K-State picked fourth by league coaches

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State men’s basketball team was given its highest-ever ranking in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll on Thursday, as the Wildcats were chosen fourth with 91 points.


Boosted by the return of seven lettermen and one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, the Wildcats received their highest ranking in 10 preseason polls dating back to the 1997-98 season.  The previous high came in 2006-07 when K-State was selected fifth, while the previous high to last season came back in 1998-99 when the team was chosen sixth.


For the eighth time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title as the Jayhawks gained 120 total points and received 10 of the possible 12 first-place votes in polling of the head coaches.  The team welcomes back four starters and returns 84.6 percent of its scoring.


Texas was picked second in the poll with 105 points, as the Longhorns received four more points more than third-place Texas A&M, which received the other two first-place vote and 101 points.  Following the Wildcats in a tie for fifth place were Missouri and Oklahoma with 66 points each.


Oklahoma State edged Texas Tech for seventh place with 61 points, while the Red Raiders followed in eighth place with 60 points.  Baylor (55) and Nebraska (29) were picked ninth and 10th, respectively, while Iowa State (22) and Colorado (16) rounded out the poll in 11th and 12th.     


Voting was compiled using the 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format, as 11 points were awarded for first place and 10 for second in descending order.  Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.


Kansas State will host the second annual “Madness in Manhattan” at Bramlage Coliseum on Friday, Oct. 12.  Doors to the arena will open at 10:30 p.m., with festivities to begin as soon as most fans are in the arena. 


The Big 12 Conference will hold its annual preseason media day on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 16-17 at the Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo. site of the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships.  Head coach Frank Martin as well as seniors David Hoskins and Clent Stewart as well as freshman Bill Walker will be available for interviews from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.