BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference announced its preseason poll and all-conference team on Tuesday, Oct. 20, as voted on by a panel of both SEC and national media members.
Earning a spot on the six-member Preseason All-SEC team was junior guard Makayla Epps (pictured), marking the first time that the Wildcats landed a player on the media-chosen team since the 2013 preseason poll, when DeNesha Stallworth earned the distinction.
Epps -- who will miss UK's season opener because of an alcohol-related suspension according to Lexington Herald-Leader -- was named to the All-SEC First Team following a 2014-15 season that saw her earn SEC postseason honors. The Lebanon, Ky., native assumed the point guard role after Janee Thompson suffered a season-ending leg injury last season. During the regular season, Epps averaged a team-high 14.3 points per game, which ranked eighth in the SEC. Within league action, she was atop the SEC with 15.1 ppg and had the second-highest field goal percentage at a .413 clip. Additionally, she was eighth in assists (2.9), ninth in free throw percentage (.750), and sixth in minutes played (33.6). Epps earned a spot on the prestigious Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, given annually to the nation’s top point guard.
The poll also marked the announcement of the SEC Preseason Media Poll. Kentucky was picked to finish fifth in the league, while 2015 SEC champion South Carolina was tabbed as the top team in the conference with 265 votes. The Gamecocks have three players on the Preseason All-SEC team, including Preseason Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell.
Following South Carolina in the preseason poll are Tennessee (248), Mississippi State (215), Texas A&M (207), UK (205), Ole Miss (169), Missouri (165), Arkansas (138), Georgia and LSU (128), Vanderbilt (80), Florida (78), Auburn (65) and Alabama (34).
The Wildcats open the 2015-16 campaign with an exhibition game against Union University on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free and the game will be streamed live on SEC Network+. Events on SEC Network+ are available exclusively on SECNetwork.com and on WatchESPN via computers, smartphones and tablets.
Season tickets for the 2015-16 season (includes Rupp Arena games) are available now for $65 online at UKathletics.com/tickets or by calling the UK Ticket Office at (859) 257-1818 or (800) 928-2287. Single-game tickets will go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. ET through Ticketmaster.
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