Last season Drexel finished last in the 10-team Colonial Athletic Association basketball race and the projections outside of Philadelphia aren't much better this season. Drexel was picked ninth in the preseason poll of coaches, media and media relations directors.

The league is so competitive that two-time defending CAA champ North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) was picked fifth.

The team picked to finish first was The College of Charleston, which has a veteran squad returning from a 25-10 season that earned an NIT bid. Leading the way is first-team all-CAA guard Joe Chealey (17.8 ppg.) and junior forward Jarrell Brantley (14.2 ppg.)

Towson, which returns four starters from a 20-13 team, was picked second followed by Elon and Hofstra. The leading returning scorer for Towson is senior guard Mike Morsell (13.4 ppg.).

Elon has even more experience, with all five starters back from an 18-14 team. The headliner is junior forward Tyler Seibring, a second-team all-CAA selection who averaged 14.4 points.

One reason Hofstra is expected to improve its 15-17 record is that the Pride has one of the top backcourts in the CAA with junior Justin Wright-Foreman and sophomore Eli Pemberton. Wright-Foreman was third in the CAA in scoring (18.1 ppg.) while Pemberton averaged 12.8 ppg.

UNCW has a new coach, C.B. McGrath. Delaware, led by sophomore guard Ryan Daly (16.0 ppg.) was picked seventh in the preseason poll.

CAA preseason poll: College of Charleston, Towson, Elon, Hofstra, UNCW, Northeastern, Delaware, William & Mary, Drexel, James Madison.