3 Vols named to preseason All-SEC team
Published 4:44 pm Thursday, November 3, 2022
The Southeastern Conference released its preseason coaches All-SEC teams Wednesday, with three Vols receiving recognition.
Senior guard Santiago Vescovi and sophomore guard Zakai Zeigler earned first-team acclaim, while senior Josiah-Jordan James was a second-team honoree.
The coaches’ preseason All-SEC first and second teams consist of a minimum of eight players on each squad, voted on by the SEC basketball coaches. No ties were broken and no predicted order of finish was made.
Vescovi also earned preseason first-team honors from the media last month, while Zeigler and James were second-team selections.
Just as it was on the preseason media selections, Tennessee’s three combined selections on the coaches first and second teams are the most of any team in the conference.
A 2022 All-SEC first team and SEC All-Tournament team selection, Vescovi is Tennessee’s leading returning scorer after averaging 13.3 points per game a year ago.
Vescovi became just the second Vol in program history (Chris Lofton) to make 100 or more 3-pointers in a season in 2021-22. He finished with 102 total made 3-pointers, made multiple threes in 30 of Tennessee’s 35 games and registered double figure scoring outputs in 28 of 35 games.
James, another SEC All-Tournament team selection, is the Vols’ second leading returning scorer after averaging 10.3 points per game.
James was especially efficient during the second half of last season—averaging 6.8 points per game during his first 16 games compared to 13.7 during his final 16 games.
Zeigler burst onto the scene in a spark plug role during his freshman season on Rocky Top in 2021-22, ending the season by garnering SEC All-Freshman and All-Defensive Team honors.
During conference play, Zeigler averaged 10.1 points and 2.2 steals per game—a mark that ranked second in the SEC. The first player off of Tennessee’s bench a team-high 19 times, Zeigler scored in double figures during 13 of Tennessee’s final 17 games and averaged 10.9 points per game during that span, up from a 6.8 points per game average during the first 18 games.
Tennessee, ranked No. 11 in the preseason AP Poll, unofficially opened its season last week with a 99-80 exhibition win over No. 2 Gonzaga. The Vols officially tip off the 2022-23 season Monday in Thompson-Boling Arena, taking on Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. The game will air on SEC Network+. Tickets can purchased HERE.
First Team Preseason All-SEC
Jahvon Quinerly – Alabama
Nick Smith Jr. – Arkansas
Colin Castleton – Florida
Oscar Tshiebwe – Kentucky
Sahvir Wheeler – Kentucky
Tolu Smith – Mississippi State
Kobe Brown – Missouri
Santiago Vescovi – Tennessee
Zakai Zeigler – Tennessee
Second Team Preseason All-SEC
Brandon Miller – Alabama
Wendell Green Jr. – Auburn
K.D. Johnson – Auburn
Kario Oquendo – Georgia
KJ Williams – LSU
Matthew Murrell – Ole Miss
Josiah-Jordan James – Tennessee
Henry Coleman III – Texas A&M