Oct. 20, 2008
BIRMIINGHAM, Ala. - Sophomore A.J. Ogilvy, the SEC's leading freshmen scorer in 2007-08, was named as a first-team, All-SEC preseason selection by the league's media members in an announcement made by the SEC today in Birmingham, Ala. The Commodores were picked by the media to finish fourth in the SEC East, behind Tennessee, Florida and Kentucky by the league's media.
Ogilvy, who averaged 17.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a freshman last year, was joined on the first team by sophomore Patrick Patterson of Kentucky, junior Tyler Smith of Tennessee, sophomore Nick Calathes of Florida, and junior Devan Downey of South Carolina. Smith was chosen as the league's preseason Player of the Year.
Tennessee was the media's favorite to win the East with 172 total points (23 first-place votes), ahead of second-place Florida's 143 points (five first-place votes). Florida returns four starters, including seven of its top eight scorers, from last year's 24-win team. Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Georgia round out the top six.
In the West, Alabama's 151 total points (11 first-place votes) were slightly ahead of LSU's 147 points (11 first-place votes). Ole Miss received eight first-place votes and were picked third with 136 points. Alabama returns a total of nine letterwinners from last year's squad. LSU returns 10 lettermen and a total of five starters for new head coach Trent Johnson while Ole Miss brings back three starters from last year's team that advanced to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. Mississippi State, Auburn and Arkansas round out the top six in the West.
LSU's Marcus Thornton heads up the second team, and was joined by Mississippi State junior forward/center Jarvis Varnado, Alabama senior guard Ronald Steele, LSU junior forward Tasmin Mitchell, Ole Miss sophomore guard Chris Warren and Alabama senior guard Alonzo Gee.
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.
The 2008-09 SEC Media Preseason Poll tips off SEC Basketball Media Days, Oct. 22-23 at the Birmingham Marriott in Alabama. The 2008-09 season begins Nov. 14, with conference play set to begin Jan. 10. The 2009 SEC Tournament will be held March 12-15 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.
Preseason Media Poll
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses; *-unanimous selection)
SEC Champion: Tennessee (23); Florida (5); Kentucky (2)
|Ole Miss (8)||136||7-9||24-11|
|FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC|
|Patrick Patterson, Kentucky||--||6-9||235||So.||Huntington, W.Va.|
|Tyler Smith, Tennessee||F||6-7||215||Jr.||Pulaski, Tenn.|
|Nick Calathes, Florida||G/F||6-6||194||So.||Casselberry, Fla.|
|Devan Downey, South Carolina||G||5-9||175||Jr.||Chester, S.C.|
|A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt||C||6-11||250||So.||Sydney, Australia|
|SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC|
|Marcus Thornton, LSU||G||6-4||205||Sr.||Baton Rouge, La.|
|Jarvis Varnado, Miss. State||F/C||6-9||210||Jr.||Brownsville, Tenn.|
|Ronald Steele, Alabama||G||6-1||191||Sr.||Birmingham, Ala.|
|Tasmin Mitchell, LSU||F||6-7||240||Jr.||Denham Springs, La.|
|Chris Warren, Ole Miss||G||5-10||160||So.||Orlando, Fla.|
|Alonzo Gee, Alabama||G||6-6||219||Sr.||Palm Beach, Fla.|