Coaches tab Travis, Washington Preseason All-SEC First Team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Already tabbed preseason All-Southeastern Conference by the league’s media, Kentucky men’s basketball’s PJ Washington and Reid Travis were named preseason All-SEC players by the league’s coaches as well.

Where the coaches and media disagree, however, is the designation of the teams.

Named All-SEC Second Team by the media, Washington was tabbed a first-teamer Tuesday by the coaches. Travis was a first-team selection in both.

Washington and Travis were joined on the eight-man All-SEC First Team by Daniel Gafford (Arkansas), Tremont Waters (LSU), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State), Chris Silva (South Carolina), Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) and Grant Williams (Tennessee)

The coaches’ preseason All-SEC teams consist of a minimum of eight players on each squad, voted on by the SEC head coaches. No ties were broken and no predicted order of finish was made.

Twelve different schools are represented on the two teams with Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Tennessee having two selections each. In all, 39 different players received votes for the coaches’ teams.

Kentucky has featured at least one player on the final All-SEC First Team since the 2006-07 season.

Travis and Washington have picked up a number of preseason honors, including making preseason watch lists on Monday for the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy, awarded annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the national player of the year, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I Player of the Year.

Travis is a graduate transfer who earned All-Pac 12 First Team honors at Stanford a season ago after averaging 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in all but one of his 35 games, including a career-high 33 points at Washington. He finished his decorated career with the Cardinal having become one of just three players in program history to amass at least 1,400 career points and 700 rebounds in fewer than 100 games played.

The 6-foot-8 big man averaged a double-double during UK’s six exhibition games (including the Bahamas trip) with 12.8 points and a team-high 10.8 boards per game. He recorded double-doubles in the final three games, including a dominating 22-point, 14-rebound effort vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Friday.

Washington is UK's leading returning scorer at 10.8 points and rebounder at 5.7 per game. He started in 30 of the 37 games he played in a season ago. He saved his best basketball for late in the season where he scored in double figures in 11 of the final 12 games of the season, averaging 12.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the floor. He played in all 40 minutes and posted a double-double vs. Kansas State in the Sweet 16 with 18 points and a career-high 15 boards to couple with a career-high-tying three steals.

The sophomore from Dallas led UK in scoring during the exhibition slate with 15.0 points per game, in addition to 7.2 rebounds per outing. Washington shot 60.4 percent from the floor, blocked 10 shots and totaled seven steals. In the final exhibition tune-up, he posted 20 points, six rebounds and three swats.

The Wildcats tip off their season Tuesday vs. Duke in the annual State Farm Champions Classic. That game is scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. ET tipoff on ESPN, after the Kansas-Michigan State matchup.