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Kentucky Basketball

Men's Basketball Is Media's Preseason Pick To Win SEC

October 15, 2019
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Just announced today, Kentucky is the media’s pick to win the SEC men’s basketball regular-season title. This makes the sixth time under John Calipari that UK has been picked to win the SEC regular-season and the 15th time since the ‘98-‘99 season. Kentucky has gone on to win the SEC regular-season five out of the six times it has been picked to do so under Calipari. UK has won the regular-season title 48 times over its storied history in the Conference.

In addition, three Wildcats were named to the media’s All-SEC Teams. Ashton Hagans, a 6-3 sophomore guard out of Cartersville, GA, was named to the first team, while fellow sophomore EJ Montgomery, from Ft. Pierce, FL, and freshman Tyrese Maxey, from Garland, TX, were named to the second team.

Hagans earned co-defensive player of the year in the SEC last season while being named to the league’s all-defensive team as well. He was also a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist. He won SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice last season. He has come back stronger and better conditioned and is looking to improve offensively and play a more consistent game on both ends this season, as he is expected to run the show and pressure the ball defensively for the Cats.

Sophomore EJ Montgomery also has come back stronger and better conditioned, looking to take his game up a couple of notches from what he showed last year. EJ has built confidence and is free to show his full talent this year in a starting role while being counted on to contribute on both ends in the paint while looking to stretch the floor and consistently make outside shots and mid-range jumpers. At 6-10 and nearly 230 pounds, he along with Nick Richards and Nate Sestina make up the big man rotation for Calipari and will be counted on to play sustained productive minutes inside and out.

Freshman newcomer Tyrese Maxey earning preseason second-team honors is not surprising, and he will likely challenge for a spot on the first team by season’s end. The talented and explosive 6-3 guard has already made a great first impression with fans watching UK’s Pro Day and Big Blue Madness. Tyrese has an infectious smile and attitude and will be one of the leading personalities on and off the court this season. His ability to shoot, defend, and lead on the court will be of great importance to this team. Calipari teams are at their best when they have a talented dominating guard leading the way, and Cal has at least two this year in Hagans and Maxey. How well they mesh and play off each other in the backcourt will go a long way in determining how far this team will go when the postseason comes along in 5 months.

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Men's Basketball Is Media's Preseason Pick To Win SEC

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