The Oklahoma State men’s basketball team was tabbed to finish seventh in the annual Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll, the league announced Thursday.
OSU is one of 22 programs in the nation to play in the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons, and garnered 33 points in the 2015-16 preseason poll. Last season, the Cowboys were picked eighth by the coaches, but finished sixth and earned a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cowboys will be led by Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection Phil Forte, who finished fourth in the league in scoring at 15.0 points per game last season. He is expected to make a run up the OSU scoring and 3-point charts during his senior year.
For the fourth straight season, Kansas was picked to win the Big 12. The Jayhawks were a unanimous selection to win the league with 81 total points. OSU is the only team to beat Kansas in each of the last three seasons.
The Big 12 was the No. 1 conference in the nation in the RPI a year ago and returns four of five All-Big 12 First Team selections for the first time in league history. Six of the top nine Big 12 scorers from 2014-15 will play again this season after nine of 10 teams were ranked or received votes in the top 25 a year ago.
The Cowboys will unofficially start the 2015-16 season on Friday, Oct. 23, when they host the ninth annual Homecoming & Hoops. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the event begins at 9 p.m. Admission is free.
OSU will host East Central for an exhibition on Nov. 6, and will open the season on Nov. 13 against UT Martin at Gallagher-Iba Arena.