Coach Amanda Butler and the Gators will return all five starters from last season, looking to improve on their eighth place finish in the conference last season. Florida was picked to finish fifth in the SEC among polling by the coaches, the results of which were released on Tuesday.
Tennessee, who won the SEC last season, is projected to finish at the top of the SEC again this season. Kentucky, Georgia and LSU check in ahead of Florida, with the Gators rounding out the top five.
Stephanie Holzer, who made the Preseason First Team All-SEC, leads Vanderbilt as the Commodores check in as the preseason number-six team in the conference. The top-10 is rounded out by South Carolina, Arkansas, Auburn and Alabama. Mississippi State and Ole Miss check in at the final two slots in the preseason polling.
Coach Amanda Butler has spoke in great length this offseason on the importance of having depth and diversity throughout the team, not relying on any one player. This philosophy is shown in that no UF player was voted to either the Preseason First or Second Team All-SEC.
Tennessee took several honors, as three Lady Volunteers were voted to the First Team. Senior Shekinna Stricklen was tabbed as the Preseason SEC Player of the Year.
The 2011-2012 UF women’s basketball season begins this Friday, as the Gators play host to Michigan. The game will be the first of a doubleheader with the men’s team who take on Jackson State. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. for the women’s team, with the men’s game following shortly after.