VCU picked to finish 3rd, Richmond 10th, in A-10 Preseason Poll

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In their first year in the Atlantic-10, VCU is picked to finish 3rd by the conference voters.  Conference stalwart Richmond is picked to finish 10th out of 16 teams.

Ahead of the Rams in the poll were the preseason favorite, Saint Joseph's, and the highly-touted Billikens of Saint Louis. Temple fell right behind VCU in fourth, followed by UMASS, Butler, La Salle and Dayton. Perennial NCAA Tournament team, Xavier, was slotted ninth, followed by Richmond and the reigning A-10 champs, Saint Bonaventure.

VCU returns over 84% of its minutes, 85% of its rebounding and 80% of its scoring from last year's squad that set a school record with 29 wins en route to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Over the past three years, the 84 victories by the Rams are the eighth highest total in the country.

The Rams' Juvonte Reddic earned a spot on the Preseason A-10 Third Team after posting 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds during his sophomore campaign. He led last year's squad in field-goal percentage (.514) and blocks (44), while ranking third in steals (47). He posted six double-doubles last year, along with 17 double-figure scoring nights. Twice, Reddic scored 20-plus, including a career-high 28 points in a home win over William & Mary. Spider Darien Brothers also was named to the Preseason A-10 Third Team.

Briante Weber was recognized as a member of the Preseason A-10 All-Defensive team after leading the country last year in steals per 40 minutes (4.6). The Chesapeake, Va. native led last year's team with 77 steals, the second-most in school history. Weber's 7.01 steal percentage led the entire country was the highest percentage posted in all of college basketball in the last nine seasons.

Newcomer Melvin Johnson was honored as a member of the Preseason A-10 All-Rookie Team. The Bronx, N.Y. native is believed to be the highest-rated recruit in VCU history. A consensus top-100 guard out of St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J. who earned a four-star rating by every major recruiting service. As a senior, he helped lead St. Benedict's to a 35-3 record and a top-20 ranking by USA Today. During that year, he averaged 20.8 points and knocked down 82 three-point field goals.

1.        Saint Joseph's (11)
2.        Saint Louis (10)
3.        VCU (3)
4.        Temple (2)
5.        Massachusetts (2)
6.        Butler (2)
7.        La Salle
8.        Dayton
9.        Xavier
10.        Richmond
11.        St. Bonaventure
12.        Charlotte
13.        George Washington
14.        Fordham
15.        Rhode Island
16.        Duquesne

First Team
Kevin Dillard, Dayton
Chris Gaston, Fordham
Chaz Williams, Massachusetts
Kwamain Mitchell, Saint Louis
Khalif Wyatt, Temple

Second Team
Rotnei Clarke, Butler
Chris Braswell, Charlotte
Ramon Galloway, La Salle
Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph's
Carl Jones, Saint Joseph's

Third Team
Darien Brothers, Richmond
C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph's
Halil Kanacevic, Saint Joseph's
Scootie Randall, Temple
Juvonte Reddic, VCU

Roosevelt Jones, Butler
Pierria Henry, Charlotte
C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph's
Jordair Jett, Saint Louis
Briante Weber, VCU

Kellen Dunham, Butler
Jordan Hare, Rhode Island
Daniel Dingle, Temple
Melvin Johnson, VCU
Semaj Christon, Xavier

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