KU basketball lands at No. 2 in USA Today preseason coaches poll

Kansas basketball

Courtesy: KU Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball enters the 2016-17 season No. 2 with one first-place vote in the USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll released Thursday. This is the highest ranking for the Jayhawks since KU was preseason No. 1 in 2009-10.

Kansas is ranked in the preseason for the 25th time in time in the 28-year history of the poll. The No 2 ranking marks the sixth time KU has been preseason No. 2 or higher in the coaches’ poll. Additionally, it is the 11th time in the Bill Self era the Jayhawks have been preseason seventh or higher, including each of the last five seasons.

For 2016-17, Kansas returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s 33-5 team which went 15-3 in Big 12 play, winning its unprecedented 12th-straight, 16th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 59th overall conference regular-season championship. KU also won the 2015 Maui Invitational and 2016 Big 12 Championship titles and was the overall No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament where it advanced to the Elite Eight.

Kansas will face two nationally-ranked teams, including No. 1 Duke, in its first two regular-season games of the 2016-17 season. The Jayhawks will play No. 12 Indiana on Nov. 11, in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu and will then play Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic, Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Overall, KU will play seven games against teams in the coaches’ preseason poll this season.

Last season Kansas tied its previous season’s record by facing 16 ranked foes. The Jayhawks’ 12 wins against ranked teams was an all-time season high.

In 2015-16 Kansas opened the year No. 5 in the preseason coaches’ poll and ended No. 3.

USA Today Coaches Poll (preseason)
Rank. Team (first place votes) – points
1. Duke (27) – 792
2. KANSAS (1) – 721
3. Villanova (1) – 700
4. Kentucky (2) – 695
5. Oregon (1) – 620
6. North Carolina – 614
7. Virginia – 596
8. Xavier – 552
9. Michigan State – 544
10. Wisconsin – 487
11. Arizona – 468
12. Indiana – 435
13. Gonzaga – 371
14. Louisville – 367
15. Purdue – 324
16. Connecticut – 239
17. Syracuse – 224
18. West Virginia – 204
19. Saint Mary’s – 203
20. UCLA – 185
21. Maryland – 153
22. Texas – 124
23. Creighton – 113
24. Rhode Island – 85
25. Cincinnati – 75

Others receiving votes: Florida State 65, Iowa State 56, California 43, Miami 35, Dayton 34, Oklahoma 33, Seton Hall 24, Texas A&M 22, Notre Dame 18, San Diego State 17, Virginia Tech 16, Wichita St 15, Butler 14, USC 14, Ohio State 12, Colorado 11, Florida 11, Clemson 11, Michigan 10, Pittsburgh 7, Georgia 6, Yale 6, VCU 6, Chattanooga 5, Washington 4, Kansas State 3, Nevada 3, Davidson 2, Valparaiso 2, Arkansas 2, Utah 1, SMU 1

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