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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jayhawks tapped No. 1

Kansas hoops clear favorite in USA Today poll

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Kansas University’s men’s basketball team remains the popular preseason pick to win the 2010 NCAA championship.

The Sherron Collins/Cole Aldrich-led Jayhawks, who went 27-8, won the Big 12 and reached the Sweet 16 a year ago, have been tapped No. 1 in today’s USA Today/ESPN preseason coaches poll.

The Jayhawks — who this afternoon are expected to garner the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press poll and have also been named No. 1 by writers from Lindy’s and Athlon magazines, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and many dot.coms — received 27 of 31 first-place votes and 770 points from a national panel of coaches. KU also netted three second-place votes and a third.

Runner-up Michigan State earned three first-place votes and 732 points. Texas was third (676 points), followed by defending champ North Carolina, which had one first-place vote and 653 points.

Kentucky was fifth, followed by Villanova, Purdue, Duke, West Virginia, Butler, Tennessee, California, Washington, UConn, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Dayton, Louisville, Clemson and Syracuse.

“It’s a great honor to be No. 1, but we’re in November,” KU junior center Aldrich said. “If you tell me we’ll be No. 1 in April, I’ll be all for it. But it is November and there are a lot of games to be played.”

This marks the third time in the 21-year history of the coaches poll KU has been named preseason No. 1. Other times were before the 1996-97 and 2004-05 seasons.

“I don’t know if we’re deserving of what they say,” KU coach Bill Self said of the 2009-10 Jayhawks, jokingly referring to the pick as “the kiss of death,” in today’s USA Today newspaper.

“The reason we are preseason No. 1 is we had two guys last year who played unbelievable. Cole and Sherron had All-America- type years and we are fortunate enough to have them come back to school this year because they love KU.”

Realistically speaking ... “There are 10 teams, 15 teams by Jan. 1 that have a legitimate shot. There are always teams that come out of nowhere that have a shot,” Self said.

KU today figures to top the AP poll for the second time in school history. AP had the Jayhawks No. 1 before the ’04-05 campaign.

“We could be real good. We have a chance to do some special things, but everything has to fall in the right place,” KU senior Collins said.

For now, KU’s coaches can try to use the No. 1 ranking to the program’s benefit in recruiting.

“It’s good that people see us as the best team in the country. We all know we have a long way to go,” sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor said. “We all are on the same page. If we work better every day, the better we’ll be in March.”

Ticket info

A limited number of $20 tickets remain for Tuesday’s exhibition opener versus Fort Hays State and the Nov. 10 game vs. Pittsburg State. A limited number of $35 tickets remain for KU’s non-conference games. Fans may buy tickets by calling 1-800-34-HAWKS or logging onto kuathletics.com.

Comments

KY_Cats1 10 years, 2 months ago

This ranking and any others this season that do not have Kentucky at the top are simply an affront to the greatness that is this UK team. Revenge, thy name is Kentucky come April. UK basketball is sacrosanct, period. All of the haters can only aspire. Envy our past - fear our future.

Fantasy - Kansas starts the season ranked #1; a united team strolls through the pre-conference, Big 12, and postseason with few or no scratches; claims the national championship.

Reality - Turmoil erupts in the Kansas athletic department including team fights, DWIs, shady car deals, and player suspensions before the basketball season starts; lack of administrative, athletic department, and team leadership fosters dissension and jealousy within the basketball team; Kansas starts the season ranked #1 but falls precipitously after pre-conference losses to Memphis, UCLA, California, and Tennessee; overrated status is confirmed during Big 12 season with losses to Kansas St., Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St., and Missouri; loss in Big 12 tourney leads to even weaker seed in NCAA tourney; Kansas fails to make it past the second round of NCAA tourney after losing to TBD Mid-Major St. University; fickle Kansas fans make every “coulda, shoulda, woulda” excuse possible to justify why team underachieved…again; mass exodus of players to 2010 NBA draft and via transfer continues decline in program from 2008 high-point; mediocre Kansas recruiting class only hastens return to also-ran status.

