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Dru Smith earns All SEC 1st team, Jeremiah Tilmon lands on 2nd team

Dru was also rewarded with a 1st team all defense honor.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s officially awards SZN now, and the markers of a good season is seeing your program rewarded with recognition. Few of the awards are very surprising, and in this case if you had to pick the Tigers most likely to land on these lists, you’d probably start with Dru Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon.

Dru Smith, Missouri’s do-everything guard, made an instant impact last season after transferring in from Evansville. Smith is top 15 in points per game, top 5 in assists, second in steals, and he’s also the 4th best Free Throw shooter in the conference. He was named 1st team All Conference and 1st team All Defense.

Tilmon, meanwhile, is enjoying his best season in his last one. After struggling with injuries much of last year, and inconsistency as a freshman and sophomore, Tilmon has averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, all while shooting over 63% from the field and adding much needed rim protection.

From the Press Release at MUTigers.com:

Smith and Tilmon, Jr., mark the first pair of Tigers to earn All-SEC honors in the same season since Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson in 2014. Smith is the first Tiger to claim a spot on a league All-Defensive Team since Mizzou joined the Southeastern Conference and the first since 2012 when Michael Dixon did so in the Big 12.

Smith becomes Mizzou’s first All-SEC first-team selection since Kassius Robertson in 2018 and the Tigers’ fourth since joining the league (Phil Pressey – 2013, Brown – 2014, Robertson – 2018). He led the SEC in steals for a second consecutive campaign with 2.1 thefts per game in league play. Additionally, he ranked third in assists (4.2 APG), 13th in scoring (14.8 PPG), fourth in free throw percentage (.839) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Smith was a three-time SEC Player of the Week during the regular season, the only player in the conference to nab the honor three times. He’s averaging 14.1 points, 3.4 boards, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals, one of just seven players nationally hitting all those marks this season. He scored in double figures 18 times in 23 games, leading Mizzou in scoring, assists and steals. Smith did all that while being tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best player night in and night out.

Tilmon, Jr., earned his first career SEC postseason honor after averaging 12.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks as a senior. The dominant big man shot a blistering 63.5 percent from the field, the 17th highest single-season field goal percentage in Southeastern Conference history. The 63.5 percent clip also matches the sixth-highest single-season field goal percentage in Mizzou history and the highest since Alex Oriakhi’s 63.9 percent clip in 2012-13.

Tilmon, Jr., finished the campaign ranking fourth in the SEC in rebounds, third in offensive boards and seventh in blocks. He led the league in double-doubles with seven. Tilmon, Jr., enters the postseason needing 14 points to become the 47th member of Mizzou’s 1,000-point club and the sixth Tiger in program history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks (Arthur Johnson, Laurence Bowers, Steve Stipanovich, Doug Smith and Jevon Crudup).

Congrats to both Tigers.

Here’s the full list of awards from SECSports.com:

First Team All-SEC

  • Herbert Jones, Alabama
  • John Petty Jr., Alabama
  • Moses Moody, Arkansas
  • Tre Mann, Florida
  • Cameron Thomas, LSU
  • Devontae Shuler, Ole Miss
  • Dru Smith, Missouri
  • Scotty Pippen Jr., Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC

  • Jaden Shackelford, Alabama
  • Colin Castleton, Florida
  • Sahvir Wheeler, Georgia
  • Javonte Smart, LSU
  • Trendon Watford, LSU
  • D.J. Stewart Jr., Mississippi State
  • Jeremiah Tilmon, Missouri
  • AJ Lawson, South Carolina

All-Freshman Team

  • Joshua Primo, Alabama
  • Moses Moody, Arkansas
  • Sharife Cooper, Auburn
  • KD Johnson, Georgia
  • Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky
  • Cameron Thomas, LSU
  • Keon Johnson, Tennessee
  • Jaden Springer, Tennessee

All-Defensive Team

  • Herbert Jones, Alabama
  • Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky
  • Abdul Ado, Mississippi State
  • Dru Smith, Missouri
  • Yves Pons, Tennessee

Coach of the Year: Nate Oats, Alabama

Player of the Year: Herbert Jones, Alabama

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Dylan Disu, Vanderbilt

Freshman of the Year: Moses Moody, Arkansas

Sixth-Man of the Year: JD Notae, Arkansas

Defensive Player of the Year: Herbert Jones, Alabama

The way the SEC does this voting is a little weird. For example, there are no real post players on the 1st team, and arguably none of them are point guards either. The SEC votes for 8 players on each the 1st and 2nd team, and then goes from there.

Later this week, Matt and I will release our own picks for 1st and 2nd teams, but this will actually be positional and we’re only picking the five spots. Which makes it WAY tougher, but you also have a functional team vs just acknowledging the SEC is clearly a guard run league.