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