Certainty - Kentucky rolls through the regular season easily winning the SEC title; the SEC tourney title follows without a challenge; John Wall is named national PoY and Coach Cal is named national CoY; the Cats return to the Final Four and raise the NCAA tourney trophy on championship Monday night in Indy giving Big Blue Nation championship #8; the college basketball world rejoices as the Cats return to their rightful place on the throne; #1 rated recruiting classes come to Kentucky for at least 5 straight years; the Cats win at least 3 of the next 5 NCAA tourney championships.

Go Big Blue!!!

UK Wildcats YOUR 2009-’10 NCAA Tourney Champs

minnhawk84 10 years, 2 months ago

"Other times were before the 1996-97 and 2004-05 seasons."

Starting off at #1 isn't necessary a great thing; while I have my hopes up, I agree with Aldrich.....there are a lot of games to play, and Jayhawk fans have been here before. Those national championships are tough to come by.......and there are no guarantees. Enjoy the ride, and great things MIGHT happen.

RockChalk1225 10 years, 2 months ago

Little early to be drinking KY_Cats? Come on, if your post was at all valid it could be responded to. I will bet you any amount of money that Kentucky doesnt win this year, or 3 of the next 5. That was the biggest joke of your post. Wall eligible yet?

November polls are pointless. Fun to be recognized, but meaningless. Hope the basketball team takes notice of how the football team is underachieving and takes nothing for granted. Bring your best everytime you step of the floor.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

..."Coach Cal is named national CoY" (KY_Cats1)

This accolade is accurate and a great prediction. He will be named "Crook of the Year" There are some other C words that could be substituted, but I've recently had comments removed for suggesting them, so for now it's CrookOY.

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

“It’s a great honor to be No. 1, but we’re in November,” KU junior center Aldrich said. “If you tell me we’ll be No. 1 in April, I’ll be all for it. But it is November and there are a lot of games to be played.”

Great perspective!

RCJHKU

Tom Gillaspie 10 years, 2 months ago

Kentucky fans sure are desperate for a return to national prominence. Maybe you should select a coach that will be there for more than two/three years before you get that excited.

stravinsky 10 years, 2 months ago

Man, I guess Cats forgets that John Wall still has to, you know, actually become eligible. Wham bam thank you ma'am.

Maybe if they're lucky, KY will get a record win season, just like Cal brought to Memphis -- only to have the entire season forfeited, just like at Memphis.

farnamjayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

I can't even imagine going to a corntucky website....or N. Carolina, Duke, ucla etc. What would I be looking for or doing there? K_Y Cats needs a life and oh, wait....he's a wild cat fan. They have nothing else.

KUbsee69 10 years, 2 months ago

KY_Cats ... 150-90!!! Your fantasies can't erase that.

Joel Hood 10 years, 2 months ago

Oh KY, shall we review?? Yes, we shall…

1940s – 1950s: KY basketball found guilty of point shaving. Received the NCAA version of the death penalty.

1950s – 1960s: KY Adolph refuses to recruit African American players. Why? He knew the racist boosters would go berserk. Finally, in 1969, KY Adolph gets Thomas Payne as his first African American player. In such a learned environment as KY, what did the fans do? They booed Payne on their own home court. Why? He was black.

1980s: Players cheating on college entrance exams and packages of money bursting open before being received by recruits. KY fires Eddie Sutton and AD just in time to avoid getting hit with modern version of NCAA death penalty. Oh yes, and KY suffers its worst loss ever (to KU) in 1989 to close out the decade on a high note.

1990s: KY runs off Pitino, their best coach in years. He then returns to the great state of KY, except in archival Louisville. You must be so proud.

