Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Unbeaten Wichita St. emerges in Top 25


The last time Wichita State was in The Associated Press' Top 25 its star player was Xavier McDaniel, and current coach Mark Turgeon was still in high school.

The Shockers entered the rankings Monday at No. 24, their first appearance since Dec. 6, 1983. It comes following a victory Sunday against George Mason, their recent big rival.

Kansas University, after a 78-71 loss to Oral Roberts last week, fell from third to 10th. But the story in the Sunflower State this week may be in Wichita.

"It's nice when you haven't been ranked in a long time. It's good because I've watched programs build themselves up and get national exposure and be in the Top 25," Turgeon said. "I'd rather be in the Top 25 in February as every coach says, but right now we're going off last's year's success rather then an early season win over George Mason."

The Shockers lost to George Mason twice last season, but Wichita State (3-0) beat George Mason 72-66 on Sunday, a win that drew enough attention to move them into the rankings.

Maryland (5-0) was the other newcomer in the poll, moving in at No. 25 after winning the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Terrapins were ranked for the first 12 polls last season, reaching as high as 14th.

Florida (4-0) beat North Florida, Jacksonville and Chattanooga by an average of 41 points last week to easily hold the No. 1 spot for a third straight week. The Gators received 66 first-place votes and 1,794 points from the 72-member national media panel.


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