(LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky men's basketball team has been picked to win the 2022 Southeastern Conference title by the league's media members.
With a collection of transfers, top-rated freshmen, and a core group of returning players, UK was voted to win their seventh regular-season title under 13th-year head coach John Calipari. If they do win, it would mark the program's 50th overall regular-season title. No other school comes close, with LSU in second place with 11 SEC regular-season championships.
In addition to the preseason poll, four Wildcats were selected for the preseason All-SEC teams. Junior guard Sahvir Wheeler was picked to the first team while graduate student guard Kellan Grady and junior forwards Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe were picked to the second team. Brooks and Wheeler also received at least one vote for the preseason pick for SEC Player of the Year.
It's the 16th time since the 1998-99 season the Wildcats are the overall preseason favorite. Calipari has directed his teams to regular-season SEC crowns in 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2020. Kentucky has claimed the SEC Tournament title six times under his direction in 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Kentucky is set to begin exhibition play beginning with its annual Blue-White Game on Friday. That game will air live on the SEC Network at 7 p.m.
The Wildcats open the regular season in New York for the Champions Classic. They will face No. 9 Duke on ESPN.