Preseason SEC POY Phil Pressey Highlights First Team All-League Selections

By Paul Seaver

On Monday, SEC voters tabbed Missouri point guard Phil Pressey as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year.

Head coach Frank Haith and the Tigers are entering their first season within the SEC and Pressey’s ability and overall potential is seemingly already being noticed.

Missouri was listed at No. 3 within the league’s preseason media poll, while Kentucky was dubbed as the overall favorite.

Last season, as a sophomore, Pressey averaged 10.3 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. With a new crop of opponents in the SEC on the horizon in 2012-13, Pressey and the Tigers have similar expectations of gaining national glory. A plethora of newcomers and eligible transfers should allow Missouri to remain a consistent threat if they can gel together quickly.

While Pressey gives Haith a motor in the back court and a floor general at all times, he is not the only threat to win the award when all is said and done at the end of the year.

Joining Pressey among the league’s first team preseason acknowledgements is Kentucky freshman Nerlens NoelFlorida guard Kenny Boynton, Arkansas play maker B.J. Young, and Tennessee sophomore Jarnell Stokes.

Noel is instantly being labeled as the heir replacement to Anthony Davis down low in Lexington. Davis, the defending SEC Player of the Year, helped lead the Wildcats to the National Championship in 2012 yet, Noel has different, overall expectations for himself. With that being said, keeping the title belt in Lexington is undoubtedly his top, team-related goal.

Guard-play, as Pressey’s preseason accolades shows, run deeps within the SEC and Florida’s Boynton and Arkansas’ Young are just two more examples of players that are worth keeping an eye on.

After arriving in Knoxville midway through the year a season ago, Stokes has soaring expectations after nearly leading Tennessee to the Big Dance last March.


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