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Hawkeye hoops receiving more respect, but not enough to crack preseason top 25

[ 0 ] October 17, 2013 |
Aaron White, Devyn Marble and the Hawkeyes don't have a top-25 ranking to be smiling about, but it's not as if cracking the top 30 is all that bad. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Aaron White, Devyn Marble and the Hawkeyes don’t have a top-25 ranking to be smiling about, but it’s not as if cracking the top 30 is all that bad. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

You’ve heard by now that Iowa basketball carries raised expectations this season, but it looks like Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes have a little more work to do to gain national respect.

That acknowledgement is trickling in, though, to the tune of 86 points in the USA TODAY Preseason Top 25 released Thursday and the fourth spot in the “others receiving votes” category.

They’re 17 points out of the No. 25 spot held by Virginia and just one point behind Creighton and Ames’ latest All-America product, Doug McDermott. But maybe 29th doesn’t sound so bad when you haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2006.

Nor is it a negative to be ranked ahead of in-state rival Iowa State (two points), which has made consecutive third-round appearances in the Big Dance.

It’s much less of a surprise to see Kentucky back atop the rankings, even following a rare absence from the Big Dance. John Calipari’s Wildcats garnered half of the 32 first-place votes to start the 2013-14 grind ahead of Michigan State, Louisville, Duke and Arizona, who round out the top five.

Other Big Ten Conference teams included in the poll are No. 9 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 24 Indiana. Illinois (two points) also made the “others” category.

The full preseason USA TODAY poll:

1. Kentucky (16 first-place votes), 767 points.

2. Michigan State (3), 749

3. Louisville (10), 741

4. Duke (3), 710

5. Arizona, 637

6. Kansas, 623

7. Syracuse, 551

8. Florida, 550

9. Michigan, 548

10. Ohio State, 533

11. North Carolina, 494

12. Oklahoma State, 462

13. Memphis, 334

14. Gonzaga, 270

15. Virginia Commonwealth, 258

16. Wichita State, 233

17. Marquette, 230

18. Oregon, 175

19. Connecticut, 167

20. New Mexico, 153

21. Wisconsin, 148

22. Notre Dame, 128

23. UCLA, 121

24. Indiana, 118

25. Virginia, 103

Others Receiving Votes

Baylor 102; Colorado 93; Creighton 87; Iowa 86; Tennessee 73; Georgetown 38; Harvard 28; Pittsburgh 23; California 16; Boise State 11; Saint Louis 8; La Salle 7; Temple 4; Missouri 4; Villanova 4; Kansas State 3; LSU 2; Iowa State 2; Arizona State 2; Illinois 2; Georgia 1; UNLV 1.

List of Voters

The USA TODAY Sports Board of Coaches is made up of 32 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The board for the 2013-14 season: Tommy Amaker, Harvard; Randy Bennett, Saint Marys; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Scott Cherry, High Point; Tim Cluess, Iona; Keith Dambrot, Akron; James Dickey, Houston; Scott Drew, Baylor; Matt Driscoll, North Florida; Steve Fisher, San Diego State; Bruiser Flint, Drexel; Tim Floyd, Texas-El Paso; Mark Fox, Georgia; John Gallagher, Hartford; George Ivory, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa; Rob Jeter, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Danny Kaspar, Texas State; Mike McConathy, Northwestern State; Greg McDermott, Creighton; Bob McKillop, Davidson; Fang Mitchell, Coppin State; Matt Painter, Purdue; Dave Paulsen, Bucknell; Saul Phillips, North Dakota State; Randy Rahe, Weber State; Herb Sendek, Arizona State; Shaka Smart, Virginia Commonwealth; Andrew Toole, Robert Morris; Don Verlin, Idaho; Bob Williams, UC-Santa Barbara.

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Category: Big Ten, Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

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