Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. answers questions during the Southeastern Conference men's NCAA college basketball media day Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Latest: Porter says crazy friends investigated by FBI

October 18, 2017 - 1:06 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on Southeastern Conference men's basketball media days (all times Eastern):

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1:05 p.m.

Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., the nation's top recruit coming out of high school, says the FBI's investigation into college basketball recruiting hasn't involved the Tigers. He says that's because of how coach Cuonzo Martin runs his program.

Porter is part of a top five recruiting class for Martin at Missouri. The freshman was picked Wednesday at SEC Tipoff as one of three players to share Southeastern Conference's preseason player of the year honors. Porter says he and his father, now an assistant coach at Missouri, helped convince Blake Harris to join him and his brother, Jontay, with the Tigers.

Still, it's been impossible for anyone in the sport not to be concerned about the FBI investigation.

Porter says, "it is crazy to see some of my friends getting investigated by the FBI."

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12:20 p.m.

Arkansas guard Daryl Macon says he's finally stopped watching replays of the Razorbacks' heartbreaking 72-65 NCAA Tournament loss to eventual national champion North Carolina.

Macon said Wednesday at SEC Tipoff that he "actually just stopped watching it when school started. The guard added that, "Every other day during the summer, I was watching it, (thinking), 'How did we lose that game?' We were so close to beating the national champions and we fell short."

Macon says the Razorbacks learned from that experience that they must start games better. Arkansas trailed by as many as 17 points before rallying to take a 65-60 lead. North Carolina won by closing the game with a 12-0 run.

The Razorbacks are motivated by realizing how close they came to beating the eventual national champions.

Macon says, "It made everybody work 10 times harder as a team and individually."

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11:05 a.m.

Defending Southeastern Conference champion Kentucky is picked to win the league's men's basketball title again.

A panel of SEC and national media made the Wildcats the preseason favorite. The preseason picks were announced Wednesday at the SEC Tipoff event. Kentucky was followed in order by Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Auburn, Mississippi, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Tennessee and LSU.

Voting for SEC preseason player of the year resulted in a three-way tie featuring Georgia forward Yante Mate, Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. and Texas A&M forward Robert Williams.

First-team all-SEC selections included those three players as well as Florida guard KeVaughn Allen and Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo. Second-team selections were Alabama's Collin Sexton, Kentucky's Kevin Knox, Ole Miss teammates Terence Davis and Deandre Burnett, Mississippi State's Quinndary Weatherspoon, Texas A&M's Tyler Davis and Vanderbilt's Matthew Fisher-Davis.

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12:30 a.m.

Southeastern Conference teams should have plenty to boast about at their annual event to meet with media and discuss the upcoming season.

Long derided for its lack of postseason success, the SEC responded last year by sending three teams to regional finals, including Final Four participant South Carolina.

Defending league champion Kentucky should garner much of the preseason attention at this year's Tipoff event. The Wildcats continues their annual tradition of welcoming one of the nation's most highly touted freshman classes. Kentucky's freshmen will help restock a roster that lost first-round draft picks De'Aaron Fox, Marcus Monk and Bam Adebayo from last year's team.

Kentucky isn't the only SEC team with a heralded freshman class. Missouri, which finished last in the SEC each of the past three years, has higher hopes under new coach Cuonzo Martin thanks to a crop of newcomers that includes Michael Porter Jr., regarded as the nation's No. 1 prospect in the freshman class.

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