Monday, October 22, 2018

Jayhawks enter 2018-19 season ranked No. 1 in AP poll

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) powers in a dunk over Texas Southern center Trayvon Reed (5) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) powers in a dunk over Texas Southern center Trayvon Reed (5) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


For the third time in the history of the Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll, Kansas will enter a season ranked in the top spot.

KU received 37 of a possible 65 first-place votes in the first AP poll of the 2018-19 season released on Monday, edging out Kentucky for the top spot.

“Obviously, we lost a lot off last year’s team with Devonte’ (Graham), Svi (Mykhailiuk) and Malik (Newman), so I’m a little surprised that the writers put us there this preseason,” Kansas coach Bill Self said in a news release. “It’s definitely a spot we welcome and certainly know the goal is to be playing to that ranking by when it counts the most.”

While Kansas received 57 percent of the available first-place votes, Kentucky picked up 19 first-place votes and was one of seven teams to receive at least one first-place vote in the fast-approaching season’s initial poll.

Included on that list was defending NCAA champion Villanova, which, at No. 9, received one first-place vote. Villanova will play at Kansas on Dec. 15 in the first game of a home-and-home series between the Jayhawks and Wildcats slated for the next two seasons.

No. 3 Gonzaga (1), No. 4 Duke (4), No. 5 Virginia (2) and No. 6 Tennessee (1) joined KU and Kentucky in receiving first-place votes.

In all, including a potential matchup with Tennessee in New York City in November, the AP Top 25 features seven programs on KU’s 2018-19 schedule, four of which are ranked in the Top 10, including No. 10 Michigan State, which Kansas will face in the season opener Nov. 6 at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis.

The number grows to 11 when you look at the number of 2018-19 KU foes either ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes in the AP’s first poll of the season.

KU’s three appearances in the top spot of the preseason AP poll all have come under Self.

But unlike the 2004-05 squad, which featured four seniors and four juniors, or the 2009-10 team, which was led by senior Sherron Collins and seven players considered to be upperclassmen, KU’s 2018-19 team features just one senior — guard Lagerald Vick — and a trio of juniors who have combined for just 47 starts at Kansas.

“With young players, we know it’s going to take some time before we are anywhere close to where we are going to be,” Self added. “But I do like this team and I do think we have a chance to be very good.”

KU’s streak of a spot in the AP poll for 180 consecutive weeks — dating back to Feb. 3, 2009 — is the longest active streak at the NCAA Division I level.

This marks the 13th time in Self’s 16 years at KU that the Jayhawks have entered a season ranked seventh or higher and the sixth consecutive year that KU has been ranked in the AP Top 5 to open the season.

Kansas entered the AP poll at No. 4 last season and held the same ranking in the final AP poll of the 2017-18 season, which was released prior to the start of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks also have been ranked No. 8 or higher in 49 consecutive AP polls during the past three seasons.

Kansas tips off its 2018-19 schedule at 7 p.m. Thursday with the first of two exhibition games. KU will play Emporia State on Thursday and Washburn on Nov. 1 before traveling to Indianapolis.

AP Preseason Top 25 (first-place votes)

No. 1 - Kansas (37)

No. 2 - Kentucky (19)

No. 3 - Gonzaga (1)

No. 4 - Duke (4)

No. 5 - Virginia (2)

No. 6 - Tennessee (1)

No. 7 - Nevada

No. 8 - North Carolina

No. 9 - Villanova (1)

No. 10 - Michigan State

No. 11 - Auburn

No. 12 - Kansas State

No. 13 - West Virginia

No. 14 - Oregon

No. 15 - Virginia Tech

No. 16 - Syracuse

No. 17 - Florida State

No. 18 - Mississippi State

No. 19 - Michigan

No. 20 - TCU

No. 21 - UCLA

No. 22 - Clemson

No. 23 - LSU

No. 24 - Purdue

No. 25 - Washington

Others receiving votes: Loyola of Chicago 162, Marquette 124, Indiana 98, Florida 71, Nebraska 35, Maryland 28, Wisconsin 24, Notre Dame 22, Cincinnati 21, UCF 15, Alabama 15, Arizona 14, Buffalo 14, Louisville 11, Miami 10, San Diego St. 9, Texas Tech 6, Southern Cal 6, Butler 6, Texas 5, St. John's 3, Arizona St 3, Providence 2, Xavier 2, Davidson 1, Missouri 1, Marshall 1, NC State 1.


