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Tennessee basketball picked to finish 4th in the SEC

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Basketball season is nearly here, and the media’s picks to win the SEC are in. The Kentucky Wildcats have been projected to win the conference, while also picking up four All-SEC selections.

Tennessee was slated to finish fourth, and received no All-SEC selections. True freshman point guard Kennedy Chandler did receive votes for preseason player of the year. That honor went to Vanderbilt’s Scotty Pippen Jr., however, who will return for another season in Nashville.

Rick Barnes is hoping a reworked roster can finally get him over the hump come tournament time. Tennessee will replace Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer and Yves Pons with Kennedy Chandler, Justin Powell and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield — among several others. Barnes also churned the bottom of his roster in hopes of creating more competitive depth.

The Volunteers debuted at No. 18 in the AP poll on Monday.

Tennessee will scrimmage Lenior-Rhyne on October 30th, before tipping-off their season on November 9th against Tennessee-Martin. SEC play is set to begin on December 29th, where the Volunteers will open with a trip to Alabama.

SEC Media Preseason Picks

1. Kentucky Wildcats

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

3. Arkansas Razorbacks

4. Tennessee Volunteers

5. Auburn Tigers

6. LSU Tigers

7. Florida Gators

8. Mississippi State Bulldogs

9. Ole Miss Rebels

10. Missouri Tigers

11. South Carolina Gamecocks

12. Texas A&M Aggies

13. Vanderbilt Commodores

14. Georgia Bulldogs

First Team All-SEC

Jaden Shackelford - Alabama

Jahvon Quinerly - Alabama

Colin Castleton - Florida

Sahvir Wheeler - Kentucky

Iverson Molinar - Mississippi State

Scotty Pippen Jr. - Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC

Davonte Davis - Arkansas

Jabari Smith - Auburn

Keion Brooks Jr. - Kentucky

Kellan Grady - Kentucky

Oscar Tshiebwe - Kentucky

Darius Days - LSU

SEC Player of the Year

Scotty Pippen Jr. - Vanderbilt