Monarch Cagers Picked Third In CAA Pre-Season Poll
By ODU Athletics
Oct. 17, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 17, 2007) - The Old Dominion University Monarchs who have won 75 games the last three years,advanced to two NCAA tournaments and an NIT semi-final, but lost three starters from a year ago have been picked to finish third in the CAA pre-season poll according to a vote of the leagues head coaches, sports information directors and media.
Senior guard Brandon Johnson was named second team pre-season All-CAA, while senior guard-forward Brian Henderson was an honorable mention selection. The announcements were made during Wednesday's CAA Basketball Media Day at the ESPN Zone in Washington, DC.
George Mason, which welcomes back all five starters from last year's 18-15 squad that advanced to the conference title game, is favored to win the CAA men's basketball championship in 2007-08.
The Patriots were followed in the voting by the four CAA teams that advanced to postseason play last season - VCU, Old Dominion, Drexel and Hofstra. Picked sixth was UNC Wilmington, followed by James Madison, Northeastern, William and Mary, Delaware, Georgia State and Towson.
Senior forward Will Thomas and senior guard/forward Folarin Campbell, who were starters on Mason's Final Four team in 2006, are back to lead the Patriots. Thomas made the All-CAA second team last season after averaging 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Campbell was a third-team All-CAA selection after scoring a team-high 13.9 points per game and dishing out 122 assists.
VCU returns three starters from its 28-7 team that set a school record for victories, captured the CAA championship and knocked off Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Running the show for the Rams will be junior guard Eric Maynor, who earned first-team All-CAA accolades after tallying 13.9 points per game and ranking fifth in the nation in assists (6.4 apg). Also back for VCU are starting senior forwards Wil Fameni (8.9 ppg/5.4 rpg) and Michael Anderson (6.4 ppg/4.9 rpg).
Old Dominion looks to build on a three-year run of success that has featured 75 victories, two NCAA Tournament appearances and a berth in the NIT semifinals. The Monarchs welcome back a pair of backcourt starters from last year's 24-9 squad in seniors Brian Henderson (9.4 ppg) and Brandon Johnson (8.3 ppg/4.6 rpg). Johnson earned first team All-CAA Defensive squad, averaging over 2.0 steals per game. He currently ranks 12 all-time on ODU's career steals list. Brian Henderson ranked 12th in the CAA in three-point field goal percentage at .378.
Drexel posted its most wins in over a decade last season and earned a spot in the NIT for the fourth time in the past five years. The Dragons will build around one of the league's top inside players in senior center Frank Elegar, who averaged 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds to claim a spot on the All-CAA second team.
Hofstra has two starters back off last season's 22-10 team that advanced to the NIT for the third year in a row. The Pride is led by one of the nation's most prolific scorers in senior guard Antoine Agudio, who poured in 20.2 points per game and knocked down a school-record 100 three-pointers.
VCU's Maynor was chosen as the CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year. He was joined on the pre-season All-CAA first team by Hofstra's Agudio, Delaware senior forward Herb Courtney, Drexel's Elegar and Mason's Thomas. The annual Blue-White scrimmage is Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Constant Center.
2007-08 CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. George Mason 2. VCU 3. Old Dominion 4. Drexel 5. Hofstra 6. UNC Wilmington 7. James Madison 8. Northeastern 9. William and Mary 10. Delaware 11. Georgia State 12. Towson
2007-08 CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL PRE-SEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS First Team Antoine Agudio, Hofstra 6-3, G Herb Courtney, Delaware, 6-7, F. Frank Elegar, Drexel, 6-9, C Eric Maynor, VCU, 6-2, G. Will Thomas, George Mason, 6-7, F
Second Team Folarin Campbell, George Mason, 6-4, G T.J. Carter, UNCW, 6-3, G Juwann James, JMU, 6-6, F. Brandon Johnson, ODU, 6-1, G Vladimir Kuljanin, UNCW, 6-10, C
CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year: Eric Maynor, VCU
Honorable Mention: Brian Henderson, Sr., G, Old Dominion; Todd Hendley, Sr., F, UNC Wilmington; Abdulai Jalloh, Jr., G, James Madison; Matt Janning, So., G/F, Northeastern; Leonard Mendez, Jr., G, Georgia State
* 1st team All-CAA in 2006-07 # 2nd team All-CAA in 2006-07 ^ 3rd team All-CAA in 2006-07 % 3rd team All-CAA in 2005-06 (injured last season)