2000s: KY hires their first African American coach in late 1990’s. Not bad. But, soon runs him off because he ran a clean program and did not win a second NC title, after he just won his first NC at KY. Nice loyalty. Later, KY hires a great coach in Billy Clyde and then drives him to drink. But that’s OK; KY then hires the sleaziest coach currently available – a man who has abandoned two separate Final Fours at two different schools. Within months of coach Sleazys arrival at KY, the top recruit is under investigation for illegal contact with a professional sports agent.

Yes KY, if I were a cat fan, I'd simply be bursting with pride in my past and so excited for the future. If I were you, I'd go to Office Depot and see if they sell asterisks by the gross.

RCJH

Jaminrawk 10 years, 2 months ago

"Envy our past - fear our future."

Really, no one envys a basketball team that has to play in a town that smells like horse dung 365 days a year. In addition, the only people that should be fearing Kentucky's future are the Kentucky fans. Now that Cal is in charge, Kentucky, just like UMASS, Memphis and the New Jersey Nets, will regret hiring him for one reason or another.

Christopher Hauser 10 years, 2 months ago

KY_Cats1- funny stuff, If we take your bait we asked for it! Have a good day sir.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 2 months ago

Better to be lucky than good... UK will be lucky to keep any wins after it's all said and done. Sad that the first post on this blog is from a wannabe. Are we a little worried Mr. finger pointer hater guy? Better stock up on the duct tape because it's going to be a long winter.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

In my most serious attitude possible, the two teams with the most pressure on them and the biggest targets on their backs will be the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats.

A.]Kansas because of expectations based on the preseason Number One Ranking. B.]Kentucky because of the preseason Number One Recruiting Class.

Every night, both teams will face opponents psyched to the max to beat them...to some this will be their opponents NCAA Final.

The question is simple...which team is going to be best equipped to handle and respond to the pressure; the team with the National Championship Coach and two National Champion Preseason All-Americans or the team with a starting line up of three talented [including the preeseason Player of the Year] but still untested freshman and a coach in his first year in the his school's extreme pressure cooker.

That is the question that the season will answer. Erase the names from the jerseys, call the teams A.] and B.] then decide.

63Jayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

What's all this chatter about Kentucky? Do they still play basketball? I thought they gave it up several years ago.

buzzardbait 10 years, 2 months ago

ky cats must be sipping too much of grandma's cough medicine. I agree that UK should be great but he shouldn't discount what KU has this year. I think KU VS UK would be an intriguing matchup in the final four for several reasons. It's ok that both teams could be exceptional in the same year and duke it out. Go Jayhawks!

phognasty 10 years, 2 months ago

Kentucky hasnt been decent since the internet. I had a Zack Morris phone the last time Kentucky was relevent.

irish2255 10 years, 2 months ago

The real question is KYcats still up smoking meth from last night or is he already smoking meth this morning?

keith horinek 10 years, 2 months ago

KY_ jelly1, "Wall's status remains up in the air two weeks before Kentucky's season opener against Morehead State as the NCAA investigates the relationship between Wall and Brian Clifton, his former AAU coach". That quote was from ESPN. Calipari is a joke and will eventually bring UK to it's blue knees with his underhanded tactics. Look what he did at Memphis and UMass. He leaves stink everywhere he goes. Just give it time. By the way what are you doing here on a KU site anyway, don't you have some horse manure to shovel?

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 2 months ago

Hey KY_Cats1,

Here's a riddle for you: Where does Coach Cal go for vacation??

UMass, Memphis, and now Kentucky.

