The preseason coaches’ selections have been tallied and Kansas is once again the choice to win the Big 12 men’s basketball regular season championship. Three different squads - KU, Texas and Oklahoma - received first-place votes, but the Jayhawks were the preseason favorite for the 13th time in conference history.
Junior Perry Ellis, who finished second on the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game, is the top returnee for Kansas. Sophomore Wayne Selden, Jr. will also be back after averaging 9.7 points with 87 assists a year ago. He will be joined by a recruiting class that was rated in the top 10 nationally by ESPN.com, headlined by five-star recruits Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre.
Texas was picked a close second and is hoping to end the Jayhawks run of 10 straight outright or shared Big 12 regular season crowns. The Longhorns return every starter from last season’s NCAA Tournament squad, including four players who averaged 11 points or more. UT also welcomes forward Myles Turner, rated as the No. 2 player overall by ESPN.com.
Oklahoma was picked third, with the Sooners and Longhorns both earning their highest preseason ranking since being picked in the same spots in 2009-10. Junior guard Buddy Hield leads four returning starters from a team that averaged 81.9 points, a mark that was seventh nationally and the Sooners best average since 1993-94.
K-State and Iowa State were next at fourth and fifth, respectively. Both teams have three starters back from squads that appeared in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Baylor and West Virginia tied for sixth, followed by Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech rounding out the poll. Three of the five teams in the bottom half of the poll played in the postseason a year ago.
The Big 12 season gets underway on Friday, November 14 with nine schools in action. Big 12 conference competition starts on Saturday, January 3 with four league games. Big 12 teams will face a full double round-robin schedule in conference competition for the third consecutive season.
The Big 12 will hold its preseason media day on Wednesday, October 15 at Sprint Center in Kansas City - site of the 2015 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship. Live coverage will be available at Big12Sports.com.
2014-15 BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
|†||Team (First-place Votes)††||Points|
|10. †||Texas Tech||13|
Nine points were awarded for first place, eight for second, etc.
Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.
BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL HISTORY
|†||Preseason Selection (actual finish)††||Big 12 Champion (preseason selection)†|
Oklahoma State (8th)
|2012-13||Kansas (Tie-1st)||Kansas (1st)
Kansas State (5th)
Texas A&M (9th)
|2010-11||Kansas State (Tie-3rd)||Kansas (2nd)|
|2009-10||Kansas (1st)||Kansas (1st)|
|2008-09||Oklahoma (2nd)||Kansas (3rd)|
|2007-08||Kansas (Tie-1st)||Texas (2nd)
|2006-07||Kansas (1st)||Kansas (1st)|
|2005-06||Texas (Tie-1st)||Kansas (3rd)
Oklahoma State (3rd)
|2003-04||Missouri (Tie-5th)||Oklahoma State (5th)|
|2002-03||Kansas (1st)||Kansas (1st)|
|2001-02||Kansas (1st)||Kansas (1st)|
|2000-01||Kansas (Tie-2nd)||Iowa State (4th)|
|1999-2000||Kansas (5th)||Iowa State (6th)|
|1998-99||Oklahoma State (Tie-5th)||Texas (5th)|
|1997-98||Kansas (1st)||Kansas (1st)|
|1996-97||No Coaches Poll||Kansas