Arkansas senior forward Moses Kingsley was named the SEC Preseason Player of the Year on Wednesday.
Kingsley has steadily developed into a potential NBA-caliber talent over the course of his career. He played sparingly his first two years on campus before having a breakout junior season in which he averaged 15.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
“I never envisioned that,” Kingsley told SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker of the preseason honor at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
“But, just like some people say, I think I deserve it. I feel like I put the work in.”
Although he didn’t play many minutes early in his career, Kingsley said that time was vital to his growth as a player. In a league dominated by star underclassmen, particularly at Kentucky, Kingsley is proud to have earned the preseason honor through results rather than expectations.
“I feel like it should be that way,” Kingsley said. “If someone hasn’t played a college game yet, you can’t just think he’s going to be good. There’s been disappointments sometimes if you give it to a freshman and he doesn’t do that good. But I feel like a senior who has paid his dues deserves it.”
Kingsley is one of only three seniors among the 12 players on either the first- or second-team preseason all-SEC rosters. He initially declared for the NBA draft after last season before withdrawing his name and opting to return to the Razorbacks.
“He was probably our most important recruit this year, getting him back on campus,” said Arkansas coach Mike Anderson.