Shockers appear in top 5 of ESPN, CBS preseason polls

In-state foe Kansas jumps the Shockers in the next set of polls


Selena Favela

Fans cheer on the Shockers at Koch Arena. Feb. 4, 2017.

The Wichita State Shockers stayed in the top five of two new sets of high-profile rankings, released Wednesday.

ESPN ranks the Shockers as the No. 5 team in the country, behind top-level programs Duke, Arizona, Michigan State and Kansas. CBS also ranks the Shockers at No. 5, led by the same four programs.

Each organization mentions the injuries to point guard Landry Shamet and small forward Markis McDuffie, who each suffered stress fractures in the off-season. Shamet announced via social media doctors have cleared him to start practicing. He’s predicted to return close to the start of the season, nearly three weeks away. McDuffie, whose injury did not require surgery, has a time table closer to December.

Cincinnati, who was selected by American Athletic Conference coaches as the preseason favorite to win the AAC, is ranked No. 9 by ESPN and No. 15 by CBS. WSU head coach Gregg Marshall said he desires to earn the respect of the AAC in the Shockers’ first season since leaving the Missouri Valley Conference.

CBS, who ranked all 351 NCAA Division I teams, slotted Central Florida No. 29 in their rankings, highlighting marquee 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall to carry the Knights to AAC success.

Connecticut (No. 39), Southern Methodist (No. 47) and Houston (No. 49) were the only other AAC teams listed inside CBS’ top 50.

Missouri State, who was selected by MVC coaches to win the conference, is listed No. 58 in CBS’ rankings. Northern Iowa, the next highest ranking MVC team, is listed No. 122.

ESPN’s rankings include only the top 25.