MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State tied for its highest ranking in the Big 12 men's basketball preseason poll on Wednesday, as the Wildcats were selected fourth in voting by the league coaches with 92 points.
Reigning champion Kansas was the unanimous choice of the coaches with 121 points and all 11 possible first-place votes, while Texas was second with 111 points and the lone remaining first-place vote. Oklahoma was just ahead of K-State in third place with 95 points and Texas A&M (74), Oklahoma State (69) and Missouri (66) followed in fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively. The rest of the poll included Iowa State (57), Texas Tech (34), Baylor (33), Nebraska (27) and Colorado (13). Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
The Wildcats were also picked fourth prior to the 2007-08 season. K-State and Kansas are the only teams to finish in the top-4 in the Big 12 and receive a bye at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship each of the past three seasons.
Kansas State, which has been mentioned in several preseason top 25 polls, returns eight lettermen, including four starters, from a squad that posted its third consecutive 20-win season in 2008-09. The team will also benefit from the services of junior Curtis Kelly, who sat out last season after transferring from Connecticut, as well as a five-member recruiting class, including McDonald's All-American Wally Judge, which has been rated among the top 25 by several recruiting services.
Fewer than 1,000 men's basketball season tickets remain for the coming season with several ticket options available, starting at $320 for bench seating. Fans are encouraged to purchase season tickets because single-game tickets, particularly during Big 12 play, may not be available.
The Wildcats will host an open scrimmage prior to the Colorado football game on Oct. 24, during which fans will have the opportunity to choose their season ticket location. The Northwest and Northeast entrances to the arena will open three hours prior to kickoff with the scrimmage slated to begin 30 minutes later.
The squad, which officially kicks off practice on Friday, Oct. 16, will open its exhibition schedule against Pittsburg State on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. tipoff. The regular season opener is set for Friday, Nov. 13 against Loyola Chicago at 7 p.m.
Team (first place votes)
1. Kansas (11) 121
2. Texas (1) 111
3. Oklahoma 95
4. Kansas St. 92
5. Texas A&M 74
6. Oklahoma St. 69
7. Missouri 66
8. Iowa St. 57
9. Texas Tech 34
10. Baylor 33
11. Nebraska 27
12. Colorado 13