The Kansas men's basketball team is a comfortable No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason basketball poll released Monday.

KU received 37 of 65 first-place votes, which easily outpaced second-place Kentucky when it came to total points (1,581-1,529).

"Obviously we lost a lot off last year's team with Devonte', Svi (Mykhailiuk) and Malik (Newman), so I'm a little surprised that the writers put us there this preseason," KU coach Bill Self said in a statement to the Associated Press. "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.

"With the young players, we know it's going to take some time before we're anywhere close to where we're going to be, but I do like this team and I think we have a chance to be very good."

Gonzaga was third, followed by Duke and Virginia.

Kansas State was 12th, while other Big 12 schools West Virginia (13) and TCU (20) also earned an initial ranking.

KU previously was ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll in the 2004-05 and 2009-10 seasons.

Preseason AP poll

Team (First-place votes) Points

1. Kansas (37) 1,581

2. Kentucky (19) 1,529

3. Gonzaga (1) 1,461

4. Duke (4) 1,452

5. Virginia (2) 1,286

6. Tennessee (1) 1,268

7. Nevada 1,230

8. North Carolina 1,221

9. Villanova (1) 1,085

10. Michigan State 1,024

11. Auburn 974

12. Kansas State 922

13. West Virginia 678

14. Oregon 638

15. Virginia Tech 630

16. Syracuse 620

17. Florida State 530

18. Mississippi State 451

19. Michigan 437

20. TCU 311

21. UCLA 297

22. Clemson 268

23. LSU 187

24. Purdue 170

25. Washington 165

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