On Monday, CBSSports.com released their Top 25 (And One) preseason collegiate basketball poll as complied by Gary Parrish. The Kansas Jayhawks, with their freshman dominated team, was ranked 4th.
In front of the Jayhawks was another freshman heavy school, the Kentucky Wildcats, followed by the reigning National Champion Louisville Cardinals, and the Michigan State Spartans.
Duke, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, and Michigan round out the top 10.
Kansas is ranked high despite the fact they have very little college experience on their roster. Senior transfer Tarik Black, junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, and sophomore big men Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor are the only returning players with much experience at all.
The ranking is based on the development of a trio of highly valued freshmen, including CBSSports.com’s Preseason Player of the Year, Andrew Wiggins. he is joined by top prospects Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid. Other freshmen including Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, and Frank Mason, plus holdover big man, red shirt freshman Landon Lucas.
Wiggins is one of the most ballyhooed freshmen in decades. This past week, Wiggins graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. While he will most certainly be a one-and-done player, he seems mentally and physically a prototypical Bill Self-type of player. If he can blend in with the team atmosphere Self cultivates at Kansas but retain a degree of offensive and defensive aggressiveness, Wiggins can lead the talented young Jayhawks back to the Final Four.
The Oklahoma Cowboys were the only other team from the Big 12 Conference to make the top 25. The Cowboys were recently selected by Big 12 coaches as the preseason co-favorite to win the conference with Kansas.
CBSSports.com also released the selections of their other college basketball experts. The lowest any other the panelists had Kansas was 9th, by Doug Gottlieb. The highest was 3rd, by Jerry Palm.