Big 12 Preseason Poll: Kansas #1

October 16th, 2006
DALLAS - For the seventh time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title in a vote of the league’s head coaches, it has been announced.  The Jayhawks were a unanimous choice - receiving all 11 possible first-place votes in polling for the 2006-07 season.  KU was last selected to win in ‘04-05, when it tied in the preseason tally with Oklahoma State.  The Jayhawks have been picked to win eight times overall, including a media selection prior to the Big 12’s first year in 1996-97.  Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams. 


Kansas welcomes back all five starters from last season, returning 85.2 percent of its scoring overall.  Leading the way is sophomore Brandon Rush, the first player in conference history to be named All-Big 12 First Team as a freshman.  He had 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game a year ago.


Texas A&M earned the other first-place vote and was picked second with 109 points.  It is the highest placement in the preseason tally in school history for the Aggies, whose previous best was seventh prior to last season.  A&M has four starters back, plus its top six scorers.


Oklahoma State was chosen third with 97 points.  The Cowboys have eight of their top 10 scorers back and will be looking to compete in the postseason for the 11th straight year.   Texas tied for the Big 12 regular season crown with KU in 2005-06 and was selected to finish fourth.  The Longhorns will be breaking in five new starters, but have a highly-touted recruiting class - including two McDonald’s All-America picks and two athletes who were their state players of the year. 


 Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor and Missouri were next in the preseason selections.  The Wildcats (Bob Huggins) and Tigers (Mike Anderson) are two of six league schools that will welcome new head coaches, while Texas Tech mentor Bob Knight needs just 11 wins to break the all-time NCAA victory mark.  BU’s predicted finish is its highest in Big 12 history.    Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa State and Colorado rounded out the poll. 


The Big 12 season gets underway on Thursday, November 9 as Texas hosts Alcorn State in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.    Conference play begins Saturday, January 6 with five league contests.   


The Big 12 Conference will hold its preseason media days on Wednesday and Thursday, October 18-19 in Oklahoma City - site of the 2007 Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships. 


2006-07 Big 12 Preseason Poll


                  Team (First place votes)   Points

            1.   Kansas (11)*                        121

            2.   Texas A&M (1)                     109

            3.   Oklahoma State                    97

            4.   Texas                                   95

            5.   Kansas State                        76

            6.   Texas Tech                           68

            7.   Baylor                                  60

            8.   Missouri                               44

            9.   Oklahoma                             42

           10.   Nebraska                              37

           11.   Iowa State                            23

           12.   Colorado                               20


Eleven points were awarded for first place, 10 for second, etc. 

Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.

* - Unanimous selection