Just a month out from the start of NCAA basketball, the SEC preseason polls came out today with the Florida Gators coming in at seventh. Florida has a lot of new faces, losing people to the transfer portal and gaining players from the transfer portal as well. As the top shot blocker in the conference, Colin Castleton is likely to be the go-to man for the 2021-22 season for the Gators. He was selected as a member of the pre-season All-SEC Team. However, to do anything special, Florida will have to get past a few fellow SEC teams first.
The Kentucky Wildcats are the lone blueblood team in the SEC. This year, they will look to regain control of the conference after a rare 9-16 season in 2020-21. They will be led by Gonzaga transfer Sahvir Wheeler, alongside Oscar Tshiebwe, Keion Brooks Jr., and Kellan Grady. The Kentucky Wildcats has the experience to win the SEC and will make a push when March rolls around with their starting lineup full of upperclassman.
Alabama’s guards Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackelform received preseason first-team All-SEC honors, as the team was picked to finish second in the SEC. After winning the SEC in 2020-21 with a 16-2 conference record, their star guards are back and will likely be toe to toe with Kentucky for the SEC.
SEC Player of the Year
Vanderbilt junior Scottie Pippen Jr. was selected by the media as the preseason SEC player of the year. Pippen averaged almost 21 points and shot over 40 percent from the field last season with sky-high expectations for the coming year.
Looking to overcome the bad taste left in their mouths from last season, the Gators’ first game is on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. against Elon.