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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

KU basketball opens season 4th in Associated Press poll

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets fired up as the Jayhawks close in on the West Virginia lead during the second half, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets fired up as the Jayhawks close in on the West Virginia lead during the second half, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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The Kansas men’s basketball team cracked the Top 5 in The Associated Press’ preseason college basketball poll, released on Wednesday.

Kansas, which knocked off Pitt State, 100-54, in its second exhibition game of the season on Tuesday night, is ranked fourth in the initial poll and the Jayhawks received one of 65 first-place votes. Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 162 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.

The ranking marks the fifth consecutive year the Jayhawks have been ranked fifth or higher in the preseason poll and the third straight season at No. 4 or higher. KU was No. 3 last season in the AP preseason poll, No. 4 in 2015-16 and No. 5 in 2014-15 and 2013-14. It is also the eighth time in the last nine seasons that the Jayhawks have entered the season No. 7 or higher by the AP.

Duke, which landed at the top of the preseason poll for the second year in a row, received 33 first-place votes, with Michigan State (2nd, with 13 first-place votes), Arizona (3rd, 18) and Kentucky (5th, 0) rounding out the Top 5.

Last month, KU was picked third in the USA Today preseason coaches poll.

Other teams of note in the first AP poll of the season include Wichita State (7th) and Big 12 foes West Virginia (11th) and Baylor (24th), while TCU, Texas and Oklahoma also received votes.

Missouri, which KU defeated in the recent Showdown for Relief Border War exhibition game in Kansas City, Mo., picked up 19 votes, landing in what amounts to 31st place.

In all, the first AP poll of the season includes four teams on KU’s 2017-18 schedule, with Texas A&M;, which KU will host in the annual SEC-Big 12 Challenge, joining Kentucky, who KU will play in Chicago in the Champions Classic in two weeks and home-and-home match-ups with West Virginia and Baylor.

KU returns to action next Tuesday to close out its exhibition schedule against Fort Hays State at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse, before kicking off the regular season with a Nov. 10 home game against Tennessee State.

Complete AP Preseason Poll:

1 - Duke (33)

2 - Michigan State (13)

3 - Arizona (18)

4 - Kansas (1)

5 - Kentucky

6 - Villanova

7 - Wichita State

8 - Florida

9 - North Carolina

10 - USC

11 - West Virginia

12 - Cincinnati

13 - Miami

14 - Notre Dame

15 - Minnesota

16 - Louisville

17 - Xavier

18 - Gonzaga

19 - Northwestern

20 - Purdue

21 - UCLA

22 - Saint Mary's

23 - Seton Hall

24 - Baylor

25 - Texas A&M;

Others receiving votes: Alabama 86, Virginia 57, Rhode Island 49, TCU 46, Providence 34, Missouri 19, Virginia Tech 16, Wisconsin 14, Butler 13, Texas 10, Maryland 7, Oklahoma 7, Nevada 7, Michigan 6, Dayton 5, MIddle Tennessee 4, Ball State 4, SMU 3, Oakland 2, Oregon 2, South Carolina 1, Harvard 1, UCF 1.

Comments

Andy Godwin 2 weeks, 2 days ago

To have a great season this team will have to stay healthy (especially Udoka). They just do not have enough fouls to give inside, when the competition gets better and KU plays teams with size and depth. Mitch's and Billy's preponderance to foul could make things very interesting. If Self is to win 14 conferences in a row and advance in the NCAA, he will have to be even more creative than last year (no Josh Jackson) and have some luck. Too bad Self couldn't find a backup center on the waiver wire (wrong league), when Coleby and then Whitman departed.

Ryan Ferree 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Top 5 again, just like clockwork. In Bill we trust.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks ago

Ranked since February 2009? Now that's consistency. I bet we were ranked for quite some time before that February ranking. It's really an amazing statistic.

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