Coming off a single-digit loss total in 2016, with a 26-9 overall record, the West Virginia University men's basketball team finds itself ranked No. 18 in the USA Today Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll. Bob Huggins' teams missed out on the NCAA Tournament in its first two seasons as Big 12 Conference members. He quickly turned that around by producing two of his best seasons since coming back to Morgantown.
The Mountaineers lost three key players after the 2015-2016 season, as Devin Williams left for the NBA and Jonathan Holton and Jaysean Paige graduated. WVU does return starters Jevon Carter, Daxter Miles, Jr. and Esa Ahmad. Huggins also adds Maciej Bender and will have James "Beetle" Bolden for the 2016-2017 season.
Duke topped the poll, while fellow Big 12 member, Kansas was ranked No. 2. The reigning national champions, Villanova, are No. 3, with Kentucky and Oregon rounding out the top five.
The only other Big 12 team in the poll is Texas, who sits at No. 22.
WVU opens its season on Friday, November 11, against Mount St. Mary's. The Mountaineers will also participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off November 20-28. Big 12 play starts on Friday, December 30, as WVU travels to Oklahoma State.