IRVING (October 11, 2012) -- Baylor’s men’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the 2012-13 Big 12 Conference Preseason Poll. Each of the league’s coaches vote in the poll, and they are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Baylor’s No. 2 slot in the poll is the highest in program history, one spot better than last season’s third-place selection, which was also a program best at the time. The Bears received one first-place vote, marking the third time in the league’s 17-year history. Baylor received two first-place votes in both 2008-09 and 2011-12.
Head coach Scott Drew’s team has been picked to finish in the top four of the league in four of the last five seasons, and the Bears went to the Elite Eight the lone year they weren’t picked in the top four. BU was picked third in 2008-09, 10th in 2009-10, fourth in 2010-11, third in 2011-12 and second in 2012-13. Drew is the first coach in school history to lead the Bears to four postseason appearances, and he ranks second on Baylor’s all-time wins list (157).
The Bears earned 63 points to finish 18 points behind Kansas (nine first-place votes). Oklahoma State (60 points) was picked third, followed by Texas (58 points), Kansas State (54 points), West Virginia (45 points), Oklahoma (34 points), Iowa State (28 points), Texas Tech (18 points) and TCU (nine points).
Senior point guard Pierre Jackson was named Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches on Oct. 4, marking the second consecutive year a Baylor player has earned the honor. He earned honorable mention AP All-American honors in his debut season in Waco last year, guiding the Bears to a school-record 30 wins and their second Elite Eight in the last three seasons.
The Bears host Moonlight Madness at the Ferrell Center at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is free, and Baylor will be one of 14 sites featured as part of ESPNU’s national Midnight Madness coverage. BU takes on Abilene Christian in an exhibition game on Oct. 25 before opening regular-season play against Lehigh on Nov. 9.
Baylor opens 2013 Big 12 play by hosting Texas on Jan. 5. For the second straight season, league teams will play a full double round-robin schedule, facing each team in the league at home and on the road.
Big 12 Conference Men’s Basketball Media Day is scheduled for Wednesday at Spring Center in Kansas City, site of the 2013 Phillips 66 Men’s Basketball Championship.
2012-13 BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
1. Kansas (9) – 81
2. Baylor (1) – 63
3. Oklahoma State – 60
4. Texas – 58
5. Kansas State – 54
6. West Virginia – 45
7. Oklahoma – 34
8. Iowa State – 28
9. Texas Tech – 18
10. TCU – 9