Enjoy your vacated season.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

I've said it many times that I do believe rankings matter over the course of the season even though many will disagree with me. Teams like UNC and Kentucky, I am still baffled, somehow get "Benefit of the Doubt" and are Top 5 teams according to this preseason AP poll. How does this happen? Yes, UNC has a couple "Experienced" pieces coming back from last year's championship team, they have a very talented frontline, and they have a good recruiting class (Top 5) coming in. Does this warrant a Top 5 ranking? IMO, No they don't! I will get to this reasoning here in a second. As for Kentucky, they haven't done anything the last 5 years to warrant anything in the Top 5. Yes, there is no doubt they have have the best recruiting class coming in from last year, but there are so many question marks with UK. Does this warrant a Top 5 ranking? IMO, No they don't. Could both of these teams be in contention by the end of the season. Without a doubt, but let's not leave the cookie jar with freshly baked cookies by grandma laying on the floor for all the kiddies to steal.

Why is there such a discrepciency in this system? I ask this because KU had the #2 recruiting class last year and even though nobody thought Cole Aldrich would turn out to be what he is now, KU did start the season with one of the best point guards in the nation last year in Sherron Collins. Kansas started the season at #23 preseason last year. Did KU warrant this ranking last year? IMO, I thought it should have been a little higher and I thought it should have been 15-19, but was #23 okay, yes it was okay. I just don't get it with the Top 5 rankings for both UNC and Kentucky? Kansas, who started #23 last season had to "Claw" and "Grind" their way the entire season just to get into to the Top 10 in the second to last ranking AP poll last year. Because of "Timliness" with losses, KU dropped out of the Top 25, came back in, and then slowly moved their way up over conference play. They EARNED their ranking and seed even though I thought they should have been a #2 seed. Based on the current rankings and should Kentucky and UNC have similar seasons to KU last year, the worst either of those teams will ever fall would be no less than Top 15? Huh? That Sucks with a capital "TS" baby! If UK and UNC's "Timely" losses don't matter that much we should all but just give those two universitites a #1 or #2 seed come March. Now, is that really fair? IMO, I think it is a mockery of the ranking system, but not worse than the current BCS system.

Again, I have my own opinions and I do firmly believe that college basketball rankings do matter when it comes to seedings and the NCAA tournament. Yes, their are a number of other variables with RPI and strength of schedule, but should UNC and Kentucky just be given "Benefit of the Doubt" for something they haven't EARNED yet? Absolutely with out question, no they should not!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

I posted this on cbssports.com, but here is my Top 26. After discussions on that thread, I was convinced that my OU ranking was a little "High" I would probably move them down to #21 or lower. Considering KU's ranking last year, I would say this is about right for OU.

  1. Kansas:

  2. Michigan State

  3. Texas

  4. Villanova

  5. Purdue

6 West Virginia

  1. Duke

  2. Washington

  3. Connecticut

  4. California

  5. North Carolina

  6. Tennessee

  7. Butler

  8. Clemson

  9. Kentucky:

  10. Oklahoma

  11. Minnesota

  12. Dayton

  13. Ohio State

  14. Michigan

  15. Siena

  16. Oklahoma State

  17. Illinois

  18. Georgetown

  19. Gonzaga

  20. K-State

keith horinek 10 years, 2 months ago

Nice post KUSHAW. finally someone who is not afraid to say it like it is. I do think you may have Duke too high though. They return Kyle Singler as their most experienced and talented player, after that they drop off pretty fast. Coach K is stuck in the 80's and cannot compete with these 21st century coaches like HCBS. Otherwise, nice comments.

Brett Glover 10 years, 2 months ago

Stay away from the Kentucky Deluxe there KY.

Been waiting for this article for God knows how long. Title time baby! ROCK CHALK!

suttonku 10 years, 2 months ago

KYcats, looks like you all have so much class in Kentucky...Go on a KU website because you are jealous of our #1 ranking.

I got a question, is John Wall cleared yet? LOL

Brett Glover 10 years, 2 months ago

Great top 26 KuShaw, to me that seems like how it'll turn out in April.

RCJH

JayHawkJay82 10 years, 2 months ago

I think part of UNC's being ranked so high has to do with their strength of schedule. In the first month of the season they play #2 MSU, #3 Texas, and #5 UK (Debatable), not to mention Duke twice. After this stretch of games the country will have a better gauge of where the Tarheels are, and I think that the ranking they come out of that stretch with is what is going to stick with them for most of the season.

