Saint Joseph's, which has all five starters back from last season, is the preseason pick to win the Atlantic 10 with Saint Louis right behind.
The Hawks, who finished 20-14 last season, received 11 first-place votes and 434 points from the panel of coaches and media on Thursday at the conference's media day at the Barclays Center. The Billikens, who reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000, had 10 first-place votes and 432 points. They will have to start the season without coach Rick Majerus, who took a medical leave of absence in August while undergoing evaluation for an ongoing heart condition.
VCU, which moved to the Atlantic 10 from the Colonial Athletic Association, was picked third in the 16-team league.