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Kansas sits atop preseason poll

By wire services
Published November 9, 2004

Sure, Kansas often grabs a spot high in the AP men's preseason poll, but it hasn't been No.1 since Wilt Chamberlain was there.

The Jayhawks are on top of the Top 25 poll released Monday, the 13th consecutive season they have been 11th or higher in the first poll.

Wake Forest is the first of three consecutive ACC teams at No.2, and six ACC teams are in the Top 25. Florida is 23rd, but no other state teams received votes. The Gators are 22nd in the coaches preseason poll while Florida State received one vote.

Wayne Simien leads four starters back for Kansas, which lost to Georgia Tech in the region final last season.

"I hope we're never going to be satisfied and our veterans understand they've got to go play," second-year Kansas coach Bill Self said. "It's nice, but it means nothing in the big scheme of things."

The Jayhawks hope they can do better than the last time they were No. 1 in the preseason. In 1956-57, Chamberlain and the Jayhawks lost in triple overtime to North Carolina in the title game.

Wake Forest has all five starters back from the team that lost to Saint Joseph's in the round of 16.

"You see it. You look at it, and you shake your head. But you can't waste one nanosecond to worry about it," coach Skip Prosser said of matching Wake's highest ranking in any AP poll.

Georgia Tech and North Carolina are third and fourth, respectively. It is the second time in three seasons one conference has had the Nos.2-4 in the preseason poll. The Big 12's Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas did it in 2002.

No.11 Duke, No.15 Maryland and No.19 North Carolina State also are in the ACC.

Illinois, where Self coached before heading to Kansas, is fifth. He succeeded Roy Williams, who went to North Carolina.

"So, I've got a 1 and a 5 and Roy's got a 1 and a 4," Self said. "What are you guys trying to do to us?"

LOUISVILLE: Freshman forward Brian Johnson will sit out the season because of a recurring right knee injury. The 6-foot-9, 245-pounder will have his third surgery in six months later this month. Johnson had been practicing with a brace, but loose cartilage has caused too much pain, coach Rick Pitino said. Vols top women's poll

Tennessee is no longer chasing Connecticut. Pat Summitt's team is No.1 spot in the AP preseason women's poll for the 11th time but first since 1998.

The Vols received 20 of 45 first-place votes to edge Texas, LSU and three-time defending champion Connecticut.

"I was a little surprised based on the players we lost and the fact that only three of our freshmen are healthy right now," Summitt said. "But as I told our team, it certainly is a compliment to them and how they finished last year and also to our newcomers."

Tennessee returns starters Shanna Zolman, Loree Moore and Shyra Ely plus four other veterans from a 31-4 team that lost to UConn in the national title game in April. It also has the nation's top-ranked recruiting class though Candace Parker, Alex Fuller and Sade Wiley-Gatewood are hurt. Fuller is out for the season.

NOTRE DAME: Coach Muffet McGraw signed a two-year extension that runs through 2010-11. In 17 seasons, McGraw is 384-149 with 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a national title in 2001. [Last modified November 9, 2004, 00:27:24]


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