Originally published October 30, 2008 at 10:47a.m., updated October 30, 2008 at 05:52p.m.

KU men’s basketball 23rd in preseason coaches poll


The defending national champion Kansas University men's basketball team was ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

The Jayhawks lost all five starters and six of their top eight scorers from last year's 37-3 team, including five who were taken in last summer's NBA draft.

For the second straight season, North Carolina, who lost to Kansas in last year's Final Four, will begin the year at No. 1. The Tar Heels received all 31 first-place votes.

Following North Carolia in the top 5 is Connecticut, Louisville, UCLA and Duke.

The Jayhawks are one of just three Big 12 teams ranked in the top 25, joining Texas (No. 8) and Oklahoma (No. 14).

ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. North Carolina (31) 0-0 775

2. Connecticut 0-0 707

3. Louisville 0-0 694

4. UCLA 0-0 650

5. Duke 0-0 578

6. Pittsburgh 0-0 576

7. Michigan State 0-0 572

8. Texas 0-0 538

9. Notre Dame 0-0 525

10. Purdue 0-0 465

11. Gonzaga 0-0 437

12. Memphis 0-0 425

13. Tennessee 0-0 408

14. Oklahoma 0-0 387

15. Arizona State 0-0 304

16. Miami (FL) 0-0 233

17. Marquette 0-0 219

18. Georgetown 0-0 175

19. Florida 0-0 161

20. Davidson 0-0 158

21. USC 0-0 153

21. Wisconsin 0-0 153

23. Kansas 0-0 130

24. Wake Forest 0-0 129

25. Villanova 0-0 122

Others Receiving Votes

UNLV 60, Saint Mary's 59, Ohio State 54, Baylor 47, Xavier 27, Syracuse 23, Texas A&M; 19, LSU 19, Arizona 18, Virginia Tech 15, Brigham Young 13, West Virginia 10, Washington 8, Siena 8, Kentucky 7, Vanderbilt 7, Oklahoma State 4, Clemson 2, Washington State 1.


kansaspike 11 years, 4 months ago

Sounds about right for us.Duke over ranked again.

Rivethead 11 years, 4 months ago

We're rated too high. NC hangover effect.

bryan123456789 11 years, 4 months ago

We are not overrated at 23 as many of you seem to think above. Why dont you people who think we are overrated take a look at some of the teams ranked ahead of us and see if they have 2 high school McDonalds All Americans on their team. We have Sherron Collins who may be one of the best point guards in the country, Cole Aldrich who would already be a star if he would have gone anywhere but Kansas. Davidson is not better than us, Wisconsin is not better than us, after those 2 I wont say we are better than some of the teams (USC, Florida, Miami) but I am not sure they are better than us. And we would kick DUKE's ass if we played them, some1 please post that picture of a dookie with his tounge out have unprotected sex with not so Physco T, his name should be MRS. tyler hans-buries his head in the ground when she plays the JAYHAWKS

msthompson37 11 years, 4 months ago

DUKE overrated again. Acc gets coddled by ESPN.

keith horinek 11 years, 4 months ago

Where's Baylor? they were picked above KU in the big 12 preseason poll and yet no mention here? by the end of the season we will be top 10.

Mo Golany 11 years, 4 months ago

Carolina beter pray they don't land us in the tourney! We still have the swagger and confidence of being National Champions and Sherron will let them know that they are pansies and our young guys can take em!

GoBadgers 11 years, 4 months ago

Most teams are able to retain a decent pre-season ranking after losing a lot of players. The No. 23 ranking just goes to show what a joke kU's incoming recruiting class is. There are so many good players out there that kU didn't even glance at, which is too bad because they're 10 times better than the recruits kU did land.

