If the Big 12 Conference women's basketball coaches are correct, Kansas University will be a first-division team in 2005-2006.
The Jayhawks, who haven't had a winning season since 1999-2000, were predicted to finish sixth in the annual coaches poll released Thursday.
"We don't place a lot of emphasis on preseason polls," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said, "but it is a good feeling to receive that type of respect from the coaches in our league."
Kansas was eighth in the conference standings last season after posting a 5-11 record. Overall, the Jayhawks were 12-16, finishing with a sub-.500 record for the fifth straight year.
"I think it says something about how far we've come to be picked two spots higher than we finished last year," Henrickson said, "but it won't mean anything if we don't go out and prove it on the floor."
The coaches picked defending NCAA champion Baylor to win its second consecutive league title. The Bears received six first-place votes and totaled 113 points. Texas was a close second with two first-place votes and 110 points.
Texas Tech was third with the four remaining first-place votes and 108 points. Oklahoma was fourth with 91 points, Nebraska fifth with 70 and KU sixth with 66.
Texas A&M topped the second division with 59 points. Kansas State, an NCAA Tournament team last year, slipped to eighth with 56 points, followed by Iowa State with 45, Missouri 37, Oklahoma State 23 and Colorado 14.
¢ Big weekend: Henrickson is gearing up for a huge weekend in recruiting. Aija Putnina, a 6-foot-3 senior power forward from Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo., will attend Late Night in the Phog, as will Kelly Kohn, a 5-9 senior guard from Adrian, Mich. Putnina, who hails from Latvia, is the No. 14-rated power forward in the country by All Star Girls Report. Also on hand will be junior standout Tyra White, a 5-11 guard from Hickman Mills High in Kansas City, Mo. Three Jayhawks who have verbally committed will attend: Danielle McCray, 6-0, Olathe East; Sade Morris, 6-0, Norman, Okla., and Lindsay Ballweg, 5-10, Overland Park Aquinas.