Sam Allen 2 years, 6 months ago

Now let’s pressure the crap out of the ball! Can’t relax in MM!

(Must) not lose in second round like 2010!

Sam Allen 2 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if bill self has 2010 in mind now! Once we get to second round, we must do the aggressor! NOT the relaxer, BE AGRESSIVE on the three point line!

Sam Allen 2 years, 6 months ago

KU MUST follow Caliparis Pregame Speeches! And Style of agressive on the sidelines!

Sam Allen 2 years, 6 months ago

The reason UK has been better as the favorite is because the NEVER relax and Calipari is the “URGER”

I will bring sign to game saying this:

————————————————/ HCBS:

URGE your defense Pressure the crap out of ball!


Ben Kane 2 years, 6 months ago

an army without leaders is like a foot without a big toe.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 6 months ago

Waiter..I'll have what he's having!!

Four posts in less than eight minutes......that might be a kusports,com record!!

Leon Trotter 2 years, 6 months ago

Why do you keep stating that UK is better as a favorite? There is no real data to support that claim. Since they won their title in 2012:

2018 - 5 Seed - Lost to 9 Seed K-State (AP Preseason 5 AP High - 5) 2017 - 2 Seed - Lost to 1 Seed UNC (AP Preseason 2 AP High - 1) 2016 - 4 Seed - Lost to 5 Seed Indiana (AP Preseason 2 AP High - 1) 2015 - 1 Seed - Lost to 1 Seed Wisconson (AP Preseason 1 AP High - 1) This was the 38-0 team that lost in the Final Four 2014 - 8 Seed - Lost to 7 Seed UConn (AP Preseason 1 AP High - 1) 2013 - NIT (AP Preseason 3 AP High - 3)

Going off of seeds: They have basically been fine. Lost twice to higher seeds and lost twice to lower seeds. With one push. (1 vs 1 matchup...that they lost)

Going off of preseason polls: They are hot garbage. Never started lower than #5 and were a 1 seed one time. They were an 8 seed. They had to play in the NIT one year (and got smoked)

Calipari is a terrific coach. Self is a terrific coach. The difference seems to be that KU is the "favorite" far more often. Last 10 years KU has been a 1 or a 2 every (EVERY!!) year. (It's almost like Self is really good at winning basketball games.)

Gerry Butler 2 years, 6 months ago

You do realize that Coach Self has won just as many National Championships in the same length of time as the ol mighty Calipari has don't you? - - that number is ONE. So even though his famous of "NEVER RELAX " sounds good the results have been the same - So I guess those famous speech's really haven't done squat in the end run. - Sounds good - but end result? eh. - NOW if your talking about who goes further in the tourney? - - then ya possibly , BUT is that the goal to see who goes further in the tourney? - -I don't think that is the goal - -the goal is to WIN the Championship , not go further. So the great aggressor has accomplished Jack S- - -. -- ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Gerry Butler 2 years, 6 months ago

Doesn't matter at all just because they have done better AS THE FAVORITE - -the bottom line is they haven't won anymore National titles then we have since the time Coach Self has been here - -We have both won ONE. - So wondering how it feels for the Awsome pregame speech Coach to come up short - -just like KU has with that Great pregame speech , doesn't look like it has done him any better then us. - -The game is not about who goes further. How about asking the players what the goal is - - -is it to see who goes further, or who wins it all? -you don't get that trophy because you went further. -- ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Joe Joseph 2 years, 6 months ago

I see the talent, but I also see a bunch of guys with very limited playing time together. I won't be surprised if it takes some time to get things rolling. I also wonder how much of an impact the NCAA investigation will have on the individual and collective team mindset. It would be foolish and incredibly naive to believe that the looming investigations and potential fallout won't impact the team in some capacity.

RJ King 2 years, 6 months ago

Does Adidas even make a jersey large enough to accommodate the target/s now on our backs???

Craig Carson 2 years, 6 months ago

HAH..I know thats right..KU will be harrassed more than usual this season

Jack Hoff 2 years, 6 months ago

I can feel it in my bone, I can feel it in my spirit. This is the year the Jayhawks cut down the nets in MARCH (Technically April.) Talent, Size, Depth, etc. Time is ticking on Self's time here.. need to get at least one more.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 6 months ago

Nine matches against Top 25 teams plus 5 more games against teams receiving votes....,,.,.,Yep, KU sure knows how to line up the cream puffs.

All kidding aside, on paper, KU is a reasonable preseason #1 pick but the reality of the youth and need to develop chemistry may show up in some early defeats. Still, barring injury, NCAA interference or a catastrophic asteroid hitting the Earth in 2019, KU should be a very, very, very scary team by Tourney Time!!!

Len Shaffer 2 years, 6 months ago

It's interesting to note how down the Big XII appears to be this year. There are only two conference teams other than KU in the top 25, and the next two after that (TT and UT) are way down below 40 if you look at the others receiving votes. Hopefully the conference will be stronger than it's predicted to be.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 6 months ago

Usually strong during the reg. season then a BIG12 flameout in the NCAA's Sweet 16.

Craig Carson 2 years, 6 months ago

am I the only KU fan that is having a hard time getting excited about this season? this FBI fiasco does not make Self or KU look more afraid of Self making the foolish mistake of playing Silvio than I am them flaming out in the first round of the NCAA

Dane Pratt 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm always excited about the start of basketball, no more this year than in years past. And yes, I'm very worried about the FBI investigation.

RJ King 2 years, 6 months ago

No, you are not. I usually love our image of being the runner up in recruiting to Kentucky, Duke, UNC, Arizona or whoever may have snagged a few of our recruits that year. I've always been proud of our "clean" team and coach/es. This year feels like being a SF Giants fan when Bonds was on the team.

Bond's cheating was physically obvious, yet there was statistical data indicating he had a LOT of company. So far, no undeniable proof for Self and Co. Even Townsend's comment about finding jobs, housing, etc. could be interpreted to mean that he would be seeking legitimate opportunities. (Probably not.)

But in the court of public opinion, we are already guilty. And unless evidence surfaces to prove innocence, Jayhawk basketball will be tainted for some time.

I fear Adidas will be to KU, what "Juiced" was to Canseco. Everyone remembers Bonds, Sosa, McGuire - but not too much about the hundred/s others who did the same.

Very excited to see this year's team - especially those who are almost certainly "clean." But hard to embrace / engage as in past years. Will be watching with fear and trepidation.

David Morrison 2 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone know if there is any way to watch the exhibition games without purchasing ESPN+? Are Jayhawk TV and ESPN+ the same?

Bryce Landon 2 years, 6 months ago

I think it is on local broadcast or cable TV in Kansas and Kansas City. But for people like me who live outside of Kansas (in my case, southeast Iowa), the only way to watch is to pony up for ESPN+. And I will, because I love Jayhawk basketball!

Art Jefferson 2 years, 6 months ago

Len, look at the top 25 again. There are 3 teams from the Big 12 besides KU ranked in the top 25. TCU is #20. I also missed them when I first went through the list.

Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 6 months ago

Team ranking means nothing. It just motivates the opponents to beat us. Duke should be #1. They're several games ahead (not sure how they're given privilege to play 3 months before season starts) and you can tell Zion & Barrett are ready to play.

Sam Allen 2 years, 6 months ago

That’s not what I mean, I mean that, We’re KANSAS, the nation (BBN, ESPN) such as duke and Kentucky (team, fans, conferences—SEC, ACC, BIG TEN) get all (More of) the credit, and big 12 doesn’t as much.

I may be wrong:

Are We underrated? Is Kentucky Overated? is Duke Overrated?

When we win as the best seed we show we are THE best (KANSAS should have because we started basketball) and I have a feeling after the loss to VCU, KENTUCKY has gotten more of the recognition.

I know exactly why we even lost to VCU: Interviewing, ACKT, he said he and the coach’s relaxed the team too much. And I told KT what HCJC, said in his pregame speech, and was this. “I’ll say this pressure the crap out of the ball.” I saw him saying it searching YouTube. KT, said, this “yes they did and they won.”

That’s how I know.

Disagree??? what makes relaxing on the court better if pressure the crap out of the ball is a bad strategy? you have to wear down your opponents.

Barry Weiss 2 years, 6 months ago

I do think we are better when we pressure the ball coming up court. My guess would be that with this deeper team we will be able to do that more this year.

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