Former Liberty County High School basketball standout Jordan McRae made the 2013 All-Southeastern Conference first team, as voted on by the league’s men’s basketball coaches.
According to a report posted on utsports.com and released March 12, McRae, a junior guard at Tennessee, made the coaches’ eight-man All-SEC first team. He is the 44th Volunteer to earn first-team All-SEC laurels and the sixth since 2003.
The article called McRae one of the most improved players in all of college basketball, adding he developed from Tennessee’s sixth man a year ago, averaging 8.6 points per game, to a legitimate SEC player of the year candidate this season. The Midway native finished SEC play ranked first in minutes per game (37.7), third in scoring (19.2 ppg) and fifth in 3-point percentage (.392). Among the SEC’s top four scorers, McRae’s 1.38 points per field-goal attempt ranked second only to Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1.41).
McRae scored at least 25 points six times and posted two 30-point outings. He dropped a career-high 35 points on Georgia, shooting 8-for-11 from 3-point range. Against the top three teams in the final SEC standings — Florida, Kentucky and Ole Miss — McRae averaged 23.4 points and 5.6 rebounds.
College-basketball experts Jay Bilas and Jimmy Dykes of ESPN and Seth Davis of SI.com all selected McRae as their SEC player of the year. The league’s coaches selected Caldwell-Pope as player of the year, according to according to secdigitalnetwork.com.
McRae also landed on the United State Basketball Writers Association 2012-13 Men’s All-District Teams on Tuesday. He made the 10-man All-District IV squad. District IV includes schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. Joining McRae on the USBWA All-District IV Team are Kenny Boynton (Florida), Caldwell-Pope, Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), Marshall Henderson (Ole Miss), Joe Jackson (Memphis), Shane Larkin (Miami), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Trevor Releford (Alabama) and Russ Smith (Louisville).
Tennessee (19-11 overall, 11-7 in the SEC) was scheduled to play Mississippi State on Thursday in the SEC tournament in Nashville, according to secdigitalnetwork.com. Results were unavailable at press time.