Gators Tabbed Fifth in SEC Preseason Media Poll

Florida was voted to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference in a preseason poll comprised of national and SEC members.

The Gators are coming off a season when they posted a 22-9 overall record, as well as a 10-6 mark in SEC play that was tied for fourth in the final league standings.

Florida’s top three scorers from last year’s SEC-leading scoring offense (77.4 ppg) return for the 2016-17 season, with senior Ronni Williams (11.1 ppg), sophomore Eleanna Christinaki (10.4 ppg) and junior Haley Lorenzen (9.3 ppg) pacing the Gators. Williams has been UF’s leading scorer each of the last two seasons.

The Gators will open the season with a roster of nine after graduating five seniors last year and an ACL injury to current senior Simone Westbrook, a member of the 2016 SEC All-Defensive Team.

Last year’s Gators finished ranked in the top-10 of four national stats categories: No. 3 for Turnovers Forced, No. 4 for Steals per game, No. 7 for Steals, No. 10 for Offensive Rebounds per game. UF also ranked No. 16 for Scoring Offense.

Head Coach Amanda Butler, who was named the 2016 WBCA Region 2 Co-Coach of the Year and a 2016 WBCA National Coach of the Year finalist, enters her 10th season coaching her alma mater. Her tenure at UF is tied for the second-longest among active coaches in the SEC this year.

South Carolina won the regular-season title last year and was predicted to repeat this year, followed by Mississippi State, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Texas A&M and Auburn rounding out the top half the league. Missouri, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Arkansas, LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss round out the bottom half.

Preseason SEC Order of Finish – Media Poll

1. South Carolina
2. Mississippi State
3. Tennessee
4. Kentucky
5. Florida
6. Texas A&M
7. Auburn
8. Missouri
9. Vanderbilt
10. Georgia
11. Arkansas
12. LSU
13. Alabama
14. Ole Miss

Player of the Year

A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

Preseason All-SEC

Makayla Epps, Kentucky
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina
Diamond DeShields, Tennessee

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