The preseason AP Top 25 poll was released today. Kansas basketball will open the 2023-24 season as the top-ranked school in the country.
After a health scare that took Bill Self out of the NCAA Tournament last year, he said in an offseason press conference: ‘I want to take this place to a whole new level.’ The Hall of Fame head coach has done that and then some.
He now brings in a preseason No. 1 team for the fourth time in his tenure at Kansas. The most significant addition to the 2023-24 roster was Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Hunter Dickinson. Also coming in is Nick Timberlake, a guard who shot 40% from 3-point range last year at Towson, and the No. 10 recruiting class in the country.
With the AP Top 25 now out, Jayhawk fans will be pleased to know their team was voted the preseason title favorites.
Kansas basketball also returns Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Dajuan Harris, All-Big 12 Third Team selection Kevin McCullar, and one of the most improved players in the conference last year, KJ Adams. Elmarko Jackson looks like the real deal and is potentially a one-and-done player. Johnny Furphy also continues to impress in practices.
The other roster that can give Kansas a run for their money at No. 1 is the Duke Blue Devils. It seemed like a coin flip on who would secure the top spot heading into the season, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Duke and Kansas basketball meet in Phoenix this April.
The other three times Kansas basketball was the preseason No. 1 team in the AP poll were 2004-05, 2009-10, and 2018-19, all under Coach Self. None of those teams lived up to the hype in the NCAA Tournament — none got past the second round — but doubting Bill Self again would be a massive mistake.