Taylor selected for A-10 preseason first team, GW picked eighth overall

Tony Taylor, win, Dayton
Then-junior guard Tony Taylor celebrates after his team's 60-58 win over Dayton last season. Taylor was named to the A-10 preseason first team Thursday. | File Photo

The Atlantic 10 released its preseason rankings and awards today, naming senior guard Tony Taylor to the Preseason First-Team All-Conference team.

The league also announced the results of its preseason poll, picking GW eighth of 14, with 163 points. The awards and poll were chosen by a panel of media members and the conference’s head coaches.

Taylor was the only Colonial to earn a preseason award. Recently picked as the A-10’s ‘most underrated player’ by Slamonline.com, he was the Colonials top-scorer last season, averaging 14.8 points per game, and was third in the Atlantic 10 in assists per game with 4.6. Taylor was GW’s top offensive weapon, scoring a career-high 28 against La Salle to open A-10 play and scoring in double figures in all but three conference games for the Colonials.

An all-conference second-team pick in March, Taylor applied for early entry into the 2011 NBA Draft, but withdrew his name, and was later named the most valuable player for the men’s basketball team.

“I was very happy to see the coaches voted Tony to the First Team,” first-year head coach Mike Lonergan said. “It is a well deserved honor, and hopefully his hard work this offseason leads to a special senior year.”

Xavier, Temple and Saint Louis were the top three picks in the league rankings, followed by St. Bonaventure, defending A-10 champion Richmond, Dayton and Saint Joseph’s. GW followed at eighth, above Duquesne, Rhode Island, Charlotte, Massachusetts, La Salle and Fordham.

“Our players and coaches have some ambitious goals for this season,” Lonergan said. “Regardless of our predicted finish, we’re going to stay focused on achieving those goals.”

GW’s schedule was recently rated as the second-toughest in the A-10 by ESPN.com. The Colonials are coming off their best season in the past four years, posting a 17-14 overall record and a 10-6 mark in Atlantic 10 play, good enough for a tie for fourth place in the final conference standings. GW lost in the first round of the conference tournament to 12th seeded Saint Joseph’s, the second time in two years the Colonials qualified for the league tournament before falling in the first round.

The 2011 to 2012 season officially kicks off at midnight Oct. 15, highlighted by the annual Colonials Invasion.

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