bryan123456789 11 years, 4 months ago

and on another note WE ARE CAPABLE OF MAKING THE FINAL 4 THIS YEAR, there are not any dominant teams outside of UNC (Usually Not Champions) and I think we have as good a chance as anyone

stravinsky 11 years, 4 months ago

Badgers is a mizzou fan if I remember right, so have pity on his basketball team. Doesn't look good for them.From what I hear, Aldrich will breakout in awesome, Sherron should rock again, Taylor is getting rave reviews, Releford sort of made the u-19 national team (so I imagine he'll be pretty decent), the Super Morris Bros are gonna be solid, and the rest of the group isn't looking too shabby either. Should be a good group. They get some ranked teams relatively early, which I'm excited about. Pressure cook those kids. They'll have ice water in their veins by tournament time. Stephen Curry is my homeboy. Louisville and Pittsburgh will probably flake out. Just like football? Memphis will be top 10 by tournament. Duke will lose to UNC and will lose in the Sweet 16. Miami Fl. and Purdue will probably disappoint. And thats my bs predictions for the year!

JayhawkPurist 11 years, 4 months ago

What most of you seem to be neglecting in your analyses is that talent can only take you so far. The other two most important things: coaching and character/chemistry.Regarding the first, if anything, last year solidified the notion that Coach Self and his staff--particularly Manning and his influence on the post players--are among the top 5 in the land.Regarding the second, the jury is still out here. We don't know what kind of leader Collins can be, which of the newcomers will assume leadership roles, and if those leaders will be enough to overcome any potential immature and/or destructive players. I have to believe Self only recruits guys he thinks are coachable and of good character, but you never know until the pressure is on. On that note, I thought one of the most provocative comments on this board was the suggestion that at least one of the guys on the current roster will transfer. I wonder if that's true, and if so, whether it'll be for purely logistical reasons (i.e. too much talent, not enough minutes in a game) or character (i.e. Giddens, Giles).

emphawker 11 years, 4 months ago

Ranking or no ranking, I'm excited to see our team play. For fans of schools that don't have such a rich tradition, it's cool to see their team ranked. Davidson fans are probably thrilled sh!t-less. We have the luxury of being Jayhawk fans, no ranking necessary. We will find out soon enough how good this group can be.

bashe24 11 years, 4 months ago

ummm........possibly a bit overrated but lets love it while we self said a couple years ago we had no idea what we were getting.......its too bad some of these kids will end up transferring out

rockchalkin54 11 years, 4 months ago

I have to admit, I'm kinda surprised we are ranked. But it sounds pretty good. I can't wait for the season to start! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

JNHawks 11 years, 4 months ago

thank you ESU, a picture can say a million words

bryan123456789 11 years, 4 months ago

GoBadgers- whats you said sounds retarted. Most teams are NOT able to retain a decent preseason ranking after losing a lot of players. That is just common sense. KU incoming class is a lot better than your crappy Wisconsin Badgers. You have no idea what you are talking about. It is awfully hard to recruit the top 10 recruits when we had a team full of NBA players last year and 3 were underclassmen. Go back to Wisconsin webpages, us Jayhawks dont like your kind around these parts. There is no reason to even bash Wisconsin because you guys are NEVER a threat to KANSAS and what we want to do, YOU NEED TO GET ON OUR LEVEL!!

John Stowell 11 years, 4 months ago

We'll start off quiet, but we'll finish the season better than 23rd. 23rd would suggest we wouldn't even make the sweet 16, and I think Self will have them well coached by then.

KU 11 years, 4 months ago

Who cares about preseason rankings? We very likely could lose 5 or 6 non-conference games due to a pretty tough schedule. That doesn't mean we're a bad team, it just means we are a young team that hasn't come together yet. We'll be pretty competitive in the Big 12 if everybody buys in to Self's tough-minded defense. I don't have outrageous expectations for this team, so it will be fun to watch them grow.

GoBadgers 11 years, 4 months ago

Let me bring you up to speed bryan123456789 (nice username). First of all, I am not a Wisconsin fan. If you are a regular visitor to this site, you would know that already. My username stems from my deep, deep appreciation and respect for badgers. You know, the animal? Maybe you've heard of them. They get angry and tear things apart. Like chickenhawks.Second, what you wrote actually sounds retarded. Try reading it out loud. I'm not talking about the points you make. I'm talking about your spelling and the order in which you place words. English is your second language, right?

