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Tennessee picked to win SEC, two Volunteers named to All-SEC teams

The picks are in.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Tennessee Volunteers have been picked to win the SEC Championship this season by the media, the league announced on Tuesday. It marks the first time that Tennessee has been picked to win the SEC since the 2020-21 season.

The Volunteers beat Texas A&M and Arkansas for the top spot in the poll, just one day after they debuted at No. 9 in the preseason AP top 25.

Additionally, Santiago Vescovi was named to the All-SEC first team. The veteran sharpshooter chose to return to Knoxville for one final season, option to utilize his COVID year of bonus eligibility. He helps form a veteran core for Rick Barnes, who also returns Josiah-Jordan James and adds veteran shooter Dalton Knecht out of the portal.

Starting point guard Zakai Zeigler also returns, and he was named to the All-SEC second team. Zeigler is close to a full return to action, still working back from a torn ACL back in early March.

Tennessee starts the year projected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, per ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

Preseason SEC Projected Order of Finish (Media)

  1. Tennessee
  2. Texas A&M
  3. Arkansas
  4. Kentucky
  5. Alabama
  6. Auburn
  7. Mississippi State
  8. Florida
  9. Missouri
  10. Ole Miss
  11. Vanderbilt
  12. Georgia
  13. LSU
  14. South Carolina

SEC Player of the Year

G, Wade Taylor IV, Texas A&M

Preseason All-SEC First Team

F, Grant Nelson, Alabama

F, Trevon Brazile, Arkansas

F, Johni Broome, Auburn

G, Justin Edwards, Kentucky

F, Tolu Smith, Mississippi State

G, Santiago Vescovi, Tennessee

G, Wade Taylor IV, Texas A&M

Preseason All-SEC Second Team

G, Mark Sears, Alabama

G, Davonte Davis, Arkansas

G, Riley Kugel, Florida

G, Antonio Reeves, Kentucky

G, Zakai Zeigler, Tennessee