Nov. 1, 2002

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma men's basketball team is ranked third nationally in the initial 2002-03 ESPN/USA Today coaches poll that was released Thursday.

The Sooners, who received one of the 31 first-place votes, trail top-ranked Arizona and second-ranked Kansas in the poll. OU beat both the Wildcats and the Jayhawks last season.

Fellow Big 12 members Texas (No. 5) and Missouri (No. 18) also appear in the poll. More ranked Oklahoma foes include Alabama (No. 8), Michigan State (No. 10), Mississippi (No. 13) and Connecticut (No. 14).

OU will hold an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Howard McCasland Field House. Admission is free and representatives from the OU Athletic Ticket Office will be selling season tickets in the Field House lobby.

The Sooners play their first exhibition game Nov. 9 against Global Sports and open the regular season Nov. 14 versus Alabama inside New York's Madison Square Garden as part of the AT&T Wireless Classic.

ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Arizona (27)
2. Kansas (3)
3. Oklahoma (1)
4. Pittsburgh
5. Texas
6. Duke
7. Florida
8. Alabama
9. Oregon
10. Michigan State
11. Xavier
12. UCLA
13. Mississippi State
14. Connecticut
15. Maryland
16. Georgia
17. Kentucky
18. Missouri
19. Marquette
20. Cincinnati
21. Indiana
22. Gonzaga
23. Western Kentucky
24. Minnesota
25. Illinois