Kansas is atop the Big 12 men’s basketball preseason coaches poll for the eighth consecutive season, the conference announced Friday.
The Jayhawks (81 points) received all nine possible first-place votes ahead of the team’s pursuit of a 15th straight regular season conference championship. It’s the 18th time KU has topped the preseason Big 12 poll and the fourth consecutive season the program has received every first-place vote from every opposing head coach, who are not allowed to vote for themselves.
Kansas State (72 points) finished second in the poll ahead of third-place West Virginia (61) and received the only other first-place vote courtesy of KU coach Bill Self. Led by the Big 12 preseason player of the year Dean Wade, the Wildcats’ second-place projection is the second-highest in the history of the program — K-State was picked to finish first ahead of the 2010-11 season.
TCU and Texas (54 points) tied for fourth in the poll, which was rounded out by Iowa State (41), Texas Tech (36), Oklahoma (21), Baylor (20) and Oklahoma State (10).
KU begins play with a 7 p.m. Thursday exhibition contest against Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse, while K-State opens with a 7 p.m. Nov. 2 exhibition against Pittsburg State at Bramlage Coliseum.
BIG 12 PRESEASON MEN’S BASKETBALL POLL
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Kansas (9), 81 points
2. Kansas State (1), 72 points
3. West Virginia, 61 points
T-4. TCU, 54 points
T-4. Texas, 54 points
6. Iowa State, 41 points
7. Texas Tech, 36 points
8. Oklahoma, 21 points
9. Baylor, 20 points
10. Oklahoma State, 10 points