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