Think about it. Because of the schedule, if UNC wins all those games they will be #2 (possible #1, i hope not!) with the best resume in the land. If the split those games they will drop to the 7-10 range which is more accurate. If they drop all games they go down to 15-20. Losses against Top 5 teams should not drop you out of the top 25 in my opinion.

jhawkfan1981 10 years, 2 months ago

WOW KY CATS!! KENTUCKY GETS A GREASY COACH AND A FEW 1 AND DONE THUGS...AND YOU THINK YOUR PROGRAM HAS RETURNED TO GLORY??...WATCH OUT FOR PROBATIONS AND LIMITED SCHOLARSHIPS. THEY HAVENT EVEN PLAYED A GAME YET, AND WALL MIGHT NOT EVEN PLAY UNTIL THE FIRST OF NEXT YEAR...JUST FACE IT..ITS GONNA BE ROCK CHALK ALL YEAR LONG..GO JAYHAWKS!!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

oljiwk: I don't know, man! Coach K has done just fine IMO with recruiting "Highly" ranked recruits, but they haven't improved during their stay in durham over the last 8 years. Maybe he is recruiting the wrong kind of kid, but as of late his "Highly" touted recruits never really reached their full potential while playing at Cameron. Not really sure "Why?", but it is a pretty noticeable fact. Even though small, Duke does have a little disadvantage in recruiting in that I believe, and I do think it's 3 even though it may be 4, of their scholarships have to be over a certain SAT score to be on the team. It's a school policy that many people don't know about. It shouldn't be too much of an excuse, but I guess that is why you see that certain type of recruit always at the end of the bench of the ole' blue devils.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

jayhawkjay: Yes, good points! Maybe it's "Hype" to create a "Buzz" early on in the basketball season for good match-ups. I also agree with you that Top 5 losses shouldn't drop you too far in the rankings, but out of any team in the country, UNC is going to benefit greatly from their generous ranking. Even with UNC's non-conference losses, they won't drop too far in the polls. When you say they might drop to 15-20, in reality they probably should be out of the Top 25 earning their way back-in "If" they lose two or three of those games. I hear what you're saying and I agree with all of it, I just don't like it. UNC's schedule definitely "lucked out" for them finally to have a great schedule. For one time I actually believe this is a tough schedule for them unlike years past. Just think if KU could be playing one of the 3 out of the last 4 years of the UCLA Final 4 teams this year? What about KU playing Memphis this year, I mean Kentucky, I mean Memphis? Where did those recruits end up and when is the NCAA going to adopt the "Memphis Rule"?

Scott Smetana 10 years, 2 months ago

Jayhawker Joel... Awesome post. Well Said. Please call Rome is Burning for the Smackoff.

Kentucky fans, you have sold your souls... it's gonna be fun watching the controversies.

JayHawkJay82 10 years, 2 months ago

@kushaw: I agree that their starting ranking is probably a bit too high, because their ranking after that stretch may not be an accurate reflection of the teams skill. I am only saying that in this particular case, UNC will be forced to justify their ranking in a way that no other team will. Even KU's schedule--which I believe is very tough--pales in comparison.

100 10 years, 2 months ago

"I'd love to go undefeated. Everybody says, it's just a dream. Everybody says it's impossible. First you have to believe. Well, I won 38 games at Memphis, more than anyone in the history of the NCAA. 40-0? Yes it's possible. Somebody will be first to do it. I'd love for it to be me."

-- Coach John Calipari, Oct 1, 2009

Chris Shaw 10 years, 2 months ago

Looks like Adreian (SP?) Payne is going to "Commit" today on ESPNU! Should be interesting. I also agree with a poster yesterday about "What happened with Payne"? I also thought this kid was a "Sure-in" to be seen in a KU uniform next year. Oh well!

