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(WBIR-Knoxville) The Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team will start the season with high expectations underneath 3rd-year head Cuonzo Martin.

A media poll released today have top-3 expectations in the conference for the Vols. The basketball team ranks only behind perennial conference front-runner Kentucky, which received 21 first-place votes. Florida got the second-place vote for the conference, and finished with five first-place votes.

The Vols line up third in the conference, tacking on one first-place vote.

Here's a running vote count for the entire conference, dominated by the Eastern Divison (first-place votes in parentheses):

  1. Kentucky (21) - 371 points
  2. Florida (5) - 353
  3. Tennessee (1) - 320
  4. LSU - 270
  5. Missouri - 262
  6. Alabama - 257
  7. Ole Miss - 216
  8. Arkansas - 197
  9. Texas A&M - 139
  10. Vanderbilt - 125
  11. Georgia - 119
  12. South Carolina - 108
  13. Mississippi State - 59
  14. Auburn - 39

Three Vols players also pulled in preseason all-conference votes, ranking second behind Kentucky.

The Vols who earned the preseason honors are Senior guard Jordan McRae, Senior forward Jeronne Maymon and Junior forward Jarnell Stokes.

At the helm of the program the last two years, Martin led the Vols to 19-15 and 20-13 records, and at the end of each season, NIT bids.

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