Jeff Lebo (file photo)
Oct. 23, 2007
Birmingham, Ala. - The Auburn men's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the SEC's Western Division in the league's preseason poll by voting of a select panel of both SEC and national media members, the Southeastern Conference announced Tuesday. Tennessee was predicted to win its ninth SEC men's basketball championship.
The Tigers, which were picked fifth in the preseason poll a year ago, finished tied for third in the Western Division at 17-15 (7-9 SEC), one game behind co-champions Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
Tennessee, which is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2007 NCAA Tournament and a 24-win season, earned 28 first-place votes, topping Mississippi State which earned two votes as SEC Champion.
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.
Arkansas returns all five starters from last year's squad for new coach John Pelphrey. The Razorbacks were the runner-up in the 2007 SEC Tournament and earned a NCAA Tournament berth. Mississippi State returns seven letterwinners and two starters from 2007. Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss round out the top six in the West.
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. Florida, Vanderbilt, Georgia and South Carolina round out the top six.
Tennessee senior guard Chris Lofton was the overwhelming choice of the media for SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year with 27 votes, followed by two votes for Mississippi State junior guard/forward Jamont Gordon. Tennessee sophomore forward Tyler Smith also garnered one vote.
Joining Lofton and Gordon on the All-SEC first team were Alabama junior forward Richard Hendrix, Arkansas sophomore guard Patrick Beverley and Vanderbilt senior guard/forward Shan Foster.
On the All-SEC second team were 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. Auburn senior forward Quan Prowell and Georgia senior guard Sundiata Gaines also received votes.
The 2007-08 SEC Media Preseason Poll tips off SEC Basketball Media Days Wednesday through Thursday at the Birmingham Marriott in Alabama. Auburn plays its season opener at Tulane Nov. 9 before playing its home opener against Kennesaw State Nov. 13 in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Season tickets for the 15 home games are $180 while single-game adult tickets are $10 for non-conference games and $15 for SEC games except for the Alabama and Kentucky games, which are $20.
Two mini-SEC ticket packages for $50 each will be available Dec. 3 with the Orange pack consisting of the Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi State games and the Blue pack consisting of the Kentucky, LSU, South Carolina and Ole Miss games. The exhibition game is free.
Holiday Game student section seats for NON-STUDENTS are $5 each for the Mercer, Alabama A&M, Towson, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Xavier games. The Family Fun Zone for upper sections 17-26 are $7 each and are available for all SEC home games except for the Alabama and Kentucky games. Fun Zone tickets consisting of 311 seats are sold on game day only at the box office. Group tickets of 20 or more tickets are available for $5 each for all games except for Alabama and Kentucky with a required advance purchase. Please call 334.844.4040 or 1.800.AUB.1957 for ticket information or visit www.auburntigers.com.
Preseason Media Poll
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses; *-unanimous selection)
SEC Champion: Tennessee (28); Mississippi State (2)
|Miss. State (10)||148||8-8||21-14|
|FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC|
|Richard Hendrix, Alabama||F||6-8||265||So.||Athens, Ala.|
|Patrick Beverley, Arkansas||G||6-1||180||So.||Chicago, Ill.|
|Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State||G/F||6-4||230||Jr.||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Chris Lofton, Tennessee*||G||6-2||200||Sr.||Maysville, Ky.|
|Shan Foster, Vanderbilt||G/F||6-6||205||Sr.||Kenner, La.|
|SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC|
|Steven Hill, Arkansas||C||7-0||245||Sr.||Bronson, Mo.|
|Charles Rhodes, Mississippi State||F/C||6-8||245||Sr.||Jackson, Miss.|
|Tasmin Mitchell, LSU||F||6-7||230||Jr.||Denham Springs, La.|
|Dwayne Curtis, Ole Miss||C||6-8||262||Sr.||Chicago, Ill.|
|Tyler Smith, Tennessee||F||6-7||215||So.||Pulaski, Tenn.|