Based on last season’s Elite Eight run, Florida is coming into the 2017-18 as a top 10 ranked team in one poll.
The Gators were ranked seventh in the initial USA Today preseason top 25 coaches basketball poll released in Thursday. Florida, which finished 27-9 last year, received one first-place vote.
The Gators return three starters and seven players overall from last season’s team. Florida senior center John Egbunu is out for the start of the season while recovering from ACL surgery. Florida coach Mike White said Wednesday that Egbunu is “on track” for a January return.
Duke is the top-ranked team in the poll, followed by No. 2 Michigan State, No. 3 Kansas, No. 4 Kentucky and No. 5 Arizona. The Gators are ranked in the top 10 in the preseason for the first time since being ranked No. 7 to start the 2014-15 season.
There are three SEC teams in the Top 25 with Alabama (No. 25) joining Florida and Kentucky. Texas A&M narrowly missed the poll, but based on votes received, is 26th. Miami is the only other in-state team in the poll, ranked No. 12. The AP poll is due out in early November.
A full list of the poll can be found here.
Florida will open the season Nov. 13 at Exactech Arena, which will tip at 7 p.m. and air on ESPNU. UF’s season game of the season on Nov. 16 at home against UNF will also tip at 7 and air on the SEC Network.