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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not many surprises in polls

Surprising no one, the Siena men and Marist women were unanimous choices as the teams to beat in the MAAC when the conference's preseason polls were released today at the ESPNZone in New York.

Last year was the first in MAAC history in which a men's team and a women's team advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The scary thing for other MAAC teams is that both teams could be better this year than they were a year ago, and the preseason all-conference teams back that up.

Three Siena players -- Kenny Hasbrouck, Edwin Ubiles and Alex Franklin -- were named first-team all-MAAC on the men's side, while two Red Foxes -- reigning player of the year Rachele Fitz and Julianne Viani -- were named first team All-MAAC on the women's side.

Hasbrouck, last year's MAAC tournament MVP, and Fitz were named preseason players of the year.

After Siena, the men's poll was as followed, with points in parentheses: Fairfield (85); Rider (74); Niagara (73); Loyola (54); Manhattan (49); Iona (48); Canisius (29); Saint Peter's (22) and Marist (16).

Fairfield (82 points) was picked second in the women's poll, followed by Canisius (75); Saint Peter's (63); Loyola (56); Iona (54); Siena (52); Manhattan (32); Niagara (18) and Rider (18).

Joining the trio of Saints on the men's all-MAAC team were Rider's Ryan Thompson and Fairfield's Jonathan Han. In addition to Fitz and Viani, the women's first team included Siena guard Shondaya Burrell, Saint Peter's guard Tania Kennedy (the reigning defensive player of the year), and Fairfield forward Baendu Lowenthal.

Here are the rest of the preseason teams:

Men's second-team all-MAAC: Anthony Johnson (Fairfield), Gary Springer (Iona), Brian Rudolph (Loyola), Antoine Pearson (Manhattan), Tyrone Lewis (Niagara) and Harris Mansell (Rider).

Men's third-team all-MAAC: Frank Turner (Canisius), Marquis Sullivan (Loyola), Devon Austin (Manhattan), David Devezin (Marist), Wesley Jenkins (Saint Peter's).

Women's second-team all-MAAC: Erica Allenspach (Marist), Amanda Cavo (Canisius), Thazina Cook (Iona), Brittane Russell (Canisius), and Candice Walker (Loyola).

Women's third-team all-MAAC: Stephanie Geehan (Fairfield), Tammy Meyers (Rider), Jennifer McNamee (Niagara), Charlene Riddick (Saint Peter's), and Heather Stec (Siena).

Check back for more later.

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