Men's Basketball

Gary Forbes Named Preseason Third Team All-Conference

Forbes averaged 13.0 points per game last season in his first season with the Minutemen.

Forbes averaged 13.0 points per game last season in his first season with the Minutemen.

Oct. 25, 2007

AMHERST, Mass. - The Atlantic 10 Conference released its preseason men's basketball poll of coaches and media on Thursday afternoon. Senior Gary Forbes was named to the preseason third team All-Conference team while UMass was predicted to finish eighth in the 14-team conference. Xavier, who shared last season's regular season title with the Minutemen, was predicted to finish first.

The conference television schedule was also confirmed on Thursday. The Minutemen will be featured nine times on television. They will appear on CSTV National on Jan. 2 vs. Houston and Feb. 17 vs. Saint Louis. They will appear on CSTV Regional on Jan. 27 vs. Xavier, Feb. 2 at Saint Louis, and Feb. 7 vs. Rhode Island. The Minutemen will appear on an ESPN network four times: vs. Fordham on Feb. 14 (ESPN or ESPN2), at Rhode Island on Feb. 21 (ESPN or ESPN2), at Boston College on Dec. 12 (ESPNU), and at Syracuse on Nov. 28 (ESPN Classic).

UMass opens their season with an exhibition game next Thursday, Nov. 1, vs. American International at 7:30 p.m. at the Mullins Center. They then host Concordia in a 9:30 p.m. to be played at the Cage.

Complete Atlantic 10 Release:

For the second consecutive year, Xavier is the overwhelming choice as the team to beat in the Atlantic 10 men's basketball race, according to a poll of the Atlantic 10's head coaches and media released at today's Media Day at Boardwalk Hall, the site of the 2008 A-10 Championship.

The Musketeers received 42 of the 59 first-place votes cast by the panel of coaches and media members. Xavier (25-9/13-3) returns three starters from last year's team which shared the regular season title with Massachusetts and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Leading XU will be senior guards Drew Lavender (11.2 ppg., 4.8 apg.) and Stanley Burrell (12.4 ppg., 2.4 apg.), who were named to the preseason All-Conference first- and second-teams, respectively. The Musketeers have won 20 or more games in ten of the last 11 seasons and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in six of the past season years.



Rhode Island garnered five first-place votes and placed second in the preseason poll. The Rams (19-14/10-6) welcome back four starters and 95.5 percent of the team's scoring from a year ago, including first-team preseason All-Conference pick Will Daniels (17.4 ppg., 5.6 rpg.) and junior guard Jimmy Baron (14.6 ppg., 2.2 rpg.), who led the A-10 with 97 three-point field goals a year ago.

Saint Joseph's (18-14/9-7) was tabbed third and will be led by preseason first-team selection Ahmad Nivins (16.6 ppg., 7.6 rpg.), who led the Conference in field goal percentage (.631) last season. Fordham (18-12/10-6) earned a pair of first-place votes and was chosen fourth, the highest the Rams have been selected in the preseason since joining the Conference in 1995-96.

Led by first-year head coach Rick Majerus, Saint Louis (20-13/8-8) was selected fifth in the poll, while Dayton (19-12/8-8) garnered a pair of first-place votes and was tabbed for seventh. Defending A-10 champion George Washington (23-9/11-5) was picked seventh, while 2007 regular season co-champion Massachusetts (24-9/13-3) received a first-place vote and was selected eighth, followed by Temple (12-18/6-10), Charlotte (14-16/7-9), Duquesne (10-19/6-10), Richmond (8-22/4-12), La Salle (10-20/3-13) and St. Bonaventure (7-22/4-12).

In that same poll, the coaches and media selected the preseason All-Conference teams. The first-team is comprised of Daniels, Lavender, Nivins, Fordham's Bryant Dunston and Brian Roberts of Dayton. The second-team consists of Burrell, Temple's Dionte Christmas, the 2007 recipient of the Chris Daniels Most Improved Player Award and the league's leading scorer (20.0 ppg.), Maureece Rice of George Washington and teammates Tommie Liddell and Kevin Lisch of Saint Louis. On the third team are Pat Calathes of Saint Joseph's, Massachusetts' Gary Forbes, Leemire Goldwire of Charlotte, Stout and Temple's Mark Tyndale.

The preseason All-Defensive team consists of Lisch, Dunston, Stout and teammates Kieron Achara and Shawn James of Duquesne. The All-Rookie team is comprised of George Washington's Xavier Alexander, Lavoy Allen of Temple, Dante' Jackson of Xavier, Charlotte's Phil Jones and Chris Wright of Dayton.

The 2007-08 season tips off on Nov. 5 when Richmond faces Maine in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic in Memphis, Tenn., and culminates with the 32nd Annual Atlantic 10 Championship, Mar. 12-15, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

(as selected by coaches and media)
1. Xavier (42)
2. Rhode Island (5)
3. Saint Joseph's (7)
4. Fordham (2)
5. Saint Louis
6. Dayton (2)
7. George Washington
8. Massachusetts (1)
9. Temple
10. Charlotte
11. Duquense
12. Richmond
13. La Salle
14. St. Bonaventure

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