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HOOPS: Gators pegged as No. 2 team in SEC

GAINESVILLE -- The Florida’s men’s basketball team enters the 2013-14 season as banged up as its football counterparts, but despite the plethora of injuries, the Gators were still picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference, in a preseason media vote.

Billy Donovan’s team -- fresh off three consecutive Elite Eight appearances -- must replace its top three scorers from last season too, yet Florida received five first place votes -- to Kentucky’s 21 votes -- and a pair of UF players were tabbed as preseason all-conference performers.

Seniors Patric Young (center) and Scottie Wilbekin (guard) were both named to the All-SEC second team. Last year, Young and Wilbekin, who is suspended to start the 2013 season, earned honorable mention all-conference honors.

Preseason Poll

1. Kentucky

2. Florida

3. Tennessee

4. LSU

5. Missouri

6. Alabama

7. Ole Miss

8. Arkansas

9. Texas A&M

10. Vanderbilt

11. Georgia

12. South Carolina

13. Mississippi State

14. Auburn 

First Team All-SEC

(G) Trevor Releford – Alabama, SR

(F) Julius Randle – Kentucky, FR

(F) Johnny O’Bryant III – LSU, JR

(G) Marshall Henderson – Ole Miss, SR

(G) Jordan McRae – Tennessee, SR

Second Team All-SEC

(G) Scottie Wilbekin – Florida, SR

(C) Patric Young – Florida, SR

(F) Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky, SO

(G) Andrew Harrison – Kentucky, FR

(C) Dakari Johnson – Kentucky, FR

(G) Jabari Brown – Missouri, JR

(F) Jeronne Maymon – Tennessee, SR

(F) Jarnell Stokes – Tennessee, JR

SEC Player of the Year

Julius Randle – Kentucky


The league announced Nashville, TN will host the men’s basketball tournament nine times between 2015 and 2025. The tournament will be played at Bridgestone Arena.


Donovan said his son -- walk-on guard Billy Jr. -- has a torn labrum he suffered in August but will play with the injury this season, postponing surgery. … Junior center Damontre Harris -- a transfer from South Carolina -- is out with a hamstring injury, while sophomore guard Michael Frazier has missed practice battling a virus.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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