Dukes fifth in preseason CAA hoops picks

James Madison’s men’s basketball team was predicted to finish fifth in the 2009-10 Colonial Athletic Association race in a poll released during the conference’s preseason media day at the ESPN Zone Tuesday.

The Dukes are coming off a 21-15 season a year ago and return four starters and eight lettermen. Among the returnees is sophomore forward Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey), who Tuesday was named to the league’s preseason all-conference second team.

Also during Tuesday media day, the CAA announced a 2009-10 television package that includes nine JMU games. Those games are listed below.

A panel of league coaches, sports information directors and media voted in the preseason team poll and for the conference’s two preseason all-star teams.

Old Dominion, which returns five starters from last year’s 25-10 team, is favored to win the regular-season league title. The Monarchs were followed in the voting by Northeastern, defending league champion Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason and JMU. Hofstra was picked sixth and was followed by Drexel, Georgia State, Towson, William & Mary, Delaware, and North Carolina Wilmington.

JMU was 9-9 in CAA play last season and reached the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Post-Season Tournament. The Dukes were seventh in the 2008-09 CAA regular-season race, and their season wins total matched the second-best mark in team history and was the program’s best since 1991-92.

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