Alabama picked to win West, Tennessee to win conference

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BIRMINGHAM – Tennessee has been picked to win a second straight Southeastern Conference men’s basketball championship.

The Volunteers were heavy favorites over Florida and Kentucky. Alabama was picked to win the Western Division over LSU.

Tennessee’s Tyler Smith was the preseason player of the year.

The predictions were the result of balloting from 30 SEC and national media members.

The Volunteers are coming off a school record 31 wins, including two in the NCAA tournament.

Smith was joined on the first-team preseason All-SEC team by Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson. South Carolina’s Devan Downey, Florida’s Nick Calathes and Vanderbilt’s A.J. Ogilvy.

The league’s media days will be held Wednesday and Thursday in Birmingham.