George Mason Picked First, Third in CAA Preseason Basketball Media Poll

Posted: November 10, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason’s men’s basketball team was picked to capture the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) men’s basketball title in 2004, while the women were selected to finish third, according to a vote of the media during the CAA Basketball Media Day at the ESPN Zone in Washington, D.C.

The Patriot men received 9 first-place votes and 169 points in the poll, narrowly edging second-place Virginia Commonwealth University, which had 4 first-place votes and 164 points, and two-time defending conference champion University of North Carolina, Wilmington, which received 5 first-place votes and 163 points.

George Mason returns three starters from last season’s 16-12 team, led by senior guard Mark Davis, who averaged 15.5 points per game and earned second-team All-CAA honors a year ago. Davis, a preseason first-team All-CAA selection by the 10 league head coaches and a preseason honoree to CollegeInsider.com‘s Mid-Major all-America team, was also named to the media’s preseason All-CAA first team.

The Patriot women were tabbed third in their respective poll, while the Old Dominion University, winners of 12 straight CAA titles, were selected the preseason favorite to claim the 2004 CAA Championship after receiving 9 of 10 first-place votes and a total of 99 points in the poll. UNC Wilmington, which received the other first-place vote, was picked second.

Four starters from last season’s 14-12 team return, led by senior guard Jen Derevjanik and senior forward Vernessa Neamo. Derevjanik, who led Mason with 15.9 points per game and garnered second-team All-CAA honors for the second consecutive year, was named to the preseason All-CAA first team by the media and previously by the league’s 10 head coaches. Neamo, the second leading scorer at 13.3 points per game, also earned first-team All-CAA accolades from the media and was a second-team preseason selection in voting conducted by the league head coaches.

The men’s team tips off its regular season Friday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. against Morehead State University, while the women hold court Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. against area rival Georgetown University. Both teams have one exhibition game at the Patriot Center, beginning with the men against the One On One All-Stars on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. The Patriot women host the NWBL Elite Team Monday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.

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