GoBadgers 11 years, 4 months ago

Haha. Acting like you don't know if I'm a man or woman. Hahaha. Hilarious!

hometownhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

GoBadgers has no friends and his/her life is futile, so take it easy on him/her.

cklarock 11 years, 4 months ago

We might be a bit overrated at this stage of the season, but a couple of early losses will right the rankings ship. I do expect to us to be a legit top 25 by the end of the season, but early on it's likely to be pretty ugly.I'm excited beyond all measure to watch Coach Self build another team. Rock Chalk!

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 11 years, 4 months ago

i honestly don't care about early rankings, or even early losses, which we'll likely have a few of being young. i just want the hawks to do well enough to make it to the tournament, and to have learned a few things along the way to go far in it.

KUbsee69 11 years, 4 months ago

Returning Sherron & Cole, and adding to that the #2 ranked recruiting class looks pretty good to me. Coach Self, at Late Night, said something to the effect that "this team reminds him a lot of the team three years ago and look what happened three years later".Three years ago, KU went 23-7 and was ranked #9 going into the NCAA tourney. I think the #23 is actually somewhat low. I'd rank KU in the upper teens, like Rivals & Blue Ribbon have done.One more thing ... as dismayed as I am to see the return of GoBadgers to the mix, I'd advise everyone not to get into a battle of wits with him. Afterall, it's not fair to do battle with the unarmed ;-)

11 years, 4 months ago

DallasHawk ~ ABC is exercising their six-day selection rights for next weekend's games, pending the outcome of this weekend's games. The game times and television coverage should be announced either late this Saturday or sometime this Sunday. It looks like we will either play at 6pm on FSN, or it may not be televised if not selected - - in which case NU would probably determine the game time. I am not sure, but if we are not selected for the 6pm FSN slot, it could be picked up on a PPV basis. Here is the Big 12 Conference press release (see upper right-hand side of page 2) explaining it:

rawkhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

No guarantees, but I think we might surprise some people this year. We are unknown in how the team will come together this year with the new players, but we have enourmous talent and coach BS. I look forward to the season.

bryan123456789 11 years, 4 months ago

and another thing GoBadgers: I doubt you could name 4 of the 7 recruits we did land this year, and if you knew anything you would have realized this is a very similar class to Russ Rob/Sasha/Darnell's recriuting class that brought us a national chamionship. Maybe you should use your own mind to evaluate talent and not just look at what rivals/ have as a number by the players name.....and since that seems to be you only source of info, maybe you should look and see what KANSAS recruiting class was ranked???get back to me on that cuz it is top 5 buddy, some have it ranked as the #2 recruiting class....must be pretty good players if they are ranked that high

DallasHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone know if they have annouced a game time for the Nebraska game next week? I assumed it was TV related, but they usually have them scheduled 2 weeks before if they are being carried.

Joe Ross 11 years, 4 months ago

It's been recently divulged to me that some might feel I have an addiction to KU sports (ya THINK???). I suppose it's time to come out of the closet and admit that I do, but what malice begrudges a red-blooded American for rooting for the "home team"? Between episodes of ostentatious key-stroke monitoring I pause to consider why people even care in the first place. Nevertheless, I am unapologetically boastful of fervor and zeal on behalf of these Kansas Jayhawks. If sports weren't enjoyable they wouldnt play the games! I should interject with a mea culpa and admit to not always having had my priorities in life in line; even so, a love for KU athletics has never been and is not now something that's ever been the source of wayward meanderings. I have my priorities firmly in place at the moment, but i will not yield one inch to killjoys who want nothing other than to strip a person bare of anything enjoyable in life, and leave them naked as a tree after the fall. "Let them eat cake!"ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!

avaholic 11 years, 4 months ago

That sounds about right. I wouldn't have been suprised to not be in it at all. Losing 7 players will do that.

