Oct. 21, 2010
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's list of preseason accolades continues to grow, as the Wildcats appeared at No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches poll released on Thursday.
The No. 3 preseason ranking by the nation's coaches is the highest of any of the major polls released. It is also the highest ever ranking for K-State in a preseason poll, which includes the longstanding Associated Press poll. The AP, which has not announced its Top 25 poll for the 2010-11 season, selected the Wildcats No. 8 in the preseason polls of both the 1961-62 and 1964-65 seasons. The team has ranked in the coaches' Top 10 for eight consecutive polls dating back to last season, including a No. 7 ranking to conclude the 2009-10 season. Overall, the school has appeared in 15 consecutive coaches' polls dating back to Dec. 14, 2009.
Kansas State was the highest rated Big 12 team in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches poll, which also included No. 7 Kansas, No. 14 Baylor, No. 15 Missouri and No. 25 Texas. The Wildcats will face a total of seven teams in the preseason poll during the 2009-10 season, including non-conference opponents No. 11 Florida, No. 12 Gonzaga and No. 23 Virginia Tech. The team was preceded in the poll by defending champion Duke and Final Four participant Michigan State, while Pittsburgh and Ohio State rounded out the Top 5.
K-State has been ranked in the Top 10 in nearly every available preseason poll, including No. 4 by Lindy's Sports, No. 5 by Athlon Sports, ESPN.com and FOXSports.com, No. 6 by The Sporting News, No. 7 by Slam magazine, No. 8 by Dick Vitale and No. 10 by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.
The Wildcats, who posted a school-record 29 wins en route to its first trip to the Elite Eight since 1988 last season, return five players with starting experience in 2010-11, including seniors Curtis Kelly and Jacob Pullen who started all 37 games a year ago. Pullen has been selected to a number of preseason All-American teams, including the first team by Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News, and was selected the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league coaches. Both Pullen and Kelly were named to the preseason all-conference squad by the coaches.
K-State will continue preseason preparations before opening exhibition play against Newman on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The Wildcats officially tip off the season at home against James Madison on Friday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. CT.