"How about that?" Drexel coach Bruiser Flint, who is entering his 11th season with the Dragons, said of the selection. "But to be honest, I thought that George Mason would be picked ahead of us. So we'll see."
The Patriots were picked second, followed by Virginia Commonwealth, which made a Cinderella run to the Final Four, Old Dominion and James Madison in the top five of the 12-team conference.
On the women's side, Delaware with superstar Elena Delle Donne also was picked to win for the first time since joining the same season as Drexel.
Delle Donne, a 6-foot-5 junior guard-forward, was also picked as preseason player of the year, repeating the honors she received from the women's coaches a year ago.
The Delaware men were picked seventh and the Drexel women tied for fifth with former perennial favorite Old Dominion. The Virginia Commonwealth women were picked second behind the Blue Hens and in front of two-time defending CAA champion James Madison and Hofstra.
Drexel placed 6-5 senior forward Samme Givens on the CAA preseason men's first team and 6-2 junior guard Chris Fouch on the second team while Delaware placed 6-2 sophomore guard Devon Saddler on the second team.
Dragons 5-11 senior forward Kamile Nacickaite and Hofstra 6-0 junior forward Shante Evans, a graduate of West Chester Henderson high, joined Delle Donne on the women's first team.
"We just hope everyone has gotten a year better," Flint said. "There are going to be high expectations for us because we had a good year last year."
Drexel went 21-10 overall and 11-7 in the CAA for fifth place.
"I think with the mix they have back, Drexel clearly separates themselves from everyone else and then there are bunch of teams in the next group," Delaware coach Monte Ross said.
On the women's side, Drexel, which lost just one starter to graduation, got an early jump in August by taking an exhibition tour of Italy.
"It was a great trip," Drexel ninth-year coach Denise Dillon said. "Obviously, with so many players returning, you look forward to seeing them get on the court to play with some of our younger ones."