It would appear the Big 12 coaches cannot decide on who the frontrunner is to win the conference men’s basketball championship for 2013-2014. So they picked two.
Kansas and Oklahoma State split the vote in the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll, each receiving five first place votes. Coaches are not allowed to vote for themselves, so it would appear Bill Self and Travis Ford chose each other as the conference favorite.
Had it not been for the commitment of heralded freshman Andrew Wiggins, Oklahoma State may have been the runaway favorite to win the Big 12. The Cowboys return star guard Marcus Smart, who chose to put off the NBA for one more year and stay in Stillwater, along with NBA prospects Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash.
OSU beat Kansas in Lawrence last season, and nearly beat them in Stillwater, too.
“Like I’ve said all along, preseason predictions don’t mean much,” Self told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. “I know going into it that other teams in our league, primarily Oklahoma State, return basically their entire team and we have a lot of newcomers.”
Meanwhile, reigning co-champions Kansas State found themselves in a tie for fifth with Oklahoma. Like the Jayhawks, KSU will see a lot of turnover from last year’s team, introducing seven new players to the roster. Gone are Angel Rodriguez, who transferred to Miami, Rodney McGruder, Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, and Martavious Irving, but K-State does return starters Will Spradling and Shane Southwell, and big man Thomas Gipson. Bruce Weber certainly has the pieces to make another surprising run in the Big 12.
Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll
1. Kansas (5) 77
1. Oklahoma State (5) 77
3. Baylor 63
4. Iowa State 56
5. Kansas State 43
5. Oklahoma 43
7. West Virginia 35
8. Texas 30
9. Texas Tech 14
10. TCU 12