Thursday, October 11, 2012

KU picked for first in Big 12 preseason coaches poll

Kansas teammates Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson celebrate the win over Purdue on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

Kansas teammates Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson celebrate the win over Purdue on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.


The Kansas men's basketball team is the unanimous pick to win the Big 12 conference according to the preseason coaches poll that was released Thursday.

KU picked up all nine first-place votes, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. It's the 11th time in Big 12 history that KU has been at least tied for first in the poll.

Baylor picked up the other first-place vote and was selected second, its highest finish ever in the preseason poll.

Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas State were next in the predictions, followed by West Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas Tech and TCU.

The Big 12 will hold its preseason media day on Wednesday at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., which also is the site of the 2013 Big 12 tournament.

2012-13 Big 12 preseason coaches poll

Team (First-place votes) Points

  1. Kansas (9)* 81
  2. Baylor (1) 63
  3. Oklahoma State 60
  4. Texas 58
  5. Kansas State 54
  6. West Virginia 45
  7. Oklahoma 34
  8. Iowa State 28
  9. Texas Tech 18
  10. TCU 9


Jayhawks Rock 9 years, 7 months ago

Unanimous except for one. Yes I know a coach can't pick their own team. It's just a funny title.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

I've never understood why a coach is not allowed to pick his own team?

Would all ten teams end up tied for first at one vote apiece? I DOUBT IT!! The choice this year is so obvious. I guess the spirit of gentlemanly sportsmanship is not totally dead. :)

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 7 months ago

Does EJ become preseason first team if Kabango is declared ineligible?

James Kiernan 9 years, 7 months ago

1) Kansas 2) Texas 3) West Virginia 4) Baylor 5) Iowa State 6) Kansas State 7) Oklahoma State 8) Oklahoma 9) TCU 10) TTU

Never underestimate the power of Scott Drew's lack of coaching ability.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Never overestimate Rick Barnes coaching ability either. UT will do their annual February choke job and finish middle of the pack with a talented enough team to challenge for the Big 12 yet again.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Seriously man, Rick Barnes is the epidemy of under performing...

onetime_77 9 years, 7 months ago

I wonder what Jack Harry's prediction is this year.

Andy Wright 9 years, 7 months ago

He'll pick Misery to win the Big XII. Since that prediction has worked out so well for him the past, why should he change now that they're in the SEC?

onetime_77 9 years, 7 months ago

lol. I do expect him to say they will win the SEC anyway.

kureader 9 years, 7 months ago

Dirty Harry probably picked MU to win the Big 12.

kureader 9 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, I didn't see ajw86's post. (You beat me to it!)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

We are the best team in the league. We should be the favorite. Nothing new there.

Wishes for the season. First, health. Then --

  1. Releford: To assert himself on offense. You can go off for 25. It's ok.
  2. EJ: 45% three ball and to lead.
  3. Withey: Just one .. a go to post move.
  4. McLemore: To live up to coach Self's uncharacteristic praise.
  5. Ellis: To be better than Marcus in his freshman season.
  6. KY: To be allowed to play his best role, and not be expected to do more.
  7. White: To be the dead-eye outside shooter we've been looking for.
  8. Tharpe: For maturity, control, and confidence.
  9. Peters: To be a 13.3%er, or, to wonder how Lucas got so good.
  10. Lucas: To be a 13.3%er, or, to wonder how Peters got so good.
  11. Traylor: To be worried because Roberson or Gordon committed.
  12. Wesley: To not have to play.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

A while back, Robin Smith, who posts here, looked at players 100 - 150 over the last five years. He identified those that plainly exceeded their rankings. A nice, comprehensive list. Worked out to be 13.3% of the total.

Robin Smith 9 years, 7 months ago

makes me feel warm and fuzzy that you liked that so much -- it was not in vain!

I realize I was making a contrary point, because I think we might need to augment the pure 13.3% to account for the degree of excess. For instance it might be argued that a player like Rodney Stuckey, being a mainstay starter in the NBA jumped from 3 star to a 5 star or that Damian Lillard jumped from a 2 star to a 5 star (being upper lotto, likely starter), versus Robert Sacre who jumped from a 3 star to a 4 star (being late 2nd round, backup)

I'll do some more research and get back to you on percentages for different rank ranges, so we might compare comprehensively.

theKU_Truth 9 years, 7 months ago

Good post until number 12. Give the kids a break. He will add value to this team this year, I'll bet you on that.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

He may add value in practice, but he was a total liability on both ends of the floor during games last year.

