Jayhawks No. 1 in Associated Press Preseason Poll

Nov. 8, 2004

Lawrence, Kan. –

The Kansas men’s basketball team received its second No. 1 preseason ranking Monday when it stood atop the Associated Press’ Top 25. The Jayhawks received 25 first-place votes and 1,697 points from the national media panel, edging Wake Forest, which had 22 first-place votes and 1,680 points.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The Demon Deacons were the first of three straight Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the poll, and six teams from the league were in the Top 25.

Wayne Simien leads four starters back for Kansas, which lost to Georgia Tech in the NCAA Tournament’s regional finals last season. The Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 for one week last season and they have been ranked No. 2 in five of the last 12 preseason polls.

The last time the Jayhawks entered the season ranked No. 1 was 1956-57, when Wilt Chamberlain led them to the national championship game, a triple-overtime loss to North Carolina.

Kansas No. 1 by Associated Press Quick Facts:

–This is Kansas’ first ever preseason No. 1 by Associated Press. The Jayhawks were No. 1 in the first poll of the 1956-57. AP preseason polls started in 1961-62.

–The last time KU was AP No. 1 was last season – Dec. 1. KU held the top spot for one week.

–Kansas is preseason AP Top 10 for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons. In that span KU was preseason No. 2 four times — 1992-93, 1995-96, 1997-98 and 2002-03.

Quoting Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On Kansas Being No. 1

“I was a little surprised when the first major poll came out and had us preseason No. 1 and certainly surprised again when the Associated Press did as well. More than anything I think this is a tribute to the returning players and the seniors we have in the program.”

On the rankings

“I think this year is as wide open as any year I can remember. I think most coaches would probably feel the same way. In order for us to play to that ranking, a lot of good things need to happen for us just like it has to happen for any school out there with lofty goals and expectations this year.”

On Kansas not being No. 1 in the first AP poll since 1956-57

“Certainly I wouldn’t say this team is better than some of the Kansas teams in the past that were ranked so high in the preseason. It’s just a different climate today. The fact that we have four returning seniors that are all (really) good players gives us an experience edge that few teams in America have.”

On Connecticut being preseason No. 1 last year and winning the national championship

“It’s nice to know that it has been done before but we’re just trying to figure out a way to get better each and every day.”