By Nate Allen
FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ men’s basketball Razorbacks were picked to finish third in the SEC and Arkansas’ women’s basketball Razorbacks were picked to finish sixth in the SEC by media panels, the SEC Office announced Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala.
In the men’s preseason poll Kentucky was picked to win with defending champion Alabama second, Coach Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks, to the Elite Eight advancing further into the 2021 NCAA Tournament than any SEC school, were picked third followed fourth through eighth by Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Florida and Mississippi State. Rounding out ninth through 14th are Ole Miss, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Georgia.
Arkansas sophomore guard Davonte “Devo” Davis of Jacksonville was recognized Preseason All-SEC second team.
Vanderbilt’s Scotty Pippen Jr. was named SEC Preseason Player of the Year and heads a SEC Preseason first team including Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly of Alabama; Colin Castleton of Florida; Sahvir Wheeler of Kentucky and Iverson Molinar of Mississippi State.
Though not voted Preseason first or second team All-SEC, Arkansas senior guard JD Notae did receive votes for the Player of the Year honor voted to Pippen.
Three Kentucky Wildcats: Keion Brooks, Kellan Grady and Oscar Tshiebwe joined Arkansas’ Davis, Auburn’s Jabari Smith and LSU’s Darius Days on the Preseason All-SEC second team.
Graduating Chelsea Dungee and Destiny Slocum to the WNBA off last year’ Razorbacks women’s team finishing fifth in the SEC with mammoth nonconference upsets over UConn and Baylor, Coach Mike Neighbors’ Razorbacks were picked sixth behind an in order top five of South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Georgia.
Picked seventh through 14th are LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, Auburn and Vanderbilt. The SEC announced only a Preseason All-SEC first team headed by Preseason Player of the Year Rhyne Howard of Kentucky joined by South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke; LSU’s Khayla Pointer and Shakira Austin of Ole Miss. Arkansas’ men, with exhibition games scheduled Sunday afternoon at Walton Arena against East Central Oklahoma University and an Oct. 30 exhibition at Walton against an opponent to be announced, officially open their season Nov. 9 at Walton against Mercer University. Arkansas’ women, with a Nov. 5 exhibition scheduled at Walton against the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, officially open their season Nov. 10 at Walton against Tarleton State.