The dawning of a new era of Penn State basketball is nearly upon us as the Nittany Lions begin building a new identity this season under Micah Shrewsberry. On Monday, we got our first look at the kind of company Shreewsberry hopes Penn State will be a part of soon enough as the Associated Press released its preseason AP Top 25 for the upcoming men’s basketball season.
Last year’s preseason No. 1 team is once again sitting on top at the start of the season. The Gonzaga Bulldogs, after ending last season as the national runner-up to Baylor, received 55 out of 63 first-place votes to take the top spot in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, which was released on Monday morning. UCLA, whom Gonzaga defeated in the Final Four last season, received the remaining eight first-place votes to help secure the nation’s No. 2 ranking.
Five Big Ten teams appear in the preseason AP Top 25, starting with the Michigan Wolverines at No. 6. Michigan finished in first place in the Big Ten’s regular season last year and is once again a favorite to win the conference this season. But Purdue, who is ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll, is just behind the Wolverines to start the season.
Illinois, last season’s Big Ten conference tournament champion, is ranked No. 11 in the preseason AP Top 25. Ohio State (No. 17) and Maryland (No. 21) also appear in the preseason AP poll.
Other Big Ten teams receiving votes in the preseason poll include Michigan State, Indiana, and Rutgers.
NEXT: The full preseason AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll
Here is how the AP Top 25 men’s basketball preseason poll looks ahead of the 2021-2022 season.
Gonzaga (55 first-place votes)
Others receiving votes:
Michigan State 87, Indiana 41, USC 30, Arizona 26, Virginia Tech 25, Oklahoma State 25, Xavier 22, Texas Tech 17, Richmond 13, Rutgers 11, Colorado State 11, LSU 7, Belmont 7, San Diego State 5, St. John’s 5, Mississippi State 5, Syracuse 5, Drake 4, Colorado 4, BYU 3, Notre Dame 3, Louisville 3