RAMS PICKED AS A-10 FAVORITES; THREE NAMED TO PRESEASON TEAMS
BROOKLYN, N.Y. –VCU was tabbed the Atlantic 10 Conference's preseason favorite Tuesday by the league's coaches and selected media members.
The Rams earned 19 of a possible 24 first-place votes in the poll, while Saint Louis received the other five. The Billikens were picked second, followed by La Salle, UMass and Saint Joseph's, respectively.
Led by Head Coach Shaka Smart, the Rams finished 27-9 last season and made their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. VCU is one of just eight schools to win an NCAA Tournament game in each of the last three years.
Graham led the Rams last year in scoring with 15.1 points per game and ranked second on the squad with 5.8 rebounds. He was one of just four players in the A-10 to rank in the top-20 in scoring (eighth) and rebounding (18th).
Reddic posted 11 double-doubles last year en route to averaging 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds. He's posted double-figures in 36 of his last 50 games dating back to the 2011-12 season. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native became the 17th junior in VCU history to reach 1,000 points during the Rams' NCAA Tournament victory over Akron in March.
Junior Briante Weber was the third Ram honored, earning a spot on the Preseason Atlantic 10 All-Defense squad. Weber was the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year last season after leading the league in steals with 98. He also led the country for the second straight year in steal percentage at 7.61. It was the highest mark ever recorded by Ken Pomeroy, who has been tracked the stat since 1999.
The Rams open up the 2013-14 season with an exhibition contest against California University (Pa.) on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The regular season opener is set for Nov. 8 against Illinois State in Richmond.
1. VCU (19) 307
2. Saint Louis (5) 288
3. La Salle 265
4. UMass 236
5. Saint Joseph's 199
6. Richmond 173
7. Dayton 171
8. George Mason 141
9. Rhode Island 130
10. George Washington 122
11. Fordham 58
12. St. Bonaventure 56
13. Duquesne 38