Coaches Make Fairfield Preseason MAAC Favorite

October 26th, 2010

The last time Fairfield reached the top of the MAAC was back in 1997, when they gave North Carolina all they wanted and then some in a first round NCAA Tournament loss. And with the release of the Preseason Coaches Poll, Ed Cooley's team is the favorite to win the conference in it's 30th year of existence. Fairfield picked up six first-place votes and totaled 96 points, beating out three-time defending champion Siena by five points. The Saints, who boast preseason Player of the Year Ryan Rossiter and fellow first-team member Clarence Jackson, received three first place votes. The other first place vote went to Saint Peter's, who is the pick to finish third with 77 points.

The question mark for the Peacocks is the health of guard Wesley Jenkins, who will undergo an MRI in two week or so to check on the status of his injured knee. If things go well, according to head coach John Dunne, the senior could be back by December and if not they may have to explore surgical options. Iona, who has one of the more experienced rosters in the MAAC, was fourth in the poll with 73 points. The entire preseason poll is as follows: 

1. Fairfield (6 first-place votes) 96 points
2. Siena (3) 91
3. Saint Peter's (1) 77
4. Iona 73
5. Rider 51
6. Loyola 47
7. Canisius 45
8. Niagara 40
9. Manhattan 19
10. Marist 11

And the Preseason All-MAAC teams are as follows: 

First Team
G Derek Needham (Fairfield)
G Scott Machado (Iona)
G Wesley Jenkins (Saint Peter's)
G Clarence Jackson (Siena)
F Ryan Rossiter (Siena) Preseason Player of the Year

Second Team
G Julius Coles (Canisius)
G Jamal Barney (Loyola)
F Mike Ringgold (Rider)
G Justin Robinson (Rider)
F Ryan Bacon (Saint Peter's)
G Nick Leon (Saint Peter's)

Third Team
F Greg Logins (Canisius)
F Yorel Hawkins (Fairfield)
F Alejo Rodriguez (Iona)
G Anthony Nelson (Niagara)
G/F Novar Gadson (Rider)