Michael Luby 9 years, 7 months ago

Value to the scout team and to the bench

onetime_77 9 years, 7 months ago

1 = he plans on being more assertive, but it won't be a nightly thing.

3 = and ball fake

4 = no kidding!

12 = lol

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Definitely agree about Peters, even if it doesn't happen this year he is going to be a very solid player for KU and may very well end up being a draft pick by the time he leaves KU. The biggest reason he was rated as low as he was is because of him skipping AAU ball the summer before his senior year to focus on football. I firmly believe that if Zach Peters had played AAU ball during the summer of 2011 that he would be ranked in the 75-100 range and possibly in the 50-75 range and would be a 4 star recruit. Considering that Peters also had offers from Baylor, Missouri, and Texas as well as interest from Kentucky and UNC, I take that as a sign that a lot of people thought Peters was underrated and is going to end up being a pretty good player.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow on Wesley. We don't want him starting but he is a good guy for 2-3 minute breathers. He can compete well enough...

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

  1. It would be awesome for Releford to do that, but I don't think it'll be necessary or his role this year. I don't see him being better than the 4th scoring option when the starters are on the floor.

  2. I would settle for 40%. EJ is a career 34.5% 3 point shooter and I don't see his % going up that much this year.

  3. Agreed about that. A hook shot would be an awesome weapon for Withey to develop.

  4. I would absolutely love to see McLemore live up to Bill Self's praise and Jeff Goodman's prediction of being a top 5 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

  5. I would be happy if Ellis put up similar numbers per 40 minutes numbers that Marcus did with the exception of fouls. Marcus averaged 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18.5 minutes his freshmen season. Hopefully Ellis can play 23-26 minutes per game and be in the 10 and 6 range.

  6. KY is an ideal 6th man for a team like KU. As long as he comes in doesn't make stupid mistakes and makes an occasional shot, he will have a good year.

  7. Agreed. Similar numbers to Tyrel Reed in 2009-10 would be awesome. Reed played 15 minutes per game and was 44-93 (.473) from 3 point range. Comparable numbers would be awesome from White this year.

  8. Tharpe gave KU some quality minutes toward the end of the season and hopefully that development continues and he becomes a reliable back up that can play 15-20 minutes per game.

  9. Peters is the one guy that I think will be the 13.3% because of reasons I've posted before, mainly being that Peters would've been a 4 star recruit ranked between 75-100 had he played AAU ball during the summer of 2011.

  10. Would be awesome if Lucas was also a 13.3% but my gut has been telling me that Lucas is the one who will be forced out if Self lands Lawrence, Roberson, or one of the other quality bigs left this year.

  11. I disagree with you HEM about Traylor being the one who needs to be worried about being recruited over. Because he was willing to redshirt last year tells me that he is willing to put in the work in practice without the guarantee of ever seeing significant minutes at KU. I think if PT was a top priority for Traylor, he would've gone elsewhere, but I think he genuinely wants to be part of the KU program no matter what and I don't see Self forcing Traylor out if he lands a couple of players in the future.

  12. Agreed, Wesley isn't good enough to contribute significantly to KU and he is best served to be a garbage time player. I know that sounds harsh, but that's reality.

  13. Rio Adams, I would love to see Rio be good enough to warrant playing 5-7 minutes per game this season and be good enough to where Self can play him and Tharpe together for a few minutes while giving EJ and McLemore breathers at the same time.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Well, we know who Bill Self picked! Scott Drew should be proud even though Bill Self hates his guts.

kureader 9 years, 7 months ago

Drew is one of only 2 Big 12 coaches (Haith is the other) that Bill can shake hands with after games without breaking stride.

James Kiernan 9 years, 7 months ago

Its not a well kept secret that there is no love lost between Self and Drew. Or Barnes and Drew. Or _ and Drew, etc.

Robin Smith 9 years, 7 months ago

Drew is seemingly disliked by most other coaches

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks LJW, for keeping the title of this article around to use every year !!

Seth Nesmith 9 years, 7 months ago

It's funny for all things Coach Self hates about Drew, he sticks up for with Gillespie. Who's the worst?

MartyrMangino 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't have a problem with KU as Big 12 preseason #1. Nobody else has the overall talent KU has, nobody has the coach KU has, and nobody has the balance KU has.

