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PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team will open the 2010-11 season ranked No. 24 in the AP Preseason Poll, the first time the Cougars have been ranked in the preseason since the 1980-81 season.
The Cougars finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 17 in the final AP Poll and spent the final 11 weeks of the season in the top 25. BYU set a program record with 30 victories and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 99-92 double-overtime victory over Florida.
BYU in the AP Preseason Poll
BYU coach Dave Rose welcomes back his starting backcourt in preseason All-American Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery, who set the Cougar record for steals with 91 last season. Also back are starting forward Noah Hartsock and several key role players, including Charles Abouo, Brandon Davies and Chris Collinsworth.
The 1980-81 team was No. 18 in the preseason and also had an All-America guard in Danny Ainge. The Cougars advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament that season.
Duke will begin the season ranked No. 1 in the poll with Michigan State, Kansas State, Ohio State and Pittsburgh rounding out the top five. National runner-up Butler is No. 17 and fellow Mountain West Conference member San Diego State is No. 25. BYU also received votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and trails No. 25 Texas by 34 votes.
The 2010-11 season opens on Nov. 12 against Fresno State. The game is schedule for 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.