Kentucky, LSu picked to win divisions

Updated: October 29, 2003, 9:07 PM ET

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Kentucky was picked to win the Southeastern Conference over Eastern Division rival Florida Wednesday, while LSU is the preseason pick to win the West.

Kentucky received 21 first-place votes while Florida got 18 and Mississippi State 1. LSU received 21 of 40 votes to win the West, but didn't receive any to claim the overall championship.

Florida and Auburn were picked to finish second in the East and West divisions, respectively.

Vanderbilt forward Matt Freije was picked as the SEC player of the year, getting 13 votes to edge out Florida's David Lee and LSU's Jaime Lloreda. Lee and Lloreda got 10 votes apiece.

In balloting among reporters covering the SEC media days Wednesday, Kentucky's Gerald Fitch (4) and Florida's Matt Walsh (1) also received votes.

Fitch, Freije, Lee, Lloreda and Florida's Anthony Roberson made the preseason All-SEC team.

Predicted order of finish with first-place votes in parentheses and total points: ^EASTERN DIVISION

1. Kentucky (22), 223

2. Florida (18), 219

3. Tennessee, 129

4. Vanderbilt, 119

5. Georgia, 87

6. South Carolina, 72 ^WESTERN DIVISION

1. LSU (21), 205

2. Auburn (10), 181

3. Mississippi St. (6), 167

4. Arkansas (1), 107

5. Alabama (1), 93

6. Mississippi (1), 87

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index