About the balance though, Jeff Withey and Perry Ellis / Kevin Young are unproven scorers, putting it kindly. Last year we relied on Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor for most of our scoring, not to mention their enormous impact on our offense as a whole. The way I see it is one of three things will happen: Jeff Withey will develop a couple low post moves, maybe a shot from the elbow, and we will atleast keep defenses honest. Another option is that our guards and small forward(Johnson, Releford, McLemore, White, Tharpe) will step up the load they bear of our offense. Finally, the option I find most plausible, we take a step backwards offensively this year.

As much as a defensive presence Jeff Withey is, he has had a long time to develop an offensive game with great practice opponents and a great big-man coach, but he is not shown much improvement outside of his free throw %. I don't expect him to explode onto the scene this year. Also, can anybody remember the last time we had a freshman come in and contribute offensively in the post? Darrell Arthur? Drew Gooden? I don't know if Perry Ellis is that good (I've never seen him play), and Kevin Young doesn't seem well suited to many minutes in the post. The remaining post options are less offensively inclined at this point.

We certainly will be able to field a good defensive lineup, but I worry that without the offensive balance, we won't have a ceiling as high as many are predicting. In my opinion, we haven't been this thin inside since we had Giles, Jackson, Moody, Wright, and Kaun in '05 - '06. We lost 8 games that year. The average points we scored in those losses was 61.8. I didn't include the Missouri game in the average because it went into overtime. Something that is also a worry is that Jeff Withey has been injury prone in his career in Lawrence. As we were last year, we once again are operating without much of a safety net. This team is going to have to pass the ball very well, play defense very well, and make the 3 point shot. Without the scoring balance in the post, we generally will need to increase the guards/SF scoring contribution, and stay healthy if we are going to make any noise nationally.

Thanks for reading my two cents. See you all at Late Night.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 7 months ago

First off, see you at Late Night! I can't freaking wait.

Second, I'm not sure that I agree on taking a step backwards offensively. First, Perry Ellis is a more refined Freshman than TRob or the Morris twins. He is the leading scorer in Kansas High School basketball (ever), so it's safe to say that probably the best part of his game is his ability to score. We're taking a step backwards in the rebounding/ferocity departments, but I think he's got the offensive tools to be a threat as a Freshman. He will make his dumb mistakes, but he will be a viable option at the 4 spot.

Jeff Withey was awesome last year. Barring any major injuries, he should be even more-so this season.

We are not that thin down low. Last year, we were thin (TRob, Withey, KYoung and Wesley). Those were literally the only 4 big guys on the team last year. This year we've stocked up (Ellis, Withey, Young, Peters, Lucas, Traylor, Wesley). We don't have the magnificent TRob any more, but we do have a deeper bench of post-players this year. I thought that was the biggest weakness KU had last year and I think Bill Self has done a great job of improving that with the additions of Ellis, Peters and Lucas.

Also, if having a front-court made up of Darnell Jackson, Julian Wright and Sasha Kaun is thin, I must not know the meaning of "thick". Substitute Darrell Arthur for Julian Wright and you've got the National Championship rotation...

MartyrMangino 9 years, 7 months ago

I should have been more specific that I mean that we are offensively "thin" in the post. Jackson, Wright, Kaun, Moody, and Giles were not good offensively at that point in their KU careers, and it took 2 more years of developing Jackson, Kaun, and the addition of Arthur to break through. Even at the end of the championship season I doubt Jackson, Kaun, or Aldrich would have been able to handle the main scoring load without Arthur. Of all of the post players we have now, it is a matter of projecting their potential. Withey averaged 9 points per game last year and we can only guess what he will do when he doesn't have Robinson double-teamed along side him. As you pointed out, all those big guys Coach Self brought in will do nicely as far as defensive depth goes.

702Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

You might be right in taking a step back this year offensively but we will be taking a step forward in defense. EJ is and Withey are top notch defenders. Releford is the medias favorite shut down defender, and it sure sounds like the freshman are all buying into HCBS style. I think this years team can be the best defensive team the HCBS has had at KU. I just hope that Ben and EJ pick everyone's pockets like Russ and Mario did in 08.

