Branden Frazier heads into senior season at Fordham with third team all-Atlantic 10 preseason honors under his belt as Rams enter fourth year of Tom Pecora's tenure picked 11th in A-10 poll. (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)
After three years, Fordham head coach Tom Pecora believes his program is closer to turning the corner than it has been in recent memory. His coaching counterparts seem to agree, but are of the thought that such an improvement will not happen overnight.
The Rams were picked eleventh of thirteen in the annual Atlantic 10 preseason poll, released this morning during the conference's media day, held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, which will also host the A-10 Tournament for the second of five consecutive years. Fordham's 58 points in the poll place the Rams clear of both St. Bonaventure, who fell victim to Fordham in last season's finale; and Duquesne, who was selected as the last of thirteen in a vote that saw Shaka Smart and VCU receive 19 of the 24 first-place votes to top the predicted standings. Reigning A-10 champion Saint Louis was picked second, and garnered the other five first-place votes, with La Salle, Massachusetts and Saint Joseph's rounding out the top five. Richmond, Dayton, A-10 newcomer George Mason, Rhode Island and George Washington were selected sixth through tenth.
Despite the all-conference team honors being bestowed upon players from teams closer to the top of the standings, with the first team being comprised exclusively of players from the top four schools, Fordham does boast one honoree in senior guard Branden Frazier, who was selected to the preseason third team. In his junior season, the point guard from Brooklyn averaged 14.2 points and five assists per game, and will now be relied upon by Pecora to be the face of the Rams in the absence of forward Chris Gaston, who graduated this past May and is now playing overseas.
Dwayne Evans, who was named Most Outstanding Player in the A-10 Tournament last season en route to Saint Louis' victory over VCU in the conference championship game, received one of the five spots on the first team as he goes into his senior season on the heels of a campaign that saw him average fourteen points and nearly eight rebounds per game. He is joined by a pair of VCU representatives in forward Juvonte Reddic and junior Treveon Graham, both of whom figure to establish themselves as conference Player of the Year contenders early and often this season. La Salle guard Tyreek Duren and fellow guard Chaz Williams of Massachusetts, a Brooklyn native who played for Pecora at Hofstra before transferring to UMass, round out the first team.
A Daly Dose Of Hoops will have additional information from Atlantic 10 media day as the night goes on, as well as during the week if more becomes available.