FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Razorbacks men’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the SEC for the 2022-23 season, their highest ranking since being picked to win the western division prior to the 2007-08 season.

Freshman guard Nick Smith Jr. also received honors, being selected to the first-team preseason All-SEC by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

Team points were compiled on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each media member also voted for a five-player All-SEC Team. Ties were not broken.

Smith is the first Razorback freshman to earn preseason All-SEC (first or second team) and becomes the 11th Razorback to earn first-team preseason All-SEC honors joining Todd Day (1991-92), Scotty Thurman (1993-94 and 1994-95, Corliss Williamson (1993-94 and 1994-95), Joe Johnson (2000-01), Ronnie Brewer (2005-06), Patrick Beverley (2007-08), BJ Young (2012-13), Bobby Portis (2014-15), Moses Kingsley (2016-17) and Daniel Gafford (2018-19).

Smith was also named the 2022 USA TODAY High School National Player of the Year and was the top-rated prospect in the country by 247Sports.com. He has also been tabbed the National Newcomer of the Year by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.

Arkansas will face Rogers State in a home exhibition on Monday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. The Razorback’s second exhibition will be at #12 Texas on Oct. 29 to open the Longhorn’s new Moody Center.

Year four of the Eric Musselman era officially begins on Nov. 7 versus North Dakota State. Tipoff at Bud Walton Arena is set for 7 p.m.

A full list of preseason All-SEC players and team rankings can be found below:

First Team Preseason All-SEC

Nick Smith, Jr.  – Arkansas

Colin Castleton – Florida

Oscar Tshiebwe – Kentucky

Sahvir Wheeler – Kentucky

Santiago Vescovi – Tennessee

Second Team Preseason All-SEC

Brandon Miller – Alabama

Jahvon Quinerly – Alabama

KJ Williams – LSU

Josiah Jordan-James – Tennessee

Zakai Zeigler – Tennessee

SEC Preseason Player of the Year

Oscar Tshiebwe – Kentucky

Predicted Order of Finish

1. Kentucky

2. Arkansas

3. Tennessee

4. Auburn

5. Alabama

6. Texas A&M

7. Florida

8. LSU

9. Ole Miss

10. Mississippi State

11. Missouri

12. Vanderbilt

13. Georgia

14. South Carolina

For more­­ information on Arkansas Men’s Basketball, follow @RazorbackMBB on Twitter.