Sooners 16th in Coaches Poll

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma men's basketball team is ranked 16th in the initial ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll released today.

The Sooners received 244 points and are one of three Big 12 Conference team in the top 25. Kansas (770 points) is ranked No. 1 and Texas (676 points) is ranked No. 3. Fellow Big 12 member Oklahoma State came in 31st in the voting (29 points), while Missouri came in 32nd (28 points), Kansas State 39th (16 points) and Texas A&M 47th (four points).

Oklahoma is coming off a 30-6 season that saw it reach No. 2 in the AP and coaches' polls and advance to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. Among the players gone from that squad, however, are starters Blake Griffin (the 2009 consensus national player of the year and No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick), Taylor Griffin (second-round NBA Draft pick) and point guard Austin Johnson.

Leading the way for Jeff Capel's Sooners this season will be returning starting guards Willie Warren and Tony Crocker. Warren, a sophomore, is on several preseason first-team All-America lists following a strong freshman campaign that saw him average 14.6 points and 3.1 assists, and set OU freshman records for 3-pointers (67) and games started (34). He was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week seven times. Crocker enters his senior season already ranked 34th in OU history in points (1,008) and seventh in 3-point makes (158). Last year he averaged 9.6 points and drained 59 treys.

Oklahoma also welcomes seven newcomers to the team, including McDonald's All-Americans Tiny Gallon and Tommy Mason-Griffin.

Oklahoma plays a home exhibition game next Tuesday (Nov. 3) against the University of British Columbia and begins regular season play Nov. 14 with a home contest against Mount St. Mary's. For ticket information, call (800) 456-4668. ESPN/USA Today Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll (first-place votes in parentheses):
1. Kansas (27) - 770 points
2. Michigan State (3) - 732
3. Texas - 676
4. North Carolina (1) - 653
5. Kentucky - 635
6. Villanova - 620
7. Purdue - 586
8. Duke - 528
9. West Virginia - 501
10. Butler - 408
11. Tennessee - 406
12. California - 370
13. Washington - 364
14. Connecticut - 361
15. Michigan - 279
16. Oklahoma - 244
17. Ohio State - 241
18. Minnesota - 151
19. Mississippi State - 149
20. Georgia Tech - 136
21. Georgetown - 134
22. Dayton - 130
23. Louisville - 123
24. Clemson - 114
25. Syracuse - 111


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