The unanimous decision marks the 11th time in Big 12 history that the Jayhawks have been selected as the league’s preseason favorite. This comes on the heels of a season in which Kansas went above and beyond expectations.
The 2011-12 season marked the eighth consecutive year in which the Jayhawks had won outright, or at least shared a piece of the Big 12 regular season title. Kansas fell to Kentucky in the National Championship game last April.
Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford provide head coach Bill Self with a trio of veteran seniors, as the Jayhawks look to replace Tyshawn Taylor in the back court and Thomas Robinson down low. Withey was selected as a Rant Sports Preseason All-American earlier this week.
Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas State rounded out the poll’s top five, respectively. For the Cowboys, the third place preseason mark is their highest since the 2006-07 season. Sophomore LeByran Nash and freshman guard Marcus Smart are looking to help lead Oklahoma State back into contention this season.
Just last week, news emerged that the conference had selected Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year, yet the race will certainly be tight as the regular season schedule rolls along.
Here is the complete poll as released on Thursday (total points from voters):
1. Kansas (81)
2. Baylor (63)
3. Oklahoma State (60)
4. Texas (58)
5. Kansas State (54)
6. West Virginia (45)
7. Oklahoma (34)
8. Iowa State (28)
9. Texas Tech (18)
10. TCU (9)
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