South Carolina basketball: Media reveals 2020-21 SEC projections

South Carolina basketball has eyes set on SEC Title.

Last week, the Southeastern Conference unveiled their projections for the upcoming 2020-21 college basketball season. These projections include final SEC standings, players of the year, and first- and second-team conference selections.

South Carolina landed at No. 8 on the list, projected to finish below Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, and Auburn.

For what it’s worth, the Gamecocks have finished sixth or better in five of the last six seasons, only once falling to the bottom half of the league (2017-18). They’ve finished in the top four of the conference three of those seasons, earning a bye week in the SEC Tournament.

The Gamecocks will have their eyes set on a second ever SEC regular season title, but they’ll have their work cut out for them in what’s shaping up to be a tough slate.

The biggest surprise of the projections was seeing Tennessee as the conference favorite rather than Kentucky. The Wildcats have won the league five of the last ten years, but the Volunteers return a strong core of young players that has many thinking they’ll make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina saw one member of its roster earn All-SEC recognition, as junior AJ Lawson was named the second-team all-conference. Lawson has led the team in scoring each of his first two seasons on campus, averaging 13.6 points a game over his career.

Check out the rest of the league projections below.

First Team All-SEC

  • John Petty Jr. – Alabama
  • Keyontae Johnson – Florida
  • Brandon Boston Jr. – Kentucky
  • Trendon Watford – LSU
  • John Fulkerson – Tennessee

Second Team All-SEC

  • Olivier Sarr – Kentucky
  • Javonte Smart – LSU
  • Dru Smith – Missouri
  • AJ Lawson – South Carolina
  • Yves Pons – Tennessee
  • Savion Flagg – Texas A&M

SEC Player of the Year

  • Keyontae Johnson – Florida

Preseason Media Poll

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

The Gamecocks return Lawson, Jermaine Couisnard, Keyshawn Bryant, and Justin Minaya from last year’s 18-win squad. They’ll also add veteran guard and North Carolina transfer Seventh Woods, as they look to improve upon last year’s win total and get back to the NCAA Tournament.