Preseason Favorite Xavier Picked To Win A Sixth-Straight Atlantic 10 Regular Season Title

Senior Kenny Frease and junior Mark Lyons earned spots on the preseason A-10 Second Team.

Senior Kenny Frease and junior Mark Lyons earned spots on the preseason A-10 Second Team.

Oct. 13, 2011

Brooklyn, N.Y.--- The Xavier University men's basketball team was picked as the favorite in the Atlantic 10 Conference preseason media and coaches poll, which was announced today as part of A-10 Media Day. Expectations for the 2011-12 season are high at Xavier, which has won at least a share of a conference record five straight A-10 Regular Season Championships. In addition to being the preseason conference favorite, Xavier had five players earn preseason All-Atlantic 10 honors.

"We are very well aware that we have a talented group of returning players and newcomers," said third-year head coach Chris Mack, the 2010-11 Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year who signed a new agreement with XU through the 2017-18 season. "We sense the excitement from our fans and the outside expectations. But we never worry about outside expectations or what people predict us to do. The expectations we set come from within our own locker room and this year will be no exception. It should be an exciting year. We're excited as well but we have a lot of work to do."

Xavier was picked to finish first with 304 points and 18 of a possible 22 first-place votes, while Temple was picked second with 287 points and four first-place votes. Saint Louis was picked third followed by St. Bonaventure, Richmond, Dayton, Saint Joseph's, George Washington, Duquesne, Rhode Island, Charlotte, Massachusetts, La Salle and Fordham.

Senior Tu Holloway, the 2010-11 Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year and A-10 All-Defensive Team member as well as a 2010-11 AP Third Team All-American, was named to the preseason A-10 First Team and A-10 All-Defensive Team. Senior Kenny Frease and junior Mark Lyons earned spots on the preseason A-10 Second Team, while freshmen Justin Martin, a 6-6 forward, and Dezmine Wells, a 6-5 guard/forward, both earned spots on the preseason A-10 All-Rookie Team. Holloway, a 6-0 guard, led XU in scoring (19.7 ppg.) and the entire Atlantic 10 in assists (5.4 apg.) as a junior. Frease, a 7-0 center, averaged 11.7 ppg. and 7.1 rpg. as a junior while Lyons, a 6-1 guard, was second only to Holloway in scoring (13.6 ppg.) and assists (3.1 apg.) on last year's squad.

Mack and Holloway are in New York for today's A-10 Media Day.

Xavier finished 24-8 overall in the 2010-11 season, winning the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship with a 15-1 mark before bowing out in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Last season XU earned its sixth straight NCAA Tournament berth. XU has made the NCAA Tournament 10 times in the last 11 years, including reaching the Elite Eight in 2004 and 2008 and the Sweet 16 in 2009 and 2010.