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Monarchs Picked TO Finish Fourth In CAA Pre-Season Poll

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: October 25, 2006
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Oct. 25, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC--The Old Dominion University Monarchs were Picked to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association and senior forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa) was selected to the pre-season All-CAA second team as announced today at CAA Media Day held at the ESPN Zone.

The Monarchs open the pre-season this Friday night with the annual Blue- White scrimmage which will tip off at 7 p.m. in the Constant Convocation Center.

ODU returns three starters from last year's 24-10 squad that reached the semi-finals of the NIT. Arnaud Dahi averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Point guard Drew Williamson (Burlington, NC.) led the CAA in assists/turnover ratio. He averaged 4.8 assists and 7.3 points per game. Brian Henderson (Richmond, Va.) led the team in three point percentage (.395) and averaged 6.0 points per game. Also returning is 6-7 senior Valdas Vasylius (Klepaidia, Lithuania), who averaged 8.8 ppg.

Hofstra, 26-7 tied a school record for victories last season and picked up the first two post-season wins in school history. The Pride welcomes back the nation's highest-scoring three-man backcourt in senior Loren Stokes, junior Antoine Agudio and senior Carlos Rivera. Stokes, a two-time 1st team All-CAA selection, ranked among the league's top 20 in scoring (17.4 ppg/3rd), rebounding (5.1 rpg/20th), assists (2.8 apg/14th) and steals (1.6 spg/10th) for the second straight season. Agudio, a 2nd team All-CAA pick, was fourth in the CAA in scoring with 17.2 ppg with many of them coming on a school-record 91 three-pointers. Rivera chipped in 11.7 ppg and led the team with 3.6 assists per game.

George Mason captured the nation's attention last season with its 27-8 record and magical run to the NCAA Final Four. Returning to the Patriots' starting lineup are junior forward Will Thomas, who contributed 11.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while topping the CAA in field goal percentage (58.0%), and junior guard Folarin Campbell, who poured in 11.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and also led the team in assists (3.4 apg). Also back is senior Gabe Norwood (3.4 ppg), who was the team's "sixth man" last season.

Drexel returns four starters from its 15-16 team that advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament. Senior guard Dominick Mejia, a 3rd team All-CAA honoree, scored 15.3 ppg and drained a league-high 92 three-pointers while backcourt mate Bashir Mason chipped in 11.3 points and 4.3 assists while making the CAA's All-Defensive team for the third year in a row. They are joined by junior center Frank Elegar (11.1 ppg/6.8 rpg), senior forward Chaz Crawford (6.4 ppg/7.6 rpg) and junior forward Randy Oveneke (2.5 ppg/2.8 rpg)

UNC Wilmington has two regulars returning from a 25-8 team that captured its fourth CAA championship in the last seven years. Senior guard T.J. Carter made the All-CAA third team last year after averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game, while junior forward Todd Hendley contributed 10.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in his first year with the squad. The Seahawks will be in their first season under new head coach Benny Moss.

Hofstra's Stokes was chosen as the CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year. He was joined on the pre-season All-CAA first team by teammate Agudio, UNCW's Carter, Drexel's Mejia, Mason's Thomas and Towson senior guard Gary Neal, who is the nation's leading returning scorer after averaging 26.1 ppg last season,

Voted to the pre-season second team were George Mason's Campbell, ODU's Dahi, Drexel's Mason, James Madison sophomore forward Juwann James, who was the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2005-06, and VCU senior guard B.A. Walker, who tallied 11.7 ppg for the Rams last season.

CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ORDER OF FINISH >p> 1. Hofstra 2. George Mason 3. Drexel 4. Old Dominion 5. UNC Wilmington 6. VCU 7. Towson 8. Georgia State 9. Northeastern 10. James Madison 11. William & Mary 12. Delaware

MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CAA TEAMS

FIRST TEAM

Antoine Agudio, Hofstra T.J. Carter, UNC Wilmington Dominick Mejia, Drexel Gary Neal, Towson Loren Stokes, Hofstra Will Thomas, George Mason

SECOND TEAM

Folarin Campbell, George Mason Arnaud Dahi, Old Dominion Juwann James, James Madison Bashir Mason, Drexel B.A. Walker, VCU

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Loren Stokes, Hofstra Poll was voted on by head coaches, sports information directors and media.

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