WASHINGTON, D.C. Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Is it D.C. dÃƒÂ©jÃƒÂ vu?
For the second straight season, Virginia Commonwealth University was picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association, the league announced Wednesday at its annual CAA Media Day at the ESPN Zone in Washington.
In a poll of league coaches, media and sports information directors, VCU was picked ahead of Northeastern, as well as rivals Old Dominion and George Mason, respectively.
In addition, Rams’ senior Eric Maynor (Raeford, N.C./Westover) was tabbed Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Maynor is the reigning CAA Player of the Year after averaging 17.9 points and 5.5 assists per game as a junior.
VCU has captured two consecutive CAA regular season crowns, as well as the 2006-07 conference tournament title. The Rams return 11 letterwinners, including Maynor and 2008 All-Rookie and All-Defensive Team selection, sophomore Larry Sanders (Fort Pierce, Fla./Port St. Lucie).
Sanders was named to the Preseason All-CAA Second Team. As a freshman during the 2007-08 season, Sanders averaged 4.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. However, it was the 6-10 Sanders’ shot-blocking ability that drew the most attention. Despite averaging only 16.6 minutes per game, Sanders ranked 11th nationally at 3.0 rejections per game.
Over the last two seasons, VCU is a combined 35-6 against CAA competition. In 2006-07 the Rams set a league-record with 16 conference victories. Led by 2007 CAA Coach of the Year Anthony Grant, VCU has reached the postseason the last two seasons, including the 2007 NCAA Tournament Second Round.
2008-09 CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
3. Old Dominion
4. George Mason
6. Georgia State
8. William and Mary
9. James Madison
11. UNC Wilmington