MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State received its first preseason ranking in 32 seasons on Friday, as The Associated Press placed the Wildcats at No. 25 in its annual preseason Top 25 poll.
Kansas State has not been ranked in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 since opening the 1975-76 season with a No. 14 ranking. It also marks the first time that the Wildcats have been ranked in the poll in more than 14 years since checking in at No. 23 on Feb. 13, 1993.
“For a program like us, with incredible tradition and success, being ranked again is always a great thing and it reflects the hard work of the players and that they are getting noticed by people out there," said coach Frank Martin. "Will it have an influence on how we play or how good we are? Probably not. But it is an honor to have a program not ranked for 14 years to all of sudden by there again."
Overall, the ranking marks the sixth time in school history that the Wildcats have started a season ranked in the preseason Top 25 since The Associated Press started its poll in 1949. The squad started the 1961-62 and 1964-65 seasons at No. 8, the 1965-66 season at No. 10, the 1972-73 season at No. 17 and the 1975-76 season at No. 14.
The preseason ranking is not the first garnered this season, as the Wildcats have been ranked 11th by Rivals.com, 14th by Slam magazine and 17th by The Sporting News. The team has also been ranked 26th by CBS Sports and Dick Vitale and 32nd by FoxSports.com.
Last week, Kansas State was the top vote-getter among teams receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll with 94 points, just 17 short of 111 received by No. 25 Villanova.
Kansas State, which registered its first 20-win season in eight seasons in 2006-07, returns two starters and seven lettermen from a squad that posted a 23-12 overall record and a fourth-place finish in Big 12 play with a 10-6 mark. The squad will also welcomes one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, highlighted by top prospect Michael Beasley (Washington, D.C.), who was selected by the league coaches as the preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Kansas State opens the 2007-08 season with an exhibition game against Fort Hays State on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 5 p.m. The squad opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 against Sacramento State at home beginning at 7 p.m.