Dayton has been selected as the Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball favorite for the second consecutive year in the league’s annual preseason poll. The conference announced the poll and preseason all-conference awards Tuesday in conjunction with its annual Media Day, held at Barclays Center. The awards and poll were chosen by the league’s head coaches and select media members.
The Flyers return all four starters from a team that finished tied for second in the A-10 in 2022-23. Dayton earned 370 poll points and garnered 20 first-place votes. Led by Preseason All-Conference selections DaRon Holmes II and Malachi Smith, the Flyers finished 22-12 overall last year, and 12-6 in the A-10. Holmes, a prolific shot blocker, as also named to the All-Defensive Preseason Team.
Defending champion VCU was picked second in the 2023-24 preseason poll. The Rams totaled 321 points and picked up three first-place votes. Ryan Odom is in his first year leading the perennial NCAA team, which features Max Shulga and Sean Bairstow, both transfers from Odom’s 2022-23 Utah State team that reached the NCAA Tournament. The Rams won the A-10 regular season as well last year with a 15-8 record, and were 27-8 overall with an NCAA Tournament bid.
St. Bonaventure placed third in the Preseason Poll with 319 points and one first-place vote. The Bonnie return Preseason All-Conference selections Daryl Banks III and Chad Venning following the 2022-23 campaign in which SBU tied for eighth in the league with a 8-10 record and was 14-18 overall.
Duquesne was chosen fourth in the poll with 302 points. The Dukes Dae Dae Grant and Jimmy Clark III were Preseason All-Conference selections, and Clarke was also named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team. Duquesne was 20-13 last year, including the 500th career victory for coach Keith Dambrot. The Dukes tied for sixth in the league with a 10-8 record.
Led by Preseason All-Conference First Team selection Erik Reynolds II and third team choice Cameron Brown, Saint Joseph’s garnered 257 poll points to rank fifth. Gibson Jimerson, a preseason first team pick, headlines Saint Louis, which placed sixth in the poll with 225 points. Following the excitement around last year’s surprise team, Fordham, the Rams were chosen seventh in the poll with 215 points and a first-place vote. The Rams sport a pair of All-Defensive Preseason selections in Kyle Rose and Abdou Tsimbila.
Loyola Chicago was picked eighth with 177 points and George Washington was ninth with 173 points. George Mason (146 points), Richmond (137 points) and Davidson (118 points) placed 10th, 11th and 12th respectively. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and La Salle rounded out the poll in order.
Holmes, Grant, Banks, Reynolds, Jimerson and George Washington’s James Bishop IV make up the Preseason All-Conference First Team. George Washington’s Maximus Edwards, La Salle’s Khalil Brantley and Philip Alston from Loyola, join Smith, Clark and Shulga on the All-Conference Second Team.
Venning, Brown and Bairstow were named to the Preseason All-Conference Third Team along with George Mason’s Ronald Polite III, Massachusetts Matt Cross, and Richmond’s Neal Quinn. Davidson’s Grant Huffman, along with Holmes, Clarke, Rose and Tsimbila were all chosen for the Preseason All-Defensive Team.
The 2023-24 men’s basketball season tips off on Monday, Nov. 6 while Conference play begins on Wednesday, January 3. The season will culminate with the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship, which will return to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The league’s premier event will begin Tuesday, March 12, and the league will crown its 2023-24 champion on March 17, Selection Sunday on CBS.
Source: Atlanta 10