Billikens Picked Seventh In A-10

The Saint Louis Billikens are picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic-10 Conference this season, according to a poll of the league's head coaches and media released Tuesday as part of the A-10's Basketball Media Day.

Xavier was picked as the team to beat, coming off a program-record 30 wins, an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its second consecutive A-10 regular season title.

The Musketeers, who return junior forward Derrick Brown and senior guard/forward C.J. Anderson, received 44 of the 61 first-place votes cast by the panel of coaches and media members.

Xavier has won 20 or more games in 11 of the last 12 seasons and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the past eight years, including Elite Eight appearances in 2004 and 2008.

Temple received 12 first-place votes and placed second in the preseason poll after winning the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship last season for the first time since 2001. Fran Dunphy's squad will be led by senior guard Dionte Christmas, who is trying to become the first player to lead the conference in scoring three times.

Dayton was picked third, while Saint Joseph's (21-13/9-7) was fourth, Charlotte was fifth and Massachusetts (25-11/10-6) was picked sixth.

After the Billikens at No. 7, Richmond was picked eight, with Rhode Island tabbed ninth and La Salle picked 10th. The final four spots went to George Washington, Duquesne, Fordham and St. Bonaventure.

The coaches and media also selected the preseason All-Conference teams. The first team is made up of Brown, Christmas, Kevin Lisch of Saint Louis, Chris Lowe of Massachusetts and Ahmad Nivins of Saint Joseph's.

The second-team is made up of Dayton's Chris Wright, George Washington's Rob Diggs, Massachusetts' Ricky Harris, SLU's Tommie Liddell and Charlotte's Lamont Mack.

On the third-team is Xavier's Anderson, Richmond's Kevin Anderson, Rhode Island's Jimmy Baron, La Salle's Rodney Green and Richmond's David Gonzalvez.

The preseason All-Defensive team consists of Brown, Lisch, Lowe, Temple's Lavoy Allen and Saint Joseph's Garrett Williamson.

The All-Rookie team is comprised of Duquesne's Melquan Bolding, Dayton's Paul Williams and Xavier teammates Kenny Frease, Terrell Holloway and Mark Lyons.


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