Men's Hoops Preseason Co-Favorite

The Texas A&M men's basketball team has done something that hasn't been done in the 16 years of the Big 12...coaches have voted Coach Kennedy and his team as the team to beat for the Big 12 title. Actually, KU and A&M tied for the top spot with Baylor picked third and Missouri fourth.

IRVING, Texas-For the first time in league history, Texas A&M has been picked to win the Big 12 Conference men's basketball championship in a vote of the league's head coaches, the conference office announced Thursday.

The Aggies, along with defending champion Kansas, top the poll with 73 points apiece. It marks the second time in conference history that two squads tied for the top spot in the preseason poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.

A&M's No. 1 ranking bests the program's previous high of second, garnered in 2006-07. New head coach Billy Kennedy welcomes back 10 lettermen and three starters-led by preseason All-Big 12 pick Khris Middleton. The Aggies are coming off a 24-win season and their sixth straight NCAA appearance-one of 12 schools nationally that have accomplished the feat.

The Jayhawks will be led by senior guard Tyshawn Taylor and junior forward Thomas Robinson. Kansas has eight lettermen back from a squad that advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals for the 27th time in 2011. The Jayhawks have won or shared each of the last seven Big 12 regular season championships.

Baylor was picked to finish third, followed by Missouri, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

The Big 12 season gets underway on Wednesday, November 9 as Texas A&M hosts Liberty. Big 12 play starts on Monday, January 2, again featuring the Aggies (at Baylor), and matching the earliest start in league history. Big 12 teams will face a full double round-robin schedule in conference play for the first time in league history this season.

Fans can get their first look at this year's squad next Friday, Oct. 21 with the annual Maroon and White Scrimmage at Reed Arena. Admission is free and tip time is 7:30 p.m.

Texas A&M will play 19 games at Reed Arena this year, and season tickets are available for as low as $200 by calling 888-99-AGGIE or by logging on to The Aggies will play Dallas Baptist in a November 3 exhibition game before opening the year against Liberty on November 9.


Team (First-place votes)

1. Kansas (5)

Texas A&M (2)

3. Baylor (2)

4. Missouri (1)

5. Texas

6. Kansas State

7. Oklahoma State

8. Iowa State

9. Oklahoma

10. Texas Tech

Ten points were awarded for first place, nine for second, etc. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.

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