Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll & All-Conference

    
October 24th, 2006
Xavier is the overwhelming choice as the team to beat in the Atlantic 10 men's basketball race, according to a poll of the Atlantic 10's head coaches and media released at today's Media Day at Boardwalk Hall, the site of the 2007 A-10 Championship.
 
The Musketeers received 59 of the 64 first-place votes cast by the panel of coaches and media. Xavier (21-11/8-8) returns five starters from last year's A-10 championship team - the only team in NCAA history to twice win four games in four days to claim a league title. This year's Musketeers are led by four players named to the preseason All-Conference teams - first-team selection Stanley Burrell (14.4 ppg, 105 assists); second-team pick Justin Cage (10.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg), who was the most outstanding player of the 2006 A-10 Championship; and third-team selections Justin Doellman (11.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Drew Lavender, who comes to Xavier after transferring from Oklahoma, where he averaged 9.7 ppg and handed out 101 assists as a sophomore in 2004-05.
 
Massachusetts received four first-place votes and place second in the preseason poll. The Minutemen (13-15/8-8) return four starters, led by first-team preseason All-Conference pick Rashaun Freeman (13.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg), and welcome three transfers who are expected to make significant impacts - 7-0 center Luke Bonner (West Virginia), 6-7 forward Etienne Brower (Boston University), and 6-7 swingman Gary Forbes (Virginia). 

Saint Louis (16-13/10-6) was chosen third in the poll and will be led by first-team preseason selection Ian Vouyoukas (13.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg), the 2006 Chris Daniels Award winner as the A-10's most improved player. Charlotte (19-13/11-5), which received the remaining first-place vote, was chosen fourth by the pollsters. The 49ers welcome back De'Angelo Alexander, who is the Atlantic 10's leading returning scorer at 17.0 ppg.

 
Defending regular season champion George Washington (27-3/16-0), which had the best winning percentage (.900) in the country last season, was selected fifth in the poll, and is followed by Dayton (14-17/6-10), Fordham (16-16/9-7), Saint Joseph's (19-13/9-7), Temple (17-15/8-8), La Salle (18-10/10-6), Rhode Island (14-14/8-8), Richmond (13-17/6-10), Duquesne (3-24/1-15), and St. Bonaventure (8-19/2-14).
 
In that same poll, the coaches and media selected the preseason All-Conference teams. The first-team is comprised of Alexander, Burrell, Freeman, Vouyoukas, and Fordham's Bryant Dunston. The second-team features Cage, George Washington teammates Carl Elliott and Maureece Rice, the A-10's Sixth Man of the Year last season, A-10 Rookie of the Year Tommie Liddell of Saint Louis, and Dayton's Brian Roberts. On the third-team are Doellman, Lavender, Charlotte's Leemire Goldwire, Stephane Lasme of Massachusetts, and Kevin Lisch of Saint Louis.
 
The preseason All-Defensive team consists of Cage, Dunston, Elliott, Goldwire, and Lasme. The All-Rookie team boasts Charlotte's David Booker, Jawan Carter of Saint Joseph's, Temple's Luis Guzman, Damian Hollis of George Washington, and Tiki Mayben of Umass.