BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Kentucky seniors Oscar Tshiebwe and Sahvir Wheeler were recognized by the Southeastern Conference’s coaches as preseason picks to make the league’s first team.
Tshiebwe and Wheeler were also selected to the preseason All-SEC first team by the media in October.
The two UK players were joined on the first team by Alabama’s Jahvon Quinerly, Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr., Florida’s Colin Castleton, Mississippi State’s Tolu Smith, Missouri’s Kobe Brown, and Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Zeigler.
Tshiebwe, the reigning unanimous National Player of the Year and All-America First-Team honoree, led the country in rebounding with 15.1 boards per game to go along with a team-high 17.4 points per contest a season ago. The 2022 First-Team All-SEC pick and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist set a Kentucky single-season record with 28 double-doubles while finishing the season as the only major-conference player averaging 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game.
Wheeler, who was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s best point guard a year ago, led the SEC and ranked third nationally with an average of 6.9 assists per game. Picked All-SEC Second Team by both the league’s coaches and media, Wheeler’s 207 assists were the fourth-most in a single season in UK history while the Houston native ranked second in the conference with a 2.27 assist-to-turnover ratio. In 30 games played in 2021-22, Wheeler averaged 10.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals to go along with his 6.9 assists per contest.
Kentucky is set to take on Kentucky State at Rupp Arena in its final exhibition Nov. 3.
UK’s home-opener against Howard is set for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7.