MartyrMangino 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe it is just my nature to be skeptical, but I also am not accustomed to seeing freshmen forwards contribute a whole lot, especially offensively. I wish I were as hopeful as you are about our '12 - '13 guards' production. Once again, I feel like KU is the best team in the Big 12, but I foresee some problems if we have difficulty scoring inside. One hand washes the other and it makes things harder for the guards if the post players pose no credible threat.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

My Picks: Kansas #1...tied for 9th, Texas, TT, OU.OSU, Baylor, KSU WV, TCU, ISU.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Wishes and dreams -

  1. Jeff - Go up strong every time to dunk the ball, make the freebies, put their bigs in trouble.

  2. Travis - Remember your soph year.

  3. EJ - TT is're the man.

  4. BenMac - Just pretend your in the Wellston Gym and knock 'em down.

  5. Perry - Don't change a thing.

  6. Kevin - Get under control...but not too much.

  7. 'Rio - Push everybody in practice, make yourself better.

  8. Naadir - Show everyone we don't need ten point guards.

  9. A&W - Fire away...and don't stop.

  10. Landen - Kick Zach's ass.

  11. Zach - Kick Landon's ass.

  12. Jamari - Kick both their asses.

  13. Wesley - Channel the inner Langford in you.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Am I the only one who thinks Travis is highly under rated? The guy has offensive skills, we have seen glimpses of that. He has a real opportunity to breakout this year. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy gets drafted if he shows consistent shooting ability.

Heck, the guy is 6'6 and is a lockdown defender and he can handle the ball!!

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Please don't erroneously give yourself credit as being the only one on this board who thinks Travis might be highly unerrated.

onetime_77 9 years, 7 months ago

Travis has two problems. He is too passive (much akin to Rush). He does have the tools to do almost anything he wants out on the floor. The other problem is his foot problems. He gets timid when it starts acting up. Not sure if many on here know, but coming out of middle school he was one of the top rated players in the country. Then he ended up breaking his foot and never really got that killer instinct back. Too bad. He's a great kid and I'm glad I've got to see him do some great things.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Bingo .. way, way too passive on the offensive end. He has the ability to take control with his slashing ability. We've seen it.

Same worry with Perry Ellis coming in. Too passive.

We need both guys to be aggressive offensively.

But as kellerman said, a "lockdown defender." Awesome.

onetime_77 9 years, 7 months ago

I think Perry will be alright. Wichita is a little bit tougher district to play in than Miege. I think he'll see NCAA isn't as bruising as he thought it would be and will do his thing.

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

In my humble opinion, Travis has chosen to DEFER offensively, perhaps somewhat in keeping with the usual gameplan. I expect to see more active offense from him this season, esp. in games where the guards and Perry aren't delivering points.

Joe Ross 9 years, 7 months ago

No doubt, Kansas is on an impressive run. What distinguishes this one from others, however, is the sheer amount of talent exiting on an annual basis and how quickly the talent behind them has to be coached up. Of course, some people would say the same about Cal's teams recently. The difference is at KY (and before that at Memphis), the talent level is generally a lot higher coming in. This is an unquestionable testament to Coach Self's coaching ability.

zsn 9 years, 7 months ago

Can anyone explain how the point system works? Do they only count nine ballots for each team? Otherwise, I cannot come up with how KU gets 81 (has to be 9x9) and TCU gets 9 (9x1). I guess this means that each coach only gets to rank teams from 1-9, with the points being in reverse order of placement. Weird way to run a poll, don't you think??

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Coaches can't vote for their own team and with only 9 teams to vote for that means 9 points for first place, 8 for second, 7 for third, 6 for fourth, 5 for fifth, 4 for sixth, 3 for seventh, 2 for eighth, and 1 for ninth.

TexasHawk44 9 years, 7 months ago

Bingo! Yahtzee! Shazam!

12 - my wish Is that Wesley hacks into this system, tracks you down and pays you a visit at your day job at your driver's ed class. I doubt that you have the sack to say that to his face. Have some class and respect.

At least you stopped at 12. I thought you might ramble on until 100.

Read the "Old Man and the Sea" did you? Nice...

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I continue to inch out on a limb regarding Justin; and think he will play an essential 5-7 min role. With Peters' shoulder questionable for the season, Wesley might be counted upon for more backup minutes than anyone imagined. My feeling on this issue has not changed since late spring. The kid has tremendous athleticism, and now has garnered considerable practice experience in the Self system. I refuse to dismiss his importance to the team.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Copy paste RE Hawk on Justin. If he's gotten mean and strong, he'll see 10-15mpg during conference. If Peters is out, maybe10-20 mpg, unless Traylor can guard way taller guys.

wildjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

jayfart, you don't know what you are talking about.

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