SEC showcased on preseason Naismith Trophy list

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The SEC is back. The Naismith folks say so.

After a few sub-par seasons, the conference boasts its best group of title contenders and depth since 2007. Maybe that’s why the four top schools – Kentucky, Vandy, Florida and Alabama – all placed at least one player on the Naismith Trophy’s preseason list of the top 50 players.

(The Big East had eight players, the Big Ten seven. Kentucky placed four players on there. Same with North Carolina. UConn, Vandy and Ohio State all placed three.)

OK, that doesn’t cement the conference as one of the elite BCS leagues, but it’s a start. And it’s a truer representation of college hoops’ talent than the Wooden Award’s preseason list.

The Naismith includes freshmen. That means Kentucky’s studs (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague), Florida’s Brad Beal, Baylor’s Quincy Miller, UConn’s Andre Drummond and Duke’s Austin Rivers all made the cut. Not sure any of ‘em can actually win it – until some major figure in the national media decides different, it’ll be a race between Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes – but it’ll be fun to watch.

Here’s the complete list:

Tim Abromaitis, F, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, F, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, G, Soph., Memphis
Brad Beal, G, Fr., Florida
William Buford, G, Sr., Ohio State
Aaron Craft, G, Soph., Ohio State
Anthony Davis, F, Fr., Kentucky
Marcus Denmon, G, Sr., Missouri
Andre Drummond, C, Fr., UConn
Festus Ezeli, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Michael Glover, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, F, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, F, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, F, Sr., Alabama
Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, F, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, G, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, G, Soph., Memphis
John Jenkins, G, Soph., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, G, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Darius Johnson-Odom, G, Sr., Marquette
Perry Jones III, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, F, Soph., Kentucky
Kevin Jones, F, Sr., West Virginia
Kris Joseph, F, Sr., Syracuse
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Fr., Kentucky
Jeremy Lamb, G, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, G, Soph., North Carolina
Ray McCallum, G, Soph., Detroit
Doug McDermott, F, Soph., Creighton
Khris Middleton, F, Jr., Texas A&M
Quincy Miller, F, Fr., Baylor
Reeves Nelson, F, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, F, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, C, Jr., UConn
Austin Rivers, G, Fr., Duke
Thomas Robinson, F, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, G, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, G, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, C, Soph., Ohio State
Jordan Taylor, G, Sr., Wisconsin
Jeffery Taylor, G/F, Sr., Vanderbilt
Marquis Teague, G, Fr., Kentucky
Patric Young, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, F, Sr., North Carolina

Related story:

No shortage of names who could be on Wooden list

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