DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke men's basketball team was tabbed No. 4 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 Poll as announced by the AP Thursday. The Blue Devils have now been ranked in the top 25 of the AP Poll an NCAA-best 117 straight weeks.
Duke returns a pair of double-figure scorers in junior Quinn Cook (11.7 ppg.) and sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon (11.6 ppg.) from last year's team that finished 30-6 with an NCAA Elite Eight appearance. The Blue Devils also boast a pair of All-America caliber newcomers in sophomore Rodney Hood and freshman Jabari Parker. Hood and Parker combined for 35 points (12-of-19 shooting), 12 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and four steals in Duke's 103-67 exhibition win over Bowie State Oct. 26.
Kentucky claimed the top spot in the initial poll of the 2013-14 season with 27 first-place votes, while Michigan State grabbed 22 first-place votes and was No. 2 overall. No. 3 Louisville garnered 14 first-place votes with Duke claiming the final two first-place votes.
Kansas was fifth in the AP Poll extending its streak to 85 consecutive weeks ranked. The Jayhawks were followed by Arizona and Michigan with Oklahoma State and Syracuse tied for eighth and Florida rounding out the top 10.
Ohio State was 11th and was followed by North Carolina, Memphis, VCU, Gonzaga, Wichita State, Marquette, Connecticut, Oregon and Wisconsin. The last five ranked teams were Notre Dame, UCLA, New Mexico, Virginia and Baylor.
The ACC had the most teams in the preseason Top 25 with five, followed by the Big Ten (4). The new American Athletic Conference, the Big 12 and Pac 12 all had three ranked teams.
Duke has nine games scheduled against teams ranked in the AP Preseason Poll, including home-and-home tilts with No. 12 North Carolina and No. 8 Syracuse as well as a Nov. 12 date with No. 5 Kansas in the Champions Classic in Chicago. No. 1 Kentucky and No. 2 Michigan State will also face each other in the Nov. 12 event at the United Center.
The Blue Devils host No. 7 Michigan (Dec. 3) and No. 24 Virginia (Jan. 13), face No. 22 UCLA (Dec. 19) in a neutral site contest and travel to South Bend to play No. 21 Notre Dame (Jan. 4). Duke could also face No. 6 Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Duke opens the season Nov. 8 against Davidson at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The contest is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPNU.