The 14 head coaches of Atlantic 10 women’s basketball teams think the Colonials will have a successful defense of their title.
GW was picked first in the A-10 Preseason Poll and garnered 12 of 14 first-place votes, the league announced Wednesday morning. It is the first time GW has been picked as the conference favorite since 2007, when the team was fresh off a Sweet 16 run.
2015 Elite Eight participant Dayton was picked to finish second and took the last two first-place votes. Duquesne, a WNIT participant in 2015, took third place in the poll ahead of Fordham, another WNIT team, Saint Louis, Richmond, also a WNIT team, Saint Joseph’s, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, VCU, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts and Davidson, in order.
Senior Jonquel Jones and junior Caira Washington were both named to the All-Conference First Team. Jones also made the All-Defensive team. Jones was the A-10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and was the only player in the conference to average a double-double.
Last year, the Colonials went 29-4 overall and 15-1 in A-10 play and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. The season ended in the first round with a loss to Gonzaga, but GW spent 10 weeks ranked in the top-25 and was ranked as high as No. 19.
GW returns four of five starters and opens the season against Grambling State on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. following an exhibition game against Christopher Newport on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 12 p.m.