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March 8, 2007

All-SEC: One tough team to crack

The Southeastern Conference may not have many elite teams this year, but it sure features plenty of elite players.

In perhaps the biggest testament to the conference's depth, Florida forward/center Joakim Noah projected by many NBA Draft observers as the top overall pick if he had chosen to leave school last year couldn't crack the first team of our all-SEC squad.

Noah did manage to make the second team, and was one of four Gators to earn all-conference honors. No other school had multiple all-conference selections, though Tennessee landed two players on the all-freshman team.

Although the SEC's wealth of frontcourt talent earned most of the attention at the start of the season, our toughest task was a choice between two point guards.

Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon, South Carolina's Tre Kelley and Florida's Taurean Green all played well enough to merit first-team consideration. The presence of Tennessee sharpshooter and SEC scoring leader Chris Lofton left room for only one other first-team guard.

Here are the Rivals.com all-SEC teams for the 2006-07 season.

Rivals.com 2006-07 All-SEC First Team Rivals.com 2006-07 All-SEC Second Team
G Jamont Gordon
Mississippi State, So., 6-4, 225
Gordon ranked sixth in the SEC in scoring (15.8 points per game), fifth in assists (5.0) and eighth in rebounds (7.2). That made him the only person in the conference to rank in the top 10 in all three categories. After committing more turnovers than assists as a freshman, Gordon posted a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio this year.
G Taurean Green
Florida, Jr., 6-0, 177
A late-season slump hurt Green's final statistics, but he still averaged 13 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game while also leading the SEC with an .863 free-throw percentage. Green has made more than 40 percent of his 3-point attempts this season.
G Chris Lofton
Tennessee, Jr., 6-2, 200
The most dangerous outside shooter in the nation led the SEC in scoring with 20.6 points per game and also topped the conference with 3.3 made 3-pointers per game. He also may have been the SEC's most valuable player. Tennessee went 1-3 when he missed four games with a sprained right ankle.
G Tre Kelley
South Carolina, Sr., 6-0, 188
Don't blame him for South Carolina's disappointing season. Kelley carried the Gamecocks all year while ranking second in the league in scoring (19.1) and third in assists (5.1). Kelley needs 23 more points to become the first Gamecock ever with 1,500 career points and 500 career assists.
G/F Derrick Byars
Vanderbilt, Sr., 6-7, 230
Byars delivered huge performances in all the high-profile victories that allowed Vanderbilt to make a huge second-half surge. The two-time SEC player of the week ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (16.9) while also averaging 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
F Corey Brewer
Florida, Jr., 6-9, 185
Brewer has established a niche as Florida's jack-of-all-trades since his arrival on campus in 2004. He continued to display his versatility this season by collecting 12.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
F/C Al Horford
Florida, Jr., 6-10, 245
Horford ranked second in the league in field-goal percentage (.605), third in rebounds (8.9) and sixth in blocks (1.9) while leading the Gators in all three categories. He also averaged 13.1 points per game and may have developed into Florida's most consistent player this season.
F Richard Hendrix
Alabama, Sr., 6-8, 265
Hendrix led the Crimson Tide with 14.6 points per game and also ranked fourth in the league in rebounds with 8.8 per game. Hendrix led the conference with a field-goal percentage of .608.
F/C Glen Davis
Louisiana State, Jr., 6-9, 289
Davis continued to put up huge numbers even as his team failed to live up to its preseason billing. He led the SEC in rebounds (10.4) and placed third in the league in scoring (17.8). Davis was the only player in the conference to average a double-double.
F/C Joakim Noah
Florida, Jr., 6-11, 230
Noah remains one of the nation's most versatile big men. He continued his career-long habit of filling up a stat sheet this year by averaging 12.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
Rivals.com 2006-07 SEC All-Freshman Team
G Patrick Beverley, Arkansas, 6-1, 172: 14.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists per game
G Jodie Meeks, Kentucky, 6-5, 206: 8.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists per game
G Ramar Smith, Tennessee, 6-2, 185: 10.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game
F Dominique Archie, South Carolina, 6-7, 204: 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists per game
F Wayne Chism, Tennessee, 6-9, 245: 9.2 points, 5.5 rebounds per game

Rivals.com SEC Tournament Preview

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