By LARRY VAUGHT
Southeastern Conference media members donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think quite as highly of Kentucky freshman John Wall as some others do.
Of course, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to make a case for him being slighted when he was named to the preseason all-SEC second team considering heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a freshman and has never played a college game. However, others are touting him as national player of the year, so obviously the 25-member voting panel Ã¢â‚¬â€ and no, UK did not ask me to be the media representative to vote on the team Ã¢â‚¬â€ thought a little less of his potential.
However, the media did get it right by predicting Kentucky would win the SEC championship and by naming UK junior Patrick Patterson as the preseason player of the year.
Coach John CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Cats got 20 first-place votes while Mississippi State had three and Tennessee two. Naturally, Kentucky was the choice to win the SEC East followed by Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Yes, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s former national powerhouse Florida and coach Billy Donovan Ã¢â‚¬â€ remember when almost everyone wanted him at Kentucky Ã¢â‚¬â€ picked fifth in the division.
Patterson got 11 of the 25 votes for player of the year. Surprisingly, Wall got six even though he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rate first-team honors. Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State, Devan Downey of South Carolina and Tyler Smith of Tennessee got the other votes Ã¢â‚¬â€ and that five would be my all-SEC first team if I had been asked to vote. Instead, MississippiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Terrico White was named to the first team while LSUÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tasmin Mitchell, VanderbiltÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s A.J. Ogilvy, Ole MissÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Chris Warren and AuburnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s DeWayne Reed were named to the second team along with Wall.
What do you think? Who would be on your all-SEC first team and second team?