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Texas picked fourth in Big 12 preseason poll

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The Horns are slotted behind the Jayhawks, Bears, and Red Raiders.

NCAA Basketball: NIT Final Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The league’s coaches expect some progress on the court for the Texas Longhorns this season, as the Big 12 Conference revealed on Thursday that head coach Shaka Smart’s team was picked fourth in the preseason poll.

However, Texas tied with TCU last season in fourth-place votes, but underachieved compared to the expectations of league coaches. Smart can’t afford a similar finish this season.

With eight first-place votes, Kansas is expected to once again return to the top of the conference, followed by Baylor and Texas Tech. There was a significant gap in the voting between the Horns and the five through 10 teams in the conference — West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and TCU. Still, the conference should be one of the most competitive in the nation for yet another season.

Live coverage of the conference’s media day on Wednesday, Oct. 23 will be available on ESPN+ live from Kansas City.