Oct. 12, 2005 DALLAS - For the first time in Big 12 history, Texas is the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 title in a vote of the league's head coaches, it has been announced. The Longhorns received 10 of 12 possible first-place votes in polling for the 2005-06 season. The previous high preseason ranking for UT was second, before 2003-04 and 1999-2000. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Texas welcomes back its top three scorers from a year ago - guard Daniel Gibson (14.2 ppg), forward P.J. Tucker (13.7) and forward Brad Buckman (12.5). Gibson was named 2004-05 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and led UT in scoring 13 times.
Oklahoma earned the other two first-place votes and was picked second with 112 points. The Sooners boast four returning starters, including seniors Taj Gray, Terrell Everett and Kevin Bookout. Gray and Bookout were first and second in the Big 12 in conference games last year with shooting percentages of 59.9 and 59.4 percent, respectively.
Kansas was chosen third with 89 points. The Jayhawks, who have won at least 23 games each of the last 16 seasons, are expected to be led by three newcomers who were McDonald's All-America picks a year ago. Oklahoma State, winners of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship each of the last two years, was selected fourth. OSU boasts sophomore JamesOn Curry, who scored in double-figures in seven straight games to end the 2004-05 season.
Texas Tech, Iowa State, Texas A&M and Missouri were next in the preseason selections. Each of the squads played in the postseason last year. Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas State and Baylor rounded out the poll.
The Big 12 season gets underway on Thursday, November 10 as Texas Tech hosts San Jose State in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Conference play begins Saturday, January 7 with five league contests.
The preseason All-Big 12 team will be announced on Monday, October 17, two days prior to the Big 12 Basketball Media Days, held October 19-20 in Dallas.
2005-06 Big 12 Preseason Poll Team (First place votes) Points 1. Texas (10) 120 2. Oklahoma (2) 112 3. Kansas 89 4. Oklahoma State 84 5. Texas Tech 80 6. Iowa State 70 7. Texas A&M 68 8. Missouri 48 9. Colorado 43 10. Nebraska 40 11. Kansas State 25 12. Baylor 13 Eleven points were awarded for first place, 10 for second, etc. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.
Big 12 Preseason Poll History Season Preseason Selection (actual finish) Big 12 Champion (preseason selection) 2004-05 Kansas (Tie - 1st) Kansas (Tie - 1st) Oklahoma State (3rd) Oklahoma (4th) 2003-04 Missouri (Tie - 5th) Oklahoma State (5th) 2002-03 Kansas (1st) Kansas (1st) 2001-02 Kansas (1st) Kansas (1st) 2000-01 Kansas (Tie - 2nd) Iowa State (4th) 1999-00 Kansas (5th) Iowa State (6th) 1998-99 Oklahoma State (Tie - 5th) Texas (5th) 1997-98 Kansas (1st) Kansas (1st) 1996-97 No coaches poll Kansas