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Vols picked to win the 2021 SEC men's basketball championship

Tennessee seniors John Fulkerson and Yves Pons were named to the preseason All-SEC first and second team, respectively.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Expectations are seriously high this year for Tennessee's men's basketball team.

The Vols were predicted to win the 2021 Southeastern Conference men's basketball championship in preseason voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

Yes, even over Kentucky.

The Vols return four starters and have welcomed the nation's fourth-ranked crop of newcomers.

Tennessee seniors John Fulkerson and Yves Pons both got preseason votes for SEC Player of the Year. Fulkerson was named to the All-SEC first team while Pons, who is the reigning SEC Defensive player of the year, made the second-team.

Tennessee is ranked 12th in the country in the Associated Press preseason poll and begins its 2020-21 campaign Nov. 25 against Charlotte, with conference play set to begin Dec. 29. 

The Vols last won the SEC Championship in 2018.

Preseason Media Poll
1. Tennessee
2. Kentucky
3. LSU
4. Florida
5. Alabama
6. Arkansas
7. Auburn
8. South Carolina
9. Ole Miss
10. Missouri
11. Texas A&M
12. Mississippi State
13. Georgia
14. Vanderbilt

First Team All-SEC
John Petty Jr., Alabama
Keyontae Johnson, Florida
Brandon Boston Jr., Kentucky
Trendon Watford, LSU
John Fulkerson, Tennessee

Second Team All-SEC
Olivier Sarr, Kentucky
Javonte Smart, LSU
Dru Smith, Missouri
AJ Lawson, South Carolina
Yves Pons, Tennessee
Savion Flagg, Texas A&M

SEC Player of the Year
Keyontae Johnson, Florida