The Kentucky Wildcats are going to have two of the best players in the SEC taking the floor for them this season, according to the league’s 14 coaches.
On Wednesday, the All-SEC teams voted on by the SEC’s coaches were released. Oscar Tshiebwe and Sahvir Wheeler were both voted Preseason First-Team All-SEC.
Tshiebwe is coming off one of the best seasons in college basketball history averaging 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game
On his way to being named the unanimous National Player of the Year, he recorded a Kentucky single-season record 28 double-doubles. He was also named First Team All-American, First Team All-SEC, and was a Naismith Defensive Players of the Year finalist.
As for Wheeler, he led the SEC and was third in the country in assists averaging 6.9 per game. His 207 total assists were good enough for the 4th most in a single season in Kentucky history. After the season, he was voted Second Team All-SEC.
Here are the Preseason First and Second Team All-SEC players voted on by the SEC’s coaches.
First Team All-SEC
- Jahvon Quinerly, Alabama
- Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas
- Colin Castleton, Florida
- Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky
- Sahvir Wheeler, Kentucky
- Tolu Smith, Mississippi State
- Kobe Brown, Missouri
- Santiago Vescovi, Tennessee
- Zakai Zeigler, Tennessee
Second Team All-SEC
- Brandon Miller, Alabama
- Wendell Green Jr., Auburn
- K.D. Johnson, Auburn
- Kario Oquendo, Georgia
- KJ Williams, LSU
- Matthew Murrell, Ole Miss
- Josiah-Jordan James, Tennessee
- Henry Coleman III, Texas A&M
Having two players named Preseason First Team All-SEC is not the only positive news for the Cats today.
With the season just a few days away, The Sporting News released their preseason top 25 and the Cats came in at No. 1 overall.
“The difference between the Wildcats and their elite competition for the NCAA championship comes down to two UK advantages: raw talent and defensive potential,” wrote Mike DeCourcy. “With its length, bounce and depth, Kentucky has the ability to become a dynamic, oppressive defensive team without sacrificing too much of what it might do on offense. The addition of Wallace gives UK the opportunity to attack from multiple directions and, if someone’s plus-sized point guard presents a defensive issue for Wheeler, move to a bigger lineup. Don’t forget the Cats also get back shooter CJ Frederick, who missed the chance to help last year’s team from its premature demise but now might be an asset to a team better positioned to win a title.”
The rest of the top 5 behind the Cats include North Carolina (No. 2), Gonzaga (No. 3), Houston (No. 4), and UCLA (No. 5).
You can check out the entire preseason top 25 from The Sporting News here.