UMass Tabbed Second In A-10 Preseason Hoop Poll
Oct. 24, 2006
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The UMass men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the A-10 Preseason Poll which was released at the league's media day held at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Tuesday. Senior Rashaun Freeman was named to the Preseason First Team while senior Stephane Lasme earned a spot on the Third Team.
Head Coach Travis Ford took part in a various interviews with local and national media. He spoke about the upcoming season and being picked second in the league.
"It is an honor to be picked second in the Atlantic 10," said Ford. "We have a lot of work to do to meet those type of expectations. To go from being picked eighth in the preseason poll last year to second this year shows improvement. We are still a team that is unproven but we look forward to working hard every day and making our UMass fans proud to support their team.
"The Atlantic 10 is much stronger this year. There are more really good teams in 2006-07. Saint Louis returns four starters. Charlotte has three starters back and is very talented. GW is going to be really good as well. With Xavier at the top there are four or five really good teams in the league."
Freeman was named to the Preseason First Team for the third year in a row as he returns for his final season. Freeman averaged 13.6 points and has the top rebounding mark among returning players for 2006-07 at 9.3. In addition to being named to the Third Team, Lasme earned spot on the Preseason All-Defensive Team. Lasme was the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year last year as he led the league in blocked shots with 108. He also averaged 10.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Freshman point guard Tiki Mayben was named to the Preseason All-Rookie Team. Mayben sat out last season to meet academic standards. As a high school senior at Troy in New York, he averaged 21.9 points and 10.0 assists per game.
UMass was picked second behind reining A-10 champion Xavier, which had 59 first place votes from the coaches and voting media. UMass was second with four first-place votes. Saint Louis was third, Charlotte fourth and last season's regular-season champion George Washington fifth.
2006-07 A-10 Preseason Poll