Big 12 Hoops Picks: UT Men No. 3; Gibson Top Frosh

The Texas men's basketball team, ranked No. 15 nationally in the preseason Coaches Poll, is picked to finish third in the Big 12 Conference in a vote of the league's media. Longhorn point guard Daniel Gibson was named the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year.

"There's no doubt where we want to be and we've been working towards that from the very beginning," said head coach Rick Barnes, whose program advanced to a school-record, third consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearance last season. "We've definitely got the program going but we can't just sustain it. We've got to move it ahead. We've still got work to do."

Kansas earned the top spot in the poll, earning 11 first-place votes and totaling 176 points. Oklahoma State, which received four first-place votes, was picked to finish second, followed by Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. The Horns were also picked to finish third in the Big 12 preseason coaches poll.

Kansas forward Wayne Simien was tabbed as the league's Preseason Player of the Year. Simien was joined by Joey Graham (Oklahoma State), Keith Langford (Kansas), John Lucas (Oklahoma State) and Curtis Stinson (Iowa State) on the preseason All-Big 12 team. Oklahoma forward Taj Gray was picked as the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

Gibson, one of three McDonald's All-Americans that Barnes signed this season, was also the league's coaches preseason choice for Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

"My part is to keep everybody happy, keep the guys relaxed and have a lot fun," Gibson said. "If one doesn't do his part, then everybody will struggle. Everybody's just got to get in and do what they've got to do."

Texas opens its exhibition schedule with a home game against Division II Lenoir-Rhyne College (Hickory, N.C.) on Tuesday, Nov. 9. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center. UT tips off the 2004-05 regular season with a home matchup against Texas State on Friday, Nov. 19 (7 p.m.) at the
Erwin Center.

2004-05 Big 12 Men' s Basketball Preseason Media Poll

1. Kansas (11) 176

2. Oklahoma State (4) 166

3. TEXAS 148

4. Oklahoma 136

5. Missouri 116

6. Iowa State 104

7. Texas Tech 96

8. Kansas State 65

9. Nebraska 62

10. Colorado 52

11. Texas A&M 33

12. Baylor 25

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