Matt Gonzo 10 years, 2 months ago

Kentucky makes the Final 4 this year!! Only to have it taken away the following year because Calipari is a douche.

tstanlick1909 10 years, 2 months ago

nice quote 100, brings back fond memories of the 08 season, a season that should be quite similar to the one we're about to begin.

kycats,

i get down on my knees and pray that we run into your "team" this year, we will mess your stuff up.

jayhawk2062 10 years, 2 months ago

John Calipari is a total joke of a coach.

He's never had to coach in a decent conference before. Atlantic 10 with UMASS and Conference USA with Memphis.

I think the SEC sucks, but it's a much better league than the other two he's had to deal with in the past.

We'll see how he does when he's expected to win on a national level........the honeymoon will be over VERY soon in Kentucky.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 2 months ago

ky_cats is the 2nd grader who tells everyone his team is #1 because he doesn't know any better.

Steve Brown 10 years, 2 months ago

KyCat: JC is a very good coach and better recruiter, welcome back to the big time. He spent time here years ago and one his 1st interview as head coach claimed to be our Frosh or JV coach, trouble is we didn't have a fresh or JV team when he was here. Kansas fans, more than most, do respect a winning tradition. Hope we meet you in Indy, game one will do this time, we want MSU for the final.

I would have posted sooner, but been busy taking tests for your JW.

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 2 months ago

We waited 5 years to get North Carolina on the court and we smoked them. We have waited more than 5 years to get Kentucky on the court. If that happens, we will smoke them also. KY Cats--keep dreaming, dude but reality is going to smack you in the face if we meet on the court.

captku 10 years, 2 months ago

The only time that Roy allegedly let his emotion get the best of him was in that game back in '89. Legend has it that since D-town T Brown was solo jobbing UK for 40-plus, Roy motioned to Pitino that he would get a T.O. in so Rick's guys could get a blow, and Rick showed class and also made a gesture in return. Roy, again allegedly, after that told his boys to "run it up". This story may be getting better (embellished) with time, but sure is a good "memory" (anybody else out there remember it even close to like this?) Loudest I ever heard Allen rock - unbelieveable game and "W". 150-95. Never seen anything like it since. This year is just getting started though. Bring it.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 2 months ago

Maybe it's been used in the past:

Cal puts the KY n Kentucky basketball.

Joel Hood 10 years, 2 months ago

captku, I was at the '89 KY game, behind the KU bench in the student section.
Your story is close to how I remember it. As I recall, Roy did ask Rick if he wanted him to call a T.O. Rick gestured and said, "'forget' you!" Roy stood there dumbfounded, turned to his staff with a stunned look, folded his arms, sat down, and said nothing. I don't recall him ever telling anyone to run-it-up. I have never before or since seen a game where everything went in for one team and nothing for the other.

Chad Hallack 10 years, 2 months ago

Dear KY, (that's funny!)

I suffered my way through your entire delusional post and it's just sad... The bottom line is that uk is so thoroughly desperate to become relevant again that they took on the coach no major school has ever even thought about touching before... ever. A mediocre (at best) coach who relies on illegal recruiting and doctored entrace exams to get the best athletes he can to run that drive and kick offense. (refer to mediocre coach comment above)

As for KU, we have one of, it not the most talented and complete teams the NCAA has seen in the modern era of college ball (ie... kids jumping to the NBA from H.S. and leaving college more than a year early) Our second five would be a Top 25 team. Plus we have the coach who can hold it all together. So you're little rant, beyond the sad fact of you feeling the need to come here spew this mess, is laughable and most importantly irrelevant.

Have fun watching your beloved pussycats die a slow, painful death... what a shame, you'll be missed as a relevant program in the years to come. For your school signed it's death warrant when they signed Coach Cal...

In Poland they tell Kentucky and Missouri jokes!

And for the record, if the Big 10 got 8 teams in last year we should get 10 this year... Won't happen, but it should...

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