Vanderbilt picked second in SEC preseason men's basketball poll

Monday, October 24, 2011 at 3:18pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt was picked second in the Southeastern Conference men's basketball preseason poll, as chosen by members of the media, the league announced on Monday.

The Commodores received four first-place votes and 262 points — behind only Kentucky, which picked up 282 points and 18 first-place votes.

Vanderbilt went 23-11 last year and reached the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores were 9-7 in league play last year, tying for third in the SEC East. This season, the league will be without divisions.

Tennessee, which enters its first year with new head coach Cuonzo Martin, was picked to finish 11th.

Vanderbilt placed two players on the All-SEC first team — guard John Jenkins and forward Jeffery Taylor. Center Festus Ezeli was named to the second team.

The trio combined to average 48 points a year ago. But a chunk of the production will have to come from elsewhere to start as the NCAA suspended Ezeli for the first six games for accepting a meal and hotel room from a Vanderbilt alum during an out-of-town trip this summer.

Kentucky, which reached the Final Four last year, had a total of four players named to the two teams. Wildcats forward Terrence Jones was tabbed as the SEC Player of the Year with 12 votes. As a freshman, Jones averaged 15 .7 points and a league-high 8.8 rebounds. Jenkins, who led the SEC in scoring last year with 19.5 points a game, received nine votes. 

Vanderbilt opens its season at home on Nov. 11 against Oregon.