Birmingham, Ala. – Vanderbilt men's basketball was picked to finish fourth in the SEC East in a voting of a select panel of both SEC and national media members. Senior forward/guard Shan Foster was also named as a preseason first-team All-SEC selection by the same panel.
Each SEC school selected two media members that cover their team and six additional writers from across the nation were selected by the conference office to form the 30-member voting panel.
Tennessee was predicted to win its ninth Southeastern Conference men's basketball championship in the voting. They earned 28 first-place votes, topping Mississippi State, which earned two votes as SEC Champion.
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Tennessee was a unanimous selection to win the East with 180 total points (30 first-place votes), ahead of second-place Kentucky's 142 points.
In the West, Arkansas was first with 168 total points (18 first-place votes) compared to Mississippi State's 148 points (10 first-place votes). Alabama and Auburn each received a first-place vote. Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss round out the top six in the West.
Foster, who was named as a second-team All-SEC team member at the end of the 2007 season after he averaged 15.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, is joined by Tennessee's Chris Lofton, the preseason SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year, Mississippi State junior guard/forward Jamont Gordon, Alabama junior forward Richard Hendrix, and Arkansas sophomore guard Patrick Beverley on this year's preseason All-SEC first team.
Arkansas senior center Steven Hill, LSU junior forward Tasmin Mitchell, Ole Miss senior center Dwayne Curtis, Mississippi State senior forward/center Charles Rhodes and Tennessee sophomore forward Tyler Smith were named to the All-SEC second team.
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 2007-08 SEC Media Preseason Poll tips off SEC Basketball Media Days, October 24-25 at the Birmingham Marriott in Alabama. The 2007-08 season begins November 6, with conference play set to begin January 8. The 2008 SEC Tournament will be held March 13-16 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.
Preseason Media Poll (First-Place Votes in Parentheses; *-unanimous selection)
SEC Champion: Tennessee (28); Mississippi State (2)
1. Tennessee* (30)
6. South Carolina
1. Arkansas (18)
2. Miss. State (10)
4. Auburn (1)
6. Ole Miss
FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC
Richard Hendrix, Alabama
Patrick Beverley, Arkansas
Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State
Chris Lofton, Tennessee*
Shan Foster, Vanderbilt
SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC
Steven Hill, Arkansas
Charles Rhodes, Mississippi State
Tasmin Mitchell, LSU
Dwayne Curtis, Ole Miss
Tyler Smith, Tennessee