Kansas ranked No. 1 in AP preseason basketball poll

The Longhorns received five votes headed into Shaka Smart's fourth season in charge


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.

Headed into Texas coach Shaka Smart's fourth season, the Longhorns received five votes. Texas Tech received six votes in the preseason poll.