Kansas clear No. 1 in AP preseason hoops ballot, adopted by Duke

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Invoice Self likes to remind his crew that the faces would possibly change at Kansas however the expectations inside his program by no means do.

Expectations outdoors this system? Seems they’re as excessive as attainable this 12 months.

The Jayhawks have been the clear No. 1 choose within the AP Prime 25 preseason males’s basketball ballot launched Monday, incomes 46 of 63 first-place votes to simply outdistance No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Purdue. It is the third time since Self’s arrival in Lawrence in 2003 that his crew will begin the season on high however the first time for the reason that 2018-19 season.

” you will have a goal in your again taking part in at Kansas,” mentioned Kevin McCullar Jr., who determined to return for a second season with the Jayhawks and fifth in school hoops. “We’ll have that chip on our shoulder, you recognize, show all people improper, and state why you need to be the No. 1 crew within the nation. You go on the market and use that. You employ that as gas each day.”

The Jayhawks had a disappointing follow-up to their 2022 nationwide title final season, shedding to Texas within the Massive 12 championship and falling to Arkansas within the opening weekend of the NCAA event. Self, 60, missed each of these occasions after having a valve in his coronary heart changed, however the coach is again on the sideline and chasing a 3rd nationwide title within the seventy fifth anniversary season of the AP ballot.

He has three returning starters in McCullar, Dajuan Harris Jr. and Ok.J. Adams, together with top-50 recruit Elmarko Jackson and Michigan switch Hunter Dickinson, maybe the largest prize of this previous summer season’s portal strikes.

“I believe that this summer season actually put us in all probability forward since we’ve got so many new faces, regardless that our core’s nonetheless the identical … ,” mentioned Self, whose crew performed throughout a preseason tour of the Caribbean. “The chemistry is actually one which, I do not know that we’re forward of schedule, however they actually appear to love to play off one another.”

Duke picked up 11 first-place votes to land at No. 2 in Jon Scheyer’s second season, and Purdue obtained three first-place nods because it tries to avenge a shocking finish to final season. AP participant of the 12 months Zach Edey and the Boilermakers grew to become the second males’s No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed within the NCAA event after they misplaced to Fairleigh Dickinson.

Edey’s deadline-day choice to return to the Boilermakers, fairly than flip professional, saved them a nationwide title contender.

“We had a tricky end to the season shedding within the first spherical. Hopefully that sits with us as a training workers and actually as a program to make us higher, so we will have extra success in March,” Purdue coach Matt Painter mentioned. “However as you guys all know, it would not begin there. The method begins throughout, and you’ll’t miss any steps.”

Michigan State was fourth with one first-place vote, its highest rating since December 2020, and Marquette rounded out the highest 5 with AP Coach of the 12 months Shaka Good returning a loaded squad led by third-team All-American Tyler Kolek.

That is the best rating for the Golden Eagles since they have been No. 3 in March 1978, after they have been generally known as the Warriors.

Defending nationwide champion UConn was sixth with two first-place votes after shedding standouts Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins. The Huskies have been adopted by Massive 12 newcomer Houston, Creighton, Tennessee and Florida Atlantic, which returns nearly everybody from the crew that went 35-4 and made a stunning Ultimate 4 run final season.

“Now we have some guys which are able to play, have been able to play however underneath circumstances have needed to take a again seat,” mentioned Owls coach Dusty Might, whose crew has jumped from Convention USA to the American Athletic Convention.

“We’ll be slightly completely different,” Might mentioned, “however we’ll nonetheless be versatile, and we’ll play a variety of guys.”

Gonzaga was No. 11, adopted by Arizona, Miami (Florida), Arkansas and Texas A&M. Kentucky got here in at No. 16, with nationwide runner-up San Diego State subsequent, and Texas, North Carolina and Baylor rounded out the highest 20.

The ultimate 5 have been Southern California, Villanova, Saint Mary’s, Alabama and Illinois.

Convention watch

The SEC led the way in which with 5 groups within the preseason ballot, with Tennessee within the high 10. The Massive 12 and Massive East had 4 apiece, with the latter touchdown three among the many high eight in Marquette, UConn and Creighton. The ACC and Massive Ten had three apiece.

Exterior trying in

Wisconsin, Colorado and UCLA are the primary three outdoors the Prime 25; the Bruins have been No. 7 within the ultimate ballot final season. Additionally on the skin have been Xavier and Kansas State, each of whom have been within the high 15 getting into final 12 months’s NCAA event.

Mark your calendar

The season begins for many groups Nov. 6, with some big-time matchups within the first couple of weeks. That features the annual Champions Traditional doubleheader, this time in Chicago, the place No. 2 Duke will play fourth-ranked Michigan State and top-ranked Kansas will face No. 16 Kentucky.

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