The SEC released its preseason basketball media poll on Wednesday morning. The Vanderbilt Commodores were picked to finish in 8th place.
Vanderbilt loses three 1,000-point scorers — Riley LaChance, Jeff Roberson, and Matthew Fisher-Davis — off a team that went 12-20 and 6-12 in the SEC; in addition to the three seniors, bench players Payton Willis, Djery Baptiste, and Larry Austin Jr. all left the program following the season. But the projected improvement is based on who’s coming into the program: Darius Garland and Simi Shittu, both five-star recruits and McDonald’s All-Americans, should be starters for the Commodores from day one. In addition, Vanderbilt also adds Aaron Nesmith, a four-star recruit, and a pair of transfers in Matt Ryan and Yanni Wetzell.
Kentucky was picked to win the SEC and Tennessee’s Grant Williams, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, was picked to repeat in those honors. No Vanderbilt player was selected to either the All-SEC First Team or Second Team.