BROOKLYN, N.Y.—VCU has been chosen as the Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball preseason favorite in the league’s annual preseason poll. There were also 21 A-10 student-athletes selected for preseason awards. The conference announced the poll and awards Tuesday in conjunction with its annual Media Day, held at Barclays Center. Both the awards and the predicted order of finish were chosen by a panel of the league’s head coaches and media members.
The Rams, the 2012-13 Atlantic 10 Championship runners-up, garnered 19 first-place votes to total 307 points in the poll. VCU has two players on the Preseason All-Conference First Team and three total preseason honorees.
Defending champion Saint Louis was selected second in the poll with 288 points and five voters who picked the Billikens to repeat. NCAA Sweet 16 darling La Salle was chosen third with 265 points and Massachusetts was picked fourth with 236 points.
Saint Joseph’s (199) was picked fifth, while Richmond and Dayton were sixth and seventh, with just two points (173 and 171 respectively) separating the teams. Atlantic 10 newcomer George Mason was picked to finish eighth with 141 points. Rhode Island (130), George Washington (122) and Fordham (58) were picked ninth through 11th and St. Bonaventure and Duquesne rounded out the 13-team poll.
Chaz Williams of Massachusetts and Saint Louis’ Dwayne Evans, both 2012-13 First Team All-Conference selections, were named to the 2013-14 Preseason All-Conference First Team. Joining the pair are three second-team selections from last March, Tyreek Duren of La Salle and VCU’s Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic.
The Preseason Second Team All-Conference includes league newcomer Sherrod Wright of George Mason, and shot blocker Isaiah Armwood from George Washington, who also earned a spot on the Preseason All-Defensive Team. The A-10’s top returning scorer, Rhode Island’s Xavier Munford, is also on the second team along with Saint Joseph’s teammates Ronald Roberts, Jr., and Langston Galloway.
The Preseason Third Team is made up of Branden Frazier from Fordham, and La Salle’s Tyrone Garland and Jerrell Wright. Cedrick Lindsay of Richmond and Jordair Jett from Saint Louis complete the Third Team.
Jett and Williams also made the Preseason All-Defensive Team along with Armwood. Joining the trio are Armwood’s teammate Patricio Garino, and Richmond’s lanky shot blocker Alonzo Nelson-Ododa. VCU’s Briante Weber, one of the nation’s best ball thieves, completes the team.
The 2013-14 season tips off on Friday, Nov. 8 with seven Atlantic 10 teams in action. Conference play will begin Tuesday, Jan. 7. The year will culminate with the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. March 12-16. The Championship, which will include all 13 teams this season, concludes with the final on Sunday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. on CBS.
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