Missouri was picked to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference preseason media poll released Wednesday at the SEC Basketball Media Days in Birmingham, Ala.
Tigers junior guard Jabari Brown was chosen to the media’s preseason All-SEC second team.
Missouri, which finished 23-11 with a first-game loss in the NCAA Tournament last season, will look to replace point guard Phil Pressey with three players, including junior transfer Jordan Clarkson, who scored 19 points in the Black & Gold scrimmage Tuesday in Columbia.
“I like our team,” coach Frank Haith said at Media Days. “We have a lot of good qualities. We have good size on the perimeter and in the paint. I like our athleticism.
“We have a chance to have good depth. Most coaches say that early in the year and, once the season begins it kind of changes, but we’ll play a lot of different guys early.”
Kentucky was the media’s choice to win the conference, and Wildcats freshman Julius Randle was voted the preseason player of the year. Kentucky received 21 first-place votes, finishing ahead of Florida, which had five; and Tennessee, which had one.
Former Bishop Miege guard Trevor Releford, a senior at Alabama, was chosen to the media’s All-SEC first team, and former Olathe Northwest center Willie Cauley-Stein, a Kentucky sophomore, was a second-team selection.
• The Missouri women were picked to finish ninth in a media poll released Monday. Tennessee was the preseason favorite, receiving 10 first-place votes, and had the preseason player of the year in Meighan Simmons. Runner-up Kentucky got the five other first-place votes.
Tigers coach Robin Pingeton spoke highly of her incoming class at Media Days, including 6-foot-1 freshman Jordan Frericks, who scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Black & Gold scrimmage Tuesday in Columbia.
“She’s an extremely talented athlete. She has an incredible wing span,” Pingeton said. “She’s got great versatility on the offensive end but can really be a presence on defense as well.”