Trobs 11 years, 4 months ago

2 recruiting class. That's what kept us in the top 25. Anything lower then 10 would've easily pushed us out. Won't matter. We "stole" our #1 seed from Texas. We were gonna lose to Davidson. NC was gonna beat us. Memphis was picked to win.Then again, I believe we won all of those games.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 4 months ago

I think KU is placed right where they need to be considering all of the "Unknowns" with this team. I like this team better than 3 years ago, but I also think we're a 20-25 ranked team. I do think Baylor got robbed and they will use that as bulletin board material for when they play us. I think Baylor, at least preseason and on paper, is a Top 20 team. I am too lazy to scroll to the top and find the name, but Davidson is not ranked where they need to be. They are a Top 15 team and I actually would put money on them right now to beat our squad. I am a Jayhawk fan to no end, but we also have to be somewhat realistic. Davidson lost 2 players, albeit a big part was their point guard, but will not miss a beat with their recruiting class as well as their returning players. I have the utmost respect for Davidson and I will be pulling for them as my second favorite team this year. I just hope Davidson gets an 8 seed in the same regional as the Tarheels. Let us be the darkhorse again. I like being in the shadow and then always pulling through. History has shown that the Jayhawks do their best work when we're not favored. 88, 91, 93, 03, 08. I love being a champion and there is no greater place in the world in showing off your "KU Apparrel" than in the State of North Carolina. Every weekend I have my KU hat and shirts ready to go for public display. I love it! Go Hawks!

Buck08 11 years, 4 months ago

I dont think you can really set a standard for this team. I think it was a good move by Self to get some guys that wont jet early for the NBA. Right now the talent level on the team is very balanced and the potential is very high obviously, I think it just depends on how everyone gels together during practice/games. I am very excited to watch our young and talented team but I will be even more excited to watch them "all together still" (hopefully) next year.

jchief40 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey just stopping by to say GoBadgers is a complete jerkstore. Bye

jcsmith 11 years, 4 months ago

I dont think we're over rated at all. I think this group of kids is going to suprise ALOT of people. After watchin some of them at latenight, we deff have ALOT of talent back on the floor. I serisouly dont see competing for the conference championship out of reach. Mark my words. These kids will impress this season.

bryan123456789 11 years, 4 months ago

GoBadgers- sorry I didn't come up with a cool user name such as yours. I chose to go the easy route and use my name. Also, I apologize for not spell checking my entire post, and for also using slang terms such as "cuz".P.S....I hate badgers, and if I had the chance I'd shoot one right in its' hind parts, and make a cool hat out of its' tail.

mikehawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Living in Tulsa and watching what Bill Self could do with whatever talent he had to work with when he coached here at ORU and Tulsa, and given we do have talented players with great versatility, I would say chances are good that we will be a team that no one wants to play by season end. I bet Coach Bill is having a great time working with the raw talent that he has on hand. Rankings mean nothing right now, especially when everyone's record is 0-0.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

jasongill,We are same pagers regarding optimism for this team.I see them grabbing either a conference title, or a conference tourney title, if injuries don't rear up.I think people are underestimating how much other teams lost and how good marcus morris, tyshawn taylor and little are.

kvskubball 11 years, 4 months ago

I think the rating is a little high for us, as a mostly inexperienced team, at the beginning of the season. By the end of the season, I think we probably will be at least worthy of a 23. Preseason polls are like beauty contests, they're nice to watch and to win, but in the grand scheme of things don't mean much.We have a lot of talent, and the players looked really comfortable on the court in the Late Night scrimmage, but if you all remember, the start three years ago was to put it mildly a little bit of rough weather (and that wasn't against the top-caliber competition we face this non-con season), but Coach certainly got the ship turned in the right direction. I'm sure that he'll make the most of the talent he has. By the way, our recruiting class has been ranked in three different places as the #2, #5, and #11 recruiting class.Beak'em???...Beak'em???..........I just can't get into that...Is it just me???? Would a mythical creature like our great Jayhawk want to "beak'em"??? Maybe it's just me, but it's always seemed kinda lame.Rock Chalk Jayhawks, Rock on, "Beak'em" and all!!!

kvskubball 11 years, 3 months ago

sevenyearhawk and txrockchalk,Thanks for the link!!!!!I still don't like beak'em, but great post in response!!!!LOLps: Is that your tongue sticking out at me, or your nose?Good job!!!!!

ChicagoJHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

GoBadgers is full of sh#t when he says he's not a Wisconsin fan! I've seen him say that before but he's always here bashing KU. Wisconsin lost to Davidson last year and we were national champions! What do you have to say about that?? But I guess you're not a Wisconsin fan right, you just like playing with animals huh?

kataboom 11 years, 3 months ago

if GOBadgers was a fan of the animal, then where does he want the animal to go? obviously its a fan chant. badgers suck balls.

MountainHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Wow i just noticed the LJW corrected their misprint in this article, way to go jw! maybe my previouse post had something to do with this?

KUFan90 11 years, 3 months ago

I think we are ranked about right given we lost all 5 starters, and I guarantee we will finish the season ranked higher than #23.

MountainHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

What would you rather the Mythical Jayhawk do? Wing'em?... He does have shoes so i guess he could kick'em. Beak'em has been around every bit as long as a lot of KU cheers and has a sweet shirt to go wit it. The Rock Chalk chant, however, is still the best college chear there is. Period.

MountainHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Anyone had a look at espn's updated rookie top 50?...Arthur, Chalmers, and Rush come in at 4,5,and 9 respectivley. It still has Darrell and Mario's individuals headlines as that B.S. pot story though. Looks like our boys are gonna dominate in the league too. Sherron, Cole, and the sensational seven are gonna turn heads this year, maybe earlier than expected... Beak'em Rock Chalk

jasonsgill 11 years, 4 months ago

I'll be disappointed if we don't win the conference, either regular season or tournament. And if we don't get past the first weekend of the NCAA. I don't know if my standards are too high, but I have alot of faith in BS and this new class (not to mention a healthy Sherron and older Cole).

Michael Auchard 11 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone think that GoBadgers might really be the ghost of Phog or some other ancient Missouri douche-fan? Since they were so lambasted on here in the past they chose some nobody team like Wisconsin that no one gives a crap to further their cause? I mean, why would someone from WISCONSIN even pretend to be in our league? I smell Misery here.

MountainHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

I think the #23 ranking is fine for pre-season, fact is theres a lot of unknowns with this team just like there were three four years ago with sasha, darnell, galindo, downs, giles, chalmers, rush, ext... we know we have one of the top three active coaches, and ton of talent(whats new right), but we dont know how everything will pan out. Based on selfs comments and comments of those who have seen these newhawks play im very excited, it will be fun to watch self mold these young men into one of our nations basketball elite. I look for a strong 20 win season top three finish in the BIG XII and i dont think a sweet sixteen appearence is out of teh question. Rock Chalk babyps. Support our football team their still in the big XII hunt, Get loud and home games

MountainHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Just a note for the jw, five players drafted, not four, five, Brandon Rush (1) Darrell Arthur(2)Mario Chalmers(3)Darnell Jackson(4)and Sasha Kaun(5). I know Shasha's playing in Russia right now but he still got drafted 30th in the 2nd round, hense KU tying the players drafted record with 5, it would be nice if the JW would get some writers who care about KU sports to post on here, or at least one good enough to do some research, step your game up jw

Dan Harris 11 years, 4 months ago

gobadgers- have you ever seen the y-tube video of the 2 golden retriever's tearing apart your beloved badger? Yeah real tough to get taken out by mans best friend, By the way, when was the last time Mizzsuckit won a national championship?

Cody Stumma 11 years, 4 months ago

Just a reminder... does anybody remember the Big 12 Tournament last year? Baylor (#5) was upsetted by Colorado (#12) in double overtime...That may of hurt their ranking too. Just a thought.I just hope our Women's team can make it to the dance this year as well...

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