Gonzaga Men Ranked No. 9 In Associated Press Preseason Top-25 Po - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Men Ranked No. 9 In Associated Press Preseason Top-25 Poll

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Kyle Wilter and the Gonzaga men's basketball team are coming off a school-record 35 wins. Kyle Wilter and the Gonzaga men's basketball team are coming off a school-record 35 wins.

By Gonzaga University Media Relations

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Gonzaga men’s basketball team was ranked No. 9 in Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll released Monday.

It marks Gonzaga’s 13th appearance in the AP preseason poll, and second-highest preseason AP ranking in program history. GU was eighth to start the 2005-06 season. It is also the fourth preseason AP top- 10 ranking for the Zags – 8th in 2005-06; 10th in 2003-04; 10th in 2008-09.

Gonzaga is coming off a historic year which featured a school-record 35 wins, second-ever berth in the Elite Eight and school-record 22-game win streak during the season. The Zags also captured their third straight WCC regular season and tournament titles, while advancing to a 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.

The Zags return all three big men who shared significant minutes in 2014-15, including senior Kyle Wiltjer, who led the Zags in scoring at 16.8 points per game. Senior center Przemek Karnowski is back after averaging 10.9 points and then spending the summer with the Polish National Team playing the European Championships.

Sophomore forward Domantas Sabonis is also back for the Zags after a breakout freshman season with 9.7 points and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per game. Sabonis also played for his national team, Lithuania, helping them earn a spot in the finals of the European Championships and a berth in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Gonzaga had 1,047 points in the poll, just 41 behind Oklahoma, who was ranked eighth.

North Carolina took the top spot in the poll with 1,566 points and 35 first-place votes, while Kentucky was second with 1,520 points and 10 first-place votes. Maryland was third with 1,487 points and 14 first-place votes, followed by Kansas and Duke to round out the top five. Kansas, in fourth, had five first-place votes, while Virginia, behind Duke in sixth, had the remaining first-place vote.

The season officially gets underway with an exhibition against Eastern Oregon at home on Nov. 7 at 5 p.m., followed by the regular-season opener in Okinawa, Japan, against Pittsburgh in the Armed Forces Classic on Nov. 13.

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