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ODU Picked To Finish Fourth-Bazemore Player of the Year in CAA Pre-Season

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: October 18, 2011
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Oct. 18, 2011

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ARLINGTON, Va. (October 18, 2011) - The ODU Monarchs who won back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association titles with two starters returning have been picked to finish fourth for the 2011-12 season according to a vote of league's coaches, media relations directors and media members. Monarch senior Kent Bazemore was selected pre-season Player of the Year. The results were announced during Tuesday's CAA Basketball Media day at Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, VA.

Drexel, which returns six of its top seven players from last year's 21-10 squad, has been picked to win the CAA men's basketball championship. The Dragons were followed in the voting by George Mason, VCU, Old Dominion and James Madison. Picked sixth was William & Mary, followed by Delaware, Hofstra, Northeastern, UNCW, Georgia State and Towson.

Drexel welcomes back four players who received postseason recognition a year ago. Senior forward Samme Givens, a second-team All-CAA pick, led the conference in rebounding and was the only player in the league to average a double-double (12.2 ppg/10.1 rpg). Junior guard Chris Fouch averaged a team-high 14.9 ppg off the bench and was named to the All-CAA third team. Forward Dartaye Ruffin (8.4 ppg/7.4 rpg) and point guard Frantz Massenat (5.5 ppg) were selected to the CAA All-Rookie squad. Also back in the starting lineup are junior guard Derrick Thomas (6.9 ppg) and junior forward Daryl McCoy (5.4 ppg/7.8 rpg).

George Mason, which begins its first season under coach Paul Hewitt, has a pair of starters returning from a 27-7 squad that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Patriots will build around senior forward Ryan Pearson, who tallied 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game to earn second-team All-CAA honors. He'll be joined up front by senior forward Mike Morrison (6.8 ppg/5.5 rpg). Mason's backcourt will get a lift from the return of sophomore Sherrod Wright (5.5 ppg), who missed last season with an injury. Also back at guard are sophomores Vertrail Vaughns (4.5 ppg) and Bryon Allen.

VCU is riding the momentum from last year's 28-12 campaign that culminated with a magical run to the Final Four. Back to lead the Rams is senior forward Bradford Burgess, who contributed 14.3 ppg and was among the CAA's top 10 in field goal, free throw and 3-point shooting percentage. Sophomore forwards D.J. Haley (1.1 ppg) and Juvonte Reddic (3.5 ppg) and guard Rob Brandenberg (4.9 ppg) will step into more prominent roles. VCU is also looking for increased contributions from junior guards Darius Theus (3.0 ppg) and Troy Daniels.

Old Dominion went 27-7 last season and became the first team in nearly a decade to capture back-to-back CAA championships. The Monarchs' top returnee is senior guard Kent Bazemore, who was a second-team all-conference pick after contributing 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He also made a league-best 76 steals and was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year. Also back are senior forward Chris Cooper (5.0 ppg/5.5 rpg) and senior guards Trian Iliadis (6.0 ppg) and Marquel DeLancey.

Bazemore is joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by VCU's Burgess, Drexel's Givens, Mason's Pearson and William & Mary senior guard/forward Quinn McDowell, who made the All-CAA third team a year ago after averaging 15.5 ppg and shooting 45.5% from 3-point range.

Voted to the preseason second team were Drexel's Fouch, James Madison junior guard Devon Moore (11.4 ppg/4.2 apg), Hofstra senior guard Mike Moore (14.9 ppg/5.4 rpg), UNCW junior forward Keith Rendleman (11.2 ppg/7.8 rpg) and Delaware sophomore guard Devon Saddler (13.3 ppg).

2011-12 CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH 1. Drexel

2. George Mason

3. VCU

4. Old Dominion

5. James Madison

6. William & Mary

7. Delaware

8. Hofstra

9. Northeastern

10. UNCW

11. Georgia State

12. Towson

2011-12 CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

First Team Cl. Pos. Ht.

Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion# Sr. G 6-5

Bradford Burgess, VCU Sr. G/F 6-6 Samme Givens, Drexel# Sr. F 6-5 Quinn McDowell, William & Mary^ Sr. G/F 6-6 Ryan Pearson, George Mason# Sr. F 6-6

Second Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Chris Fouch, Drexel^ Jr. G 6-2 Devon Moore, James Madison Jr. G 6-4 Mike Moore, Hofstra Sr. G 6-5 Keith Rendleman, UNCW Jr. F 6-7 Devon Saddler, Delaware So. G 6-2

CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion Honorable Mention: Eric Buckner, Sr., F, Georgia State; Jonathan Lee, Jr., G, Northeastern; Dartaye Ruffin, So., F, Drexel; Joel Smith, Jr., G, Northeastern; Julius Wells, Sr., F, James Madison

# 2nd team All-CAA in 2010-11

^ 3rd team All-CAA in 2010-11

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