Nov. 4, 2004
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's has been chosen as the favorite in the Atlantic 10 East division, in a poll of the Atlantic 10's head coaches and media announced at Men's Basketball Media Day. Senior Pat Carroll was selected to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Second Team and junior Dwayne Jones was named to both the All-Conference Third Team and the All-Defensive Team. Freshman Rob Ferguson was selected to the All-Rookie Team.
SJU garnered half of the 54 first-place votes cast to repeat as East division champions. The Hawks return three starters from last year's 30-2 squad, which went undefeated in the regular season, advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, and attained a No. 1 national ranking.
Led by last season's national Coach of the Year Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph's enters 2004-05 seeking to its fifth consecutive regular-season title.
Carroll, a 6-5 guard/forward, is the team's leading returning scorer (10.1 ppg) and the A-10's career leader in 3-point percentage. Jones, a 6-11 center, is one of the top defensive players in the league, topping the conference in blocked shots for two consecutive seasons. Ferguson, a 6-8 forward, was a redshirt last season at Saint Joseph's, but came out of Mariner High School as Florida's 2002-03 Class 5A Player of the Year.
George Washington received 48 of the 54 first-place votes cast by the panel of coaches and media to win the Atlantic 10 West division. The Colonials return five starters and 13 players from last year's 18-12 team that finished second in the West division, advanced to the A-10 semifinals, and earned an NIT berth.
Following Saint Joseph's in the predicted East standings are Temple, which picked up 12 first-place votes in the poll after advancing to its 21st consecutive postseason tournament; Massachusetts, which garnered 12 first-place votes and returns all five starters from a year ago; Rhode Island, which received three first-place votes after posting its second-straight 20-win season and advancing to the NIT; St. Bonaventure; and Fordham.
Xavier, which earned six first-place votes, follows George Washington in the predicted West standings. The Musketeers were 26-11 last season, became the first team in A-10 history to win four games at the league championship, and advanced to the regional final of the NCAA Tournament. Xavier is followed by Dayton, which posted a 24-9 campaign in earning its second straight NCAA bid; Richmond, which went 20-13 en route to its first NCAA berth since 1998; Duquesne, which won more games (12) and A-10 contests (six) since the 1993-94 season; and La Salle.
In that same poll, the coaches and media selected the preseason All-Conference teams. Headlining the team are three returning All-Conference third-team picks from a year ago: Dawan Robinson of Rhode Island, Steven Smith of La Salle, and George Washington's T.J. Thompson. Joining that trio are 2004 A-10 Rookie of the Year Rashaun Freeman of Massachusetts and Temple's Mardy Collins.
The second-team consists of Anthony Anderson of Massachusetts, Pat Carroll of Saint Joseph's, Xavier's Dedrick Finn, Mike Hall of George Washington, and GW's Pops Mensah-Bonsu, the 2004 Chris Daniels Award winner as the league's most improved player.
On the third-team are Xavier's Justin Doellman, Dwayne Jones of Saint Joseph's, Dayton's Mark Jones, Patrick Lottin of St. Bonaventure, and Bryant McAllister of Duquesne.
Collins, Finn, and Dwayne Jones are all members of the All-Defensive team, as are Carl Elliott of GW and Gaston Moliva of Richmond.
The preseason All-Rookie team is comprised of Trent Meacham and Norman Plummer of Dayton, Rob Ferguson of Saint Joseph's, Rhode Island's Jon Lucky, Churchill Odia of Xavier, and Temple's Mark Tyndale.