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Makayla Epps named Preseason First Team All-SEC; UK picked to finish 5th in league

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC announced its all-conference teams on Tuesday, and Kentucky Wildcats guard Makayla Epps was named a First-Team selection. 

Epps earned one of nine spots on the preseason first team, marking her second such preseason honor this season. The junior guard out of Lebanon, Ky. was also named to the six-member Preseason All-SEC First-Team by league and national media last month. She was named to the All-SEC First Team following the 2014-15 season after averaging a team-high 14.3 points per game, which ranked eighth in the SEC.

In SEC play, Epps led the league with 15.1 ppg and had the second-highest field goal percentage (41.3%)  She was also eighth in assists (2.9), ninth in free throw percentage (.750), and sixth in minutes played (33.6).  Adding to her preseason honors, Epps earned a spot on the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, given annually to the nation's top point guard.

Also,  the SEC announced its preseason order of finish, and the Wildcats were picked to finish fifth in the league. South Carolina tops the order of finish with 168 points, with Tennessee (158), Texas A&M (138), Mississippi State (134), Kentucky (125), Missouri (94), and Ole Miss (81) rounding out the top half the league. Arkansas (77), Georgia (75), LSU (64), Vanderbilt (61), Florida (54), Auburn (29) and Alabama (16) frame the bottom half.

Last season, UK Hoops won 24 games, including six against ranked foes, including No. 2 South Carolina, No. 7 Louisville and No. 8 Baylor. Mitchell paced the team to finish No. 11/16 in the final rankings after securing a school-record sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

First Team All-SEC

Makayla Epps, Kentucky

Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State

A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Alaina Coates, South Carolina

Diamond DeShields, Tennessee

Bashaara Graves, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Courtney Williams, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC

Jessica Jackson, Arkansas

Ronni Williams, Florida

Shacobia Barbee, Georgia

Raigyne Moncrief, LSU

Jordan Frericks, Missouri

Mercedes Russell, Tennessee

Jordan Jones, Texas A&M

Rebekah Dahlman, Vanderbilt

Predicted Order of Finish

1. South Carolina 168

2. Tennessee 158

3. Texas A&M 138

4. Mississippi State 134

5. Kentucky 125

6. Missouri 94

7. Ole Miss 81

8. Arkansas 77

9. Georgia 75

10. LSU 64

11. Vanderbilt 61

12. Florida 54

13. Auburn 29

14. Alabama 16