The Big 12 coaches released their preseason rankings and have slotted the Bears fifth in the Big 12. Kansas received nine first place votes (Bill Self cannot vote for his own team.) Iowa State received the other first place vote, but finished fourth overall.
The Big 12 is difficult to predict this season. Kansas is the clear favorite as they add the nation’s #1 recruit in Josh Jock and return their starting point guard, shooting guard and center.
After Kansas, the race for second is wide open. West Virginia holds that spot in the preseason rankings, but Devin Williams was vital to West Virginia’s offense and is now gone. Texas lost its starting point guard, shooting guard, and center. While Iowa State must replace former Big 12 defensive player of the year Jameel McKay and perhaps its best player in program history in Georges Niang.
The Bears should feel like they can finish anywhere in this league. Manu Lecomte steps in at point guard and may dictate where the season goes. Johnathan Motley was the only big man to make the All-Big 12 team and should be the Bears best player. Ish Wainright, the team’s lone senior, said after the first practice the team’s goal is to, “win the Big 12.” The Bears will have a tough task in overtaking Kansas, but in a league where so much has changed, the Bears have the pieces to make a run this season.
1.Kansas (9)* 81
2. West Virginia 65
3. Texas 59
4. Iowa State 56
6. Oklahoma 40
7. Oklahoma State 32/Texas Tech 32
9. Kansas State 20
10. TCU 12