RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Defending Atlantic 10 Champion Richmond was picked to finish fifth in a preseason poll voted on by a panel of the league's head coaches and media members and announced Thursday at the conference's annual Media Day in New York City.
Richmond senior Darrius Garrett, who holds the Atlantic 10 record for blocks in a game (14), was named to the conference's Preseason All-Defensive Team. Freshman Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, who chose Richmond over NC State, was named to the Preseason All-Rookie Team.
Xavier is the preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Musketeers, who have clinched at least a share of the regular-season title the last five years, received 18 first-place votes on Thursday from the league's head coaches and members of the media.
Temple, which has won three of the last four A-10 tournaments, was second with the other four first-place votes.
Saint Louis was third followed by St. Bonaventure, Richmond, Dayton, St. Joseph's, George Washington, Duquesne, Rhode Island, Charlotte, Massachusetts, La Salle and Fordham.
The preseason first-team is all seniors: Xavier's Tu Holloway, last season's player of the year, St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, Temple's Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez, and George Washington's Tony Taylor.
Richmond opens the 2011-12 season on Nov. 11 when the Spiders host American at 7:30 p.m. in the Robins Center. The 2010-11 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and Atlantic 10 Champion squad will be honored in pregame ceremony.