University of Kansas

KU No. 3 in AP preseason college basketball poll; Michigan State is first

Kansas, which opened the 2018-19 college basketball season as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll, this year has been accorded a No. 3 preseason ranking.

The Jayhawks on Monday received three first-place votes and placed No. 3 behind No. 1 Michigan State (60 firsts, 1,619 points) and No. 2 Kentucky (2 firsts, 1,497 points). KU totaled 1,457 points.

Duke, which will meet KU in the regular-season opener at the Champions Classic (6 p.m., Nov. 5, Madison Square Garden), placed fourth in the preseason AP poll. The Blue Devils did not receive a first-place vote and totaled 1,399 points.

Louisville was fifth, followed by Florida, Maryland, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Villanova, Virginia, Seton. Hall, Texas Tech, Memphis, Oregon, Baylor, Utah State, Ohio State, Xavier, St. Mary’s, Arizona, LSU, Purdue, Auburn and VCU.

KU for the seventh consecutive season enters the preseason ranked No. 5 or higher. KU has been ranked in the AP poll for 201 consecutive weeks, the longest active streak in the country.

KU finished last season at No. 17 in the AP poll. The Jayhawks were ranked in the AP Top 10 for 12 weeks.

It’s the 14th time in the 17-year Bill Self era that Kansas enters the season ranked seventh or higher in the AP poll. This is the 22nd time since the 1992-93 season that Kansas will enter the season No. 7 or higher.

KU returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s 26-10 team.

Of the 2019-20 Jayhawks, Self said recently: “I do like our team. I think we are a long ways away from being good right now but I don’t think there are very many teams or any now that are good this early.

“We’re big, fairly athletic. We can make plays you can’t coach athletically in some areas and of course we have some speed on the perimeter so I think the pieces are there for us to have a big year and play well. I’m not sure that our skillset has quite caught up to our athletic ability in some ways because we do need to shoot the ball more consistently better in order to really take advantage of having some bigs that can operate inside and do some damage.

“They been terrific,” he added of his players “They’ve been coachable, try hard and seem to pick up stuff fairly quickly.”

KU will meet Fort Hays State in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.

AP preseason Top 25

  1. Michigan State (60) – 1,619
  2. Kentucky (2) – 1,497
  3. Kansas (3) – 1,457
  4. Duke – 1,399
  5. Louisville – 1,386
  6. Florida – 1,313
  7. Maryland – 1,134
  8. Gonzaga – 1,096
  9. North Carolina – 1,060
  10. Villanova – 1,048
  11. Virginia – 1,007
  12. Seton Hall – 863
  13. Texas Tech – 837
  14. Memphis – 773
  15. Oregon – 742
  16. Baylor – 523
  17. Utah State – 491
  18. Ohio State – 407
  19. Xavier – 356
  20. St. Mary’s – 330
  21. Arizona – 265
  22. LSU – 234
  23. Purdue – 230
  24. Auburn – 210
  25. VCU – 193

Others receiving votes: Washington 164, Colorado 152, Tennessee 78, Marquette 68, Florida St. 36, Davidson 34, Harvard 24, Illinois 14, Missouri 13, Mississippi St. 12, Houston 11, Georgetown 11, Cincinnati 8, Notre Dame 7, Creighton 4, Syracuse 3, NC State 3, Vermont 2, Alabama 2, Southern Cal 2, Liberty 2, Michigan 2, Dayton 1, Colgate 1, Providence 1.



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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star — the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.
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