additional writers from across the nation were selected by the conference office to form the 25-member voting panel.

UK earned 20 first-place votes, topping Mississippi State which earned three votes and Tennessee which had two votes as SEC Champion. Kentucky returns three starters, including Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson and Ramon Harris while adding one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.

The Cats were the media's favorite to win the East with 148 total points (23 first-place votes), ahead of second-place Tennessee's 117 points (two first-place votes). Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia round out the top six.

In the West, Mississippi State's 144 total points (22 first-place votes) were ahead of Ole Miss' 120 points (two first-place votes). Alabama was picked third with 84 points. LSU, Arkansas and Auburn round out the top six in the West.

Kentucky junior Patrick Patterson was the choice of the media for SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year with 11 votes. Kentucky freshman John Wall (six votes), Mississippi State senior Jarvis Varnado (three votes), South Carolina senior Devan Downey (three votes) and Tennessee senior Tyler Smith (two votes) also received votes in the Player of the Year voting.

Patterson, Downey, Varnado and Smith were joined on the All-SEC First Team by Ole Miss sophomore Terrico White.

Wall led All-SEC Second Team honors and was joined by LSU's Tasmin Mitchell, Vanderbilt's A.J. Ogilvy, Ole Miss' Chris Warren and Auburn's DeWayne Reed.

Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Each media member also voted for one team as an overall conference champion and a five-player All-SEC Team.

Fans can get a look at the 2009-10 squad on Wed., Oct., 28 in the Blue-White scrimmage held in Rupp Arena. Tickets are available by visiting the UK Ticket Office between the hours of 9:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET or by calling 1.800.928.2287. Fans can also obtain tickets by calling the Rupp Arena Box Office (859.233.3535) or by going online to UKathletics.com and TicketMaster.com or Ticketmaster outlets statewide. For outlet locations, go to www.Ticketmaster.com.

The cost of the tickets will be $10 and all seating is reserved. Partial proceeds go to local charities.

The first exhibition game of the season is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2 against Campbellsville, followed by the second exhibition on Fri., Nov. 6 against Clarion. The season opener is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13 against Morehead State. Tickets for those three home games will go on sale Oct. 21 and are available from the same ticket outlets.