Georgia Bulldogs forward Yante Maten was named The Associated Press’ choice for Southeastern Conference men’s basketball Player of the Year.
Maten, who received an unanimous vote to win the award, led the conference in scoring, averaging nearly 20 points per game and finishing second in rebounding with 8.8 per game. Maten also sits on the first-team All-SEC with Auburn guard Bryce Brown, Arkansas guard Daryl Macon, Alabama guard Collin Sexton and Tennessee forward Grant Williams.
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Maten winning the award marks the first time since 1971 an AP SEC player of the year won the award on a team that finished the regular season below .500 in conference play. Georgia finished the regular season 16-14 and 7-11 in the SEC.
Four AP SEC players of the year since then whose teams finished the regular season .500 in SEC play: Georgia's Dominique Wilkins (1981), Tennessee's Dale Ellis (1983), Vanderbilt's Dan Langhi (2000 co-player of the year) and Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2013).
Bulldogs coach Mark Fox and his team will look to make some noise in this week’s SEC Tournament beginning on Wednesday. Georgia enters the tournament as the No. 12 seed and will face 13th-seeded Vanderbilt in first-round action.