Yante Maten has some lofty expectations to live up to this season as he was tabbed co-SEC Preseason Player of the Year on Wednesday morning at the SEC Basketball Media Days.
Maten, along with Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. and Texas A&M’s Robert Williams, split the honor. Both Porter and Williams are expected to be high draft picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Maten also was named to First Team All-SEC, along with Porter, Williams, Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo and Florida’s KeVaughn Allen.
Despite sustaining a right-knee injury late in the 2016-17 season, Maten still had a stellar junior campaign, as he finished fourth in the SEC in scoring with 18.2 points per game and ninth in rebounding with 6.8 per game. He also averaged 1.5 blocks per game and had the conference’s second-highest field goal percentage at .519.
The Bulldogs were also picked to finish No. 8 in the SEC by the media, sandwiched between Vanderbilt at No. 7 and Auburn at No. 9. Kentucky was picked to win the conference.
Georgia begins its 2017-18 season in a newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum when it hosts Bryant on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.