Kentucky Basketball: Media believes Cats are back picked to win SEC

Keion Brooks Jr
Keion Brooks Jr /

They’re baaaaaaaaaack! Poised and ready for redemption the Kentucky basketball team has been picked to win the Southeastern Conference this season.

The Wildcats finished eighth in the regular season last year with an 8-9 record and 9-16 overall in their worst season in 30 years.

Kentucky basketball picked No. 1, Wheeler, Grady, Brooks, Tshiebwe singled out

Coach John Calipari is out for blood this season and the SEC announced its media and national writers clearly sense that as well tabbing UK to win its 50th overall conference title.

  1. Kentucky
  2. Alabama
  3. Arkansas
  4. 4Tennessee
  5. Auburn
  6. LSU
  7. Florida
  8. Mississippi State
  9. Ole Miss
  10. Missouri
  11. South Carolina
  12. Texas A&M
  13. Vanderbilt
  14. Georgia

With the football team enjoying tremendous success Calipari is behind the scenes crafting a team that is capable of great things in 2021-22.

He has assembled a squad of veterans, seasoned players, and newcomers that has them ranked No 10 in the AP Preseason Poll.

Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler was named to the First Team All-Conference team, while Keion Brooks Jr, Kellan Grady, and Oscar Tshiebwe were second-team selections.

Wheeler’s departure was clearly Georgia’s loss who was picked to finish last while his addition helped boost the Cats to the top spot. The Bulldogs were 10th in the SEC last year.

Last season Wheeler led Georgia as the jitterbug guard with 14 points, 7.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. In two seasons he dished out 332 total assists, 193 of those last year, something Kentucky has been sorely lacking.

He topped the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7 and just the fourth player since 2000 to lead the conference in both assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Brooks is expected to be a big contributor to the Wildcat’s success this season after giving all he could in a fruitless effort last year that yielded little success as the team chemistry was never there. The junior pumped in 10.3 points and grabbed 6.8 rebounds per game.

He should have some huge success surrounded by loads of talent that includes Grady, who transferred in as a graduate from Davidson where he was a 2,000 point scorer.

Grady was All-Atlantic 10 First Team player who averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and added 2.4 assists per game.  Out of 22 games last year he scored in double figures in 19 and made three or more three-pointers in 11 of them.

Big man Tshiebwe came to Kentucky from West Virginia mid-semester last year and despite not being able to play in games did practice which gave him valuable learning access from Calipari.

Wheeler and Brooks each received some votes for Player of the Year, but that went to Vanderbilt’s Scotty Pippen Jr.

First Team All-SEC
Jaden Shackelford – Alabama
Jahvon Quinerly – Alabama
Colin Castleton – Florida
Sahvir Wheeler – Kentucky
Iverson Molinar – Mississippi State
Scotty Pippen Jr. – Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC
Davonte Davis – Arkansas
Jabari Smith – Auburn
Keion Brooks Jr. – Kentucky
Kellan Grady – Kentucky
Oscar Tshiebwe – Kentucky
Darius Days – LSU

dark. Next. Kentucky starts season ranked No.10