FOREST, Va. -- The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2011-12 Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll on Thursday afternoon and Washington and Lee was picked to finish seventh out of 11 teams.
Leading the way in the poll was Virginia Wesleyan, the preseason No. 1 in three national polls as well, with eight of the 11 first-place votes for 98 points. Hampden-Sydney garnered the remaining three first-place votes en route to 90 total points and second place on the coaches ballots. Guilford (72), Randolph-Macon (71), Randolph (59), Eastern Mennonite (57), W&L (51), Lynchburg (46), Roanoke (31), Bridgewater (18) and Emory & Henry (12) rounded out the poll.
The Generals, who welcome back four of their five starters from last season, are led by ninth-year head coach Adam Hutchinson and are coming off a 14-13 (5-11 ODAC) campaign in 2010-11. It was W&L's fourth-straight winning season, the first time since 1986-1990 that the Generals have finished above .500 in four consecutive seasons.
Among the Generals' top returnees are junior forwards Jeremy Adkins (Huntington, W.V./Spring Valley) and J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park), and sophomore forward Larry Whitaker (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett).
Adkins returns as the team's leading scorer at 11.1 points per game. He shot 43.9 percent (108-246) from the field as a sophomore, including a team-best 36.7 percent (36-98) from three-point range. He also grabbed 2.9 rebounds per game and was one of two players to start all 27 games.
Ey earned Honorable Mention All-ODAC accolades following his sophomore campaign. One of the ODAC's most complete players, Ey started all 27 contests as a sophomore, averaging 9.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He shot 56.4 percent (110-195) from the field to rank second in the ODAC, and his block total was also good for second in the league, while is rebounding total placed him fifth in the conference.
Also returning for the Generals is Whitaker, a versatile forward who appeared in all 27 games as a first-year. He finished second on the team with 5.3 rebounds per game, while also contributing 6.7 points per contest on 50.8 percent (63-124) shooting. He also led W&L with 32 steals (1.2 spg) and added 10 blocks and 20 assists.
W&L opens its 2011-12 campaign on Tuesday, November 15, when it travels to Dickinson for a 7:00 contest.