Hoops: Horns Check In At No. 2 In AP Poll

The Texas men's basketball team is ranked No.2 in the Associated Press preseason poll released Monday.

It marks the highest preseason rank for the Longhorns in the AP poll in school history, topping the No. 4 ranking prior to the 2002-03 season. It also matches UT's highest overall rank in the poll, achieved on Dec. 2, 2002.

"It's a compliment to our program and to our current players, but what does it really mean?" said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. "Our guys understand
it's just a number by a name right now, and we've got to go play games."

The Horns will test their ranking against four teams currently rated in the AP Top 12, including a showdown against top-ranked Duke in East Rutherford, N.J., on December 10. The Blue Devils collected 61 of 68 first-place ballots while the Horns garnered six. No. 5 Villanova, which visits Austin on January 14, received the remaining first-place ballot. Texas travels to No. 12 Memphis on January 2.

Other Big 12 schools listed in the AP poll are No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 25 Iowa State. Conspicuously missing is perennial power Kansas.

Texas is rated No. 3 in the preseason USA Today (Coaches) preseason poll released late last month.

This marks the 10th appearance in school history in the AP preseason poll and the eighth appearance in the last 10 years. Texas was tabbed No. 6 in 1978-79, No. 22 in 1990-91, No. 16 in 1996-97, No. 22 in 1997-98, No. 21 in1999-2000, No. 23 in 2001-02, No. 4 in 2002-03, No. 12 in 2003-04 and No. 16 last season.

Texas concludes its exhibition season with a game against Barnes' alma mater Lenoir-Rhyne College (Hickory, N.C.) on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Tip time is 7 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center. UT opens the regular season with a home game against Southern (La.) in the opening round of the Guardians Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15 (7:30 p.m.) at the Drum.

Associated Press Preseason Top 25 (first-place votes in parentheses)

Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Duke (61) 1,785
2. TEXAS (6) 1,652
3. Connecticut 1,578
4. Michigan State (4) 1,572
5. Villanova (1) 1,413
6. Oklahoma 1,378
7. Louisville 1,319
8. Gonzaga 1,275
9. Kentucky 1,255
10. Arizona 1,212
11. Boston College 1,093
12. Memphis 920
13. Stanford 842
14. West Virginia 652
15. Alabama 621
16. Syracuse 586
17. Illinois 563
18. Wake Forest 524
19. UCLA 499
20. Iowa 395
21. George Washington 304
22. Nevada 291
23. Indiana 273
24. Maryland 258
25. Iowa State 251


Horns Digest Top Stories