MBB Ranked 13th in Preseason AP Poll

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga men’s basketball team will begin the season ranked No. 13 by the Associated Press, the fourth-highest preseason AP rank in program history.

The Zags were voted 13th by a 65-member panel that ranked Kentucky at No. 1 with 52 first-place votes. Arizona is second with five first-place votes and Wisconsin was third with eight first-place votes. Duke checked in at No. 4 and Kansas was slated fifth to round out the top five.

The ranking is the fourth-highest to start a season and highest since being 12th to start the 2010-11 season. GU’s 2005-06 team started eighth and the 2008-09 team started 10th. It also marks the 11th time in program history for the Zags to start the season in the top 25 of the AP poll.

Gonzaga is also starts the season ranked 13th in the USA Today Coaches poll and the West Coast Conference coaches’ choice to win the league title.

The Zags return three starters and seven lettermen from last year’s squad that finished 29-7. A healthy Kevin Pangos is back and brings a streak of 103 consecutive starts after battling injuries last season while still putting up 14.4 points per game. GU also returns starters Gary Bell Jr. and Przemek Karnowski. Bell, who missed six games due to injury, averaged 11.0 ppg, and Karnowski turned in 10.4 ppg, 7.1 rebounds per game and a team-leading 1.72 blocks per game.

Gonzaga also welcomes a heralded set of transfers and freshmen. Junior Kyle Wiltjer (Kentucky), senior Byron Wesley (USC) and junior Eric McClellan (Vanderbilt) will all suit up this season for the Zags. GU’s freshman class of Josh Perkins, Domantas Sabonis, Silas Melson and Bryan Alberts are also looking to contribute right away.

Gonzaga opens the season with an exhibition against Thompson Rivers University on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised on KHQ. The first regular season game kicks off four consecutive home games and is on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. against Sacramento State on ROOT SPORTS/KHQ.

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kentucky (52) 29-11 1,604
2 Arizona (5) 33-5 1,518
3 Wisconsin (8) 30-8 1,483
4 Duke 26-9 1,415
5 Kansas 25-10 1,346
6 North Carolina 24-10 1,274
7 Florida 36-3 1,153
8 Louisville 31-6 1,114
9 Virginia 30-7 1,090
10 Texas 24-11 1,061
11 Wichita St 35-1 1,027
12 Villanova 29-5 885
13 Gonzaga 29-7 840
14 Iowa State 28-8 781
15 Virginia Commonwealth 26-9 574
16 San Diego St 31-5 560
17 Connecticut 32-8 552
18 Michigan St 29-9 521
19 Oklahoma 23-10 426
20 Ohio State 25-10 340
21 Nebraska 19-13 309
22 SMU 27-10 285
23 Syracuse 28-6 178
24 Michigan 28-9 167
25 Harvard 27-5 98
25 Utah 21-12 98
 

Others receiving votes: Stanford 71, Iowa 58, Colorado 57, UCLA 35, Minnesota 34, Kansas St 27, Arkansas 21, Pittsburgh 20, Memphis 15, NC State 14, Louisiana Tech 9, Cincinnati 8, LSU 8, George Washington 7, Notre Dame 6, Oklahoma St 6, Dayton 6, Georgetown 5, Florida St 5, Maryland 3, Illinois 3, UNLV 2, BYU 2, West Virginia 1, Baylor 1, Stephen F. Austin 1, UTEP 1


 

 

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