With a mix of seasoned veterans and another crop of talented newcomers, Kentucky was voted Wednesday by league media to win their sixth regular-season Southeastern Conference title under 10th-year coach John Calipari.
Should Kentucky achieve the feat, it would mark the program’s 49th overall regular-season title.
It’s the 14th time since the 1998-99 season the Wildcats are the overall preseason favorite. Calipari has directed his teams to regular-season SEC crowns in 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Kentucky has claimed the SEC Tournament title in each of the last four seasons and six in all, winning in 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Each school selected media members that cover their team and additional media from across the nation were selected by the conference office to comprise the voting panel. Points were compiled on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each media member also voted for two all-SEC teams.
In addition to the preseason poll, two players were selected to the preseason all-SEC squads. Reid Travis was picked to the first team while PJ Washington was tabbed to the second team. Both players, along with Keldon Johnson, received at least one vote for the preseason pick for SEC player of the year.
Travis is a graduate transfer who earned all-Pacific 12 first team honors at Stanford a season ago after averaging 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in all but one of his 35 games, including a career-high 33 points at Washington.
Washington is UK’s leading returning scorer at 10.8 points and rebounder at 5.7 per game. He started in 30 of the 37 games he played in a season ago.