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Monday, October 21, 2019

Jayhawks ranked 3rd in preseason AP Top 25

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) celebrates a three pointer over Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele (13) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) celebrates a three pointer over Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele (13) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Bill Self’s Kansas basketball team will open the regular season ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press poll.

The preseason poll, released Monday morning, features four of the biggest names in college basketball in the top five, with Michigan State on top, followed by Kentucky, Kansas and Duke. Louisville sits in the fifth spot, and the rest of the top 10 includes perennial winners Florida, Maryland, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Villanova.

Michigan State received 60 of the 65 available first-place votes, with KU getting three and Kentucky getting the other two.

Kansas is one of three Big 12 teams ranked in the AP’s first Top 25 of the 2019-20 season, with Texas Tech (No. 13) and Baylor (No. 16) also cracking the top 20. No other Big 12 programs received votes in the opening poll of the year.

This season marks the seventh in a row that KU entered the season ranked in the AP's top 5.

The Jayhawks also have been ranked in the AP poll for 201 consecutive weeks, a stretch that is the longest active streak in all of college basketball.

KU’s landing in the AP’s top 7 marks the 14th time in Self’s 17 years leading the program that Kansas has entered a season ranked seventh or better. It’s also the 22nd time since the 1992-93 season that a Kansas team has been ranked in the top 7.

Plenty of national pundits believe the Jayhawks have the firepower, depth and experience to stay there all season, but, for Self, it comes down to how quickly the team becomes a complete product in the weeks and months ahead.

“You can get teased a couple of practices when you make shots,” said Self, noting that one of this team’s biggest question marks is outside shooting. “Making shots basically camouflages all the things you don’t do behind that. But I do like our guys. I think we have potential.”

With graduate transfer Isaiah Moss, sophomores Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji and freshmen Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun, the Jayhawks have players who are willing to rise up and take outside shots.

But it’s consistency that Self wants.

“We’ve shown flashes where we’ve shot it pretty good,” he said. “And we’ve shown flashes where we better be the best darn offensive rebounding team in America, too.”

Kansas, which opens exhibition play at 7 p.m. Thursday against Fort Hays State at Allen Fieldhouse, will potentially play seven regular-season games against teams ranked in the AP preseason poll: No. 1 Michigan State (potential Maui Invitational title game), No. 4 Duke, No. 10 Villanova, No. 11 Texas Tech (twice) and No. 16 Baylor (twice).

KU’s exhibition games can both be seen on Big 12 NOW via ESPN+.

Subtle bragging

The Twitter account for the Champions Classic quickly jumped on board after the AP poll came out to brag about this year’s slate.

Kicking off the 2019-20 college basketball season on Nov. 5 in New York City will be the top four teams in this year’s preseason poll.

No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Duke will face off at Madison Square Garden in the early game. And No. 1 Michigan State and No. 2 Kentucky will close out the ninth edition of the event in the nightcap.

“What other event has the top four teams in the country taking on each other the first week of the season,” the social media account, @championclassic, boasted. “This is why The Season Starts Here.”

KU, which has won three Champions Classic games in a row (over Duke in 2016, Kentucky in 2017 and Michigan State in 2018), is 4-4 all-time in the event.

Brown-Ferguson down to 3

Class of 2021 big man Javonte Brown-Ferguson has trimmed his list of finalists to Kansas, UConn and Texas A & M, according to a report from Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound 16-year-old, who is expected to reclassify into the 2020 class, has made official visits to his three finalists this fall and has no plans to take more.

“I closed my recruiting,” Brown-Ferguson told Zagoria.

Brown-Ferguson currently attends Thornlea Secondary School in Ontario, Canada, and plays AAU ball with Under Armour’s Canada Elite program.

He visited KU the weekend of Late Night back on Oct. 4, was at Texas A & M two weeks before that and traveled to UConn’s “First Night” event last weekend.

Although no announcement date has been set, Brown-Ferguson told Zagoria that he was planning to pick a school “soon” and he reiterated his plans to reclassify up and enroll in college next year.

KU assistant Norm Roberts is listed by 247 Sports as KU’s lead recruiter for Brown-Ferguson.

Comments

Bryce Landon 1 month ago

Only three more days and I can wear crimson and blue and not be ashamed to do so! Rock Chalk Jayhawk for basketball season!

Eliott Reeder 1 month ago

You suck. Nobody likes you. Please leave.

John Strayer 1 month ago

Here comes the bandwagon...better jump on now...

Gerry Butler 1 month ago

why would we want you to wear Crimson & Blue? - -there is NO ROOM here for part time fickle closet fans -- YOU are not a fan - - maybe a bandwagon fan - -sorry but this ride is full - - the ship has sailed - -and we voted - - and your OUT..

I'll wear crimson and blue any day anytime any where - and never ashamed. - -BUT you know what KU true fans ARE ashamed of? - - - pay attention - -ready? - - -YOU your not a fan - not sure what you are but you sure the hell ain't now fan. - - -now have a great day

Tony Bandle 1 month ago

Random Thpoiughts:

1] This poll and $10 will by you a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

2] I wonder what the odds are that these four teams will be the 2020 Final Four???

3] Zion goes down with a preseason injury......maybe there is a little karma still left in the universe.

4] Trump sucks..Trump is the greatest...discuss among yourselves. :}.

5] My 1968 KU Cheerleader crush..Karen Renstrom,,where for are thou out there?

Tony Bandle 1 month ago

P.S. 6] Let's have a preseason ranking of the most crooked sportswear corps...Adidas, DKS, Nike, UnderArmour, Puma.....etc., etc.

Suzi Marshall 1 month ago

That's a good one Tony but since you gave an alternative in the first post perhaps this point should have one as well...the most capitalist sportswear corps.

Suzi Marshall 1 month ago

I remember getting all excited about the pre-season rankings but now I find them a bit ridiculous. It seems the sole purpose is to market early season matchups in an attempt to hype the season. Nothing is at all wrong with that but the excitement seems to be gone...or it's a sign of my own aging. Perhaps some 14 year olds or some students in the dorms or greek houses are hyped.

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