SEC professional picks, 2020-21 preview: Loaded Tennessee to get again on monitor, tops rebuilding Kentucky


The SEC was down final season with solely 4 colleges projected to make the NCAA Event and nil ending within the prime 25 at KenPom. So despite the fact that Kentucky recorded a shiny 15-3 league mark to win the sixth regular-season title of John Calipari’s profession, the Wildcats had been nonetheless unlikely to get a top-three seed within the NCAA Event had the sector of 68 ever been introduced.

Not good.

Computer systems had the SEC because the worst Energy 5 league.

Additionally not good.

However the convention shall be noticeably higher this season because of the truth that three of the nation’s prime six recruiting lessons, and 6 of the nation’s prime 12, belong to SEC colleges, in line with 247Sports. Three SEC members (Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU) are in my High 25 And 1. Three others (Alabama, Florida, Arkansas) are knocking on the door. So the SEC ought to get no less than six bids to the 2021 NCAA Event — and presumably extra. And although there are clear-cut favorites in leagues just like the AAC and Huge East, no such factor exists within the SEC, the place affordable minds can disagree on whether or not Tennessee or Kentucky ought to be thought-about the favourite heading into what shall be an uncommon and sophisticated season performed throughout a pandemic.

SEC Preseason Participant of the Yr

Keyontae Johnson, Florida

Most individuals assumed, this time final 12 months, that Kerry Blackshear Jr., a graduate-transfer from Virginia Tech, could be Florida’s greatest participant within the 2019-20 season. However he wasn’t. As an alternative, it was Keyontae Johnson, a 6-foot-5 ahead who averaged a team-high 14.0 factors and seven.1 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per recreation. When he introduced in April that he was returning for his junior season, it was an awesome growth for the Gators. He is the most important cause Florida is anticipated to complete within the prime 4 of the SEC standings for what could be the fourth time in a five-year span underneath Mike White, who’s coming into his sixth season on the faculty.

SEC Preseason Coach of he Yr

Rick Barnes, Tennessee

It took just a few years for Rick Barnes to get issues going at Tennessee. However now that he has issues going, he actually has issues going, and there is a probability this season’s staff could possibly be his greatest at UT but, and I write that understanding full effectively that his 2017-18 staff gained the SEC and 2018-19 staff made the Candy 16. These Vols have three former five-star prospects, two of whom venture as doable one-and-done gamers, and sufficient expertise to compete on the prime of the game. So whereas I am not essentially predicting that Barnes is about to take Tennessee to its first Closing 4 at school historical past, I am positively not ruling it out.

SEC Preseason Freshman of the Yr

BJ Boston, Kentucky

Kentucky will seemingly have a number of one-and-done gamers, as is often the case. However the most effective of the group, no less than on paper, is BJ Boston. The 6-6 McDonald’s All-American from California’s Sierra Canyon Faculty was ranked fifth within the Class of 2020, in line with 247Sports. So he is a guard with dimension who can shoot from the perimeter and end on the rim, which is among the many causes most imagine he’ll be Kentucky’s main scorer and John Calipari’s subsequent NBA Draft lottery choose.

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SEC predicted order of end

SEC professional picks



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