Where art thou GWU, GMU in A-10 preseason poll?

Where art thou GWU, GMU in A-10 preseason poll?
October 8, 2013, 10:15 am
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As all George Washington and George Mason fans surely must know, today is Atlantic 10 media day. While I didn't trek all the way to Brooklyn for the festivities, my preseason ballot did make its way to the conference's headquarters. Like the Patriots, who will participate in the A-10 for the first time this season, this is my initial participation with the conference, as a voter that is.

Later today the A-10 will reveal the various preseason honors, including all conference and defensive teams plus the projected order of finish. My ballot is below. Later this page will be updated with the results.

Guessing I'm high-ish on GMU and GWU relative to consensus. Having covered both teams over the last few years, I've obviously seen them both more than the other teams. Does that cloud or enlighten my take is the question. We have the next six months to find out...

Update - The Atlantic 10 results have been announced. 

Atlantic 10 Conference Predicted Order of Finish

Team Points (first place votes in parenthesis)

1. VCU (19) 307 
2. Saint Louis (5) 288 
3. La Salle 265 
4. Massachusetts 236
5. Saint Joseph’s 199 
6. Richmond 173 
7. Dayton 171 
8. George Mason 141 
9. Rhode Island 130 
10. George Washington 122 
11. Fordham 58 
12. St. Bonaventure 56 
13. Duquesne 38 

Ben's ballot

1. VCU
2. Saint Louis
3. LaSalle
4. UMass
5. Richmond
6. George Mason
7. George Washington
8. Rhode Island
9. Saint Joseph's
10. Dayton
11. St. Bonaventure
12. Duquesne
13. Fordham

Notes: As I suspected, I had the locals higher than others. Based on my analysis, the gap between teams slotted 4-10 is small enough that none of the Wallenda's would find much risk in walking over it. For the longest time I debated putting Saint Joseph's fifth, but seeing as the Hawks disappointed me last season, that didn't happen. ...George Mason returns the bulk of last year's team that won 22 games, including two over A-10 teams. Having left the CAA, the Patriots are now stepping up in overall conference play. How Paul Hewitt's team handles the transition is the mystery. ...As for the Colonials, they return all five starters, a group that includes four rising sophomores plus senior center Isaiah Armwood. Projecting player growth, especially for that many young players, also provides a challenge for pundits. I suspect Mike Lonergan's team will surprise a few people this season especially with Indiana transfer Maurice Creek playing this season and big man Kevin Larsen emerging inside.

Atlantic 10 First Team Preseason All-Conference

Tyreek Duren, G La Salle Sr.
Chaz Williams, G, Massachusetts Sr. 
Dwayne Evans, F, Saint Louis Sr. 
Treveon Graham, G, VCU r. 
Juvonte Reddic, F, VCU Sr. 

Second Team Preseason All-Conference

Sherrod Wright, G, George Mason Sr. 
Isaiah Armwood, F, George Washington Sr.  
Xavier Munford, G, Rhode Island Sr. 
Langston Galloway, G, Saint Joseph’s Sr.  
Ronald Roberts Jr., F, Saint Joseph’s Sr. 

Third Team Preseason All-Conference

Brendan Frazier, G, Fordham Sr. 
Tyrone Garland, G, La Salle Sr. 
Jerrell Wright, F, La Salle Jr.
Cedric Lindsay, G, Richmond Sr. 
Jordair Jett, G, Saint Louis Sr. 

Ben's ballot          

1st Team

Chaz Williams, G, UMass                

Treveon Graham, F, VCU             

Dwayne Evans, F, Saint Louis     

Juvonte Reddic, F, VCU

Isaiah Armwood, George Washington

2nd Team

Tyreek Duren, G, La Salle

Briante Weber, G, VCU

Tyrone Garland, G, LaSalle 

Xavier Mumford, G, Rhode Island                     

Sherrod Wright, G George Mason

3rd Team

Langston Galloway, G Saint Joseph's   

Derrick Williams, F, Richmond

Jordair Jett, G, Saint Louis          

Derrick Colter, G, Duquesne

Maurice Creek, G, George Washington

Notes: Voters were asked to rank players 1-15. ...Seeing as LaSalle reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament last season, seems logical one of its players would make the 1st team. If GW does surprise, expect Armwood's shot blocking skills leading the way, hence my call of the former Montrose Christian star over Duren. ...Glad to see A-10 voters recognized Wright, who at times last season was the Patriots only reliable scorer. ...Curious if anyone else voted for Creek. Guessing not. If he's healthy, then I'm prescient. If he's not, well, after all of Creek's injuries during his career, that's a far worse crime than a faulty vote.

Atlantic 10 preseason All-Defensive Team

Isaiah Armwood, F, George Washington Sr. 
Patricio Garino, G/F, George Washington So. 
Chaz Williams, G Massachusetts Sr. 
Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, F, Richmond So. 
Jordair Jett, G, Saint Louis Sr. 
Briante Weber, G, VCU, Jr. 

Ben's ballot

Briante Weber, G, VCU

Isaiah Armwood, C, George Washington     

Jordair Jett, G, Saint Louis

Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, C, Richmond

Chaz Williams, G, UMass

Notes: From a pre-determined list, voters were asked to pick five players, ranking them 1-5. Essentially I nailed this one, especially since Garino was my final cut. Guessing Mike Lonergan might give me some grief over that decision. 

George Mason opens the season November 8 against American, the same day George Washington hosts Radford.