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Baylor Men's Basketball Ranked 25th in first AP Poll of 2013

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Baylor Men's Basketball starts the season ranked #25 in the newly released AP Poll.

The stock caption to this photo was laughably inaccurate.
The stock caption to this photo was laughably inaccurate.
USA TODAY Sports

The Bears open the season ranked #25 in today's AP Poll. This is the 7th straight year that the Bears have been ranked at some point in the season.  Here is the entire poll, courtesy of the mothership's CBB section.

Record Pts Prv
1. Kentucky (27) 21-12 1,546
2. Michigan St. (22) 27-9 1,543 9
3. Louisville (14) 35-5 1,501 2
4. Duke (2) 30-6 1,435 6
5. Kansas 31-6 1,357 3
6. Arizona 27-8 1,311 21
7. Michigan 31-8 1,120 11
8. Oklahoma St. 24-9 1,093 17
8. Syracuse 30-10 1,093 16
10. Florida 29-8 1,048 14
11. Ohio St. 29-8 1,036 7
12. North Carolina 25-11 954
13. Memphis 31-5 741 19
14. VCU 27-9 680
15. Gonzaga 32-3 538 1
16. Wichita St. 30-9 512
17. Marquette 26-9 510 15
18. UConn 20-10 448
19. Oregon 28-9 408 25
20. Wisconsin 23-12 338 18
21. Notre Dame 25-10 332 23
22. UCLA 25-10 244 24
23. New Mexico 29-6 213 10
24. Virginia 23-12 189
25. Baylor 23-14 180

Kansas (5) and Oklahoma State (8) are the ONLY other Big XII schools in this first poll.

Baylor can potentially get a shot at Gonzaga (15) if both advance in the Maui Invitational later this month. In the second year of the series, the Bears will also get a chance to knock off the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats when they meet in Arlington on December 6th.

Without key pieces Pierre Jackson and A.J. Walton in the backcourt, the Bears have some questions to answer when it comes to ball handling and perimeter scoring.  The uncertainty surrounding the point guard position vacated by those two and slated to be filled by JUCO PG Kenny Chery probably prompted voters to push the Bears down the ranks a bit.  Some of that downward pressure was mitigated, however, by the presence of what could become one of the most dominating (and deep) frontcourts in college basketball in Cory Jefferson, Isaiah Austin, and Rico Gathers.  Newcomer Ishmail Wainright, a national top-100 recruit in 2013, returning sophomore Taurean Prince, and senior Gary Franklin could also be intriguing wildcards for the Baylor team, which will need both scoring and toughness if it wants to improve on a NIT Tournament Championship from last season.

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