Lady Vols picked to finish 1st in the SEC

People are expecting big things out of the Lady Vols basketball team this year.

On Monday, the SEC released its 2013-14 Women's Basketball Preseason Media Poll, and the Lady Vols have been picked to finish on top.

The reigning SEC regular season champions return three starters from last season's 27-8 squad that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight squad, including SEC Co-Player of the Year Meighan Simmons and SEC Freshman of the Year Bashaara Graves. UT will be aiming for its 18th regular season league title.

Tennessee tops the order of finish with 192 points, with Kentucky (185), LSU (156), Texas A&M (144), Vanderbilt (134), Georgia (132) and South Carolina (131) rounding out the top half of the league. Auburn (84), Missouri (74), Florida (67), Mississippi State (66), Arkansas (57), Ole Miss (2) and Alabama (18) fill out the bottom half.

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, a 5-foot-9 senior from Cibolo, Texas, was the overwhelming choice of the media for SEC Women's Basketball Player of the Year with 10 votes. Simmons was the league's second leading scorer in all games a year ago at 16.8 ppg., but she led with a 19.3 average against conference teams.

Joining Simmons and Plaisance on the All-SEC First Team are Bashaara Graves, Tennessee; DeNesha Stallworth, Kentucky and Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt. Graves, a 6-2 forward from Clarksville, Tenn., posted averages of 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest last season, ranking as the No. 7 rebounder and No. 11 scorer in the SEC.

Both Simmons and Graves were first-team all-league choices by the coaches in 2012-13, while Simmons was a first-team pick by Associated Press and Graves made the second team.

Preseason Media Poll

(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

Order of Finish

1. Tennessee 192

2. Kentucky 185

3. LSU 156

4. Texas A&M 144

5. Vanderbilt 134

6. Georgia 132

7. South Carolina 131

8. Auburn 84

9. Missouri 74

10. Florida 67

11. Mississippi State 66

12. Arkansas 57

13. Ole Miss 29

14. Alabama 18


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