Kansas Ranked Preseason No. 1 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll

Oct. 28, 2004

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second time since the inception of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the Kansas men’s basketball team will enter the season No. 1 as the preseason list was released Thursday.

“Certainly our players will be excited of the ranking but they also understand it is undeserved because this team, along with others, has yet to play a game,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self. “We need to start practicing better if we have any chance to play like a team that deserves to be ranked that high in the preseason.”

Kansas entered the 1996-97 campaign No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. That year the Jayhawks held the No. 1 ranking for the entire season. After falling to eventual champion Arizona in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, KU finished fifth in the coaches’ poll at the season’s end.

This marks the third straight year Kansas enters the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll ranked in the top five – second in 2002-03 and fifth last season. The Jayhawks have appeared in the Top 10 of the poll in nine of the last 10 years, including 2004-05’s No. 1 rating.

The last time KU was No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll was Dec. 1, 2003. Kansas fell from the ranking the following week and ended the season No. 9 in the coaches’ poll.

USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Poll

Preseason poll — Oct. 29, 2004

rank, school (first-place votes), last year’s record

1. Kansas (8) 24-9
2. Wake Forest (12) 21-10
3. North Carolina (6) 19-11
4. Georgia Tech (1) 28-10
5. Illinois (1) 26-7
6. Syracuse 23-8
7. Connecticut 33-6
8. Oklahoma State (1) 31-4
9. Kentucky 27-5
10. Michigan State 18-12
11. Arizona 20-10
12. Duke 31-6
13. Louisville (1) 20-10
14. Mississippi State 26-4
15. Texas 25-8
16. Maryland 20-12
17. Pittsburgh 31-5
18. Alabama 20-13
19. N.C. State 21-10
20. Wisconsin 25-7
21. Notre Dame 19-13
22. Florida 20-11
23. Memphis 22-8
24. Washington 19-12
25. Stanford 30-2