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NCAA countdown: No. 60 Elon
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 28, 2013 @ 7:42 am In NCAA,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
The first word: Elon coach Matt Matheny knows all about Cinderella stories in college basketball. He lived one as an assistant coach for Davidson in 2008 when Steph Curry and Davidson beat the odds to reach the Elite Eight.
Matheny, now in his fifth season, took over an Elon program in 2009 with clear intentions: He wanted to replicated the success of Davidson, his alma mater and home for 16 years as an assistant under Bob McKillop, at the similarly constructed university in small-town North Carolina.
In Matheny’s office is a framed USA TODAY newspaper cover highlighting the NCAA tournament’s Cinderella stories.
“We’re not shy in talking about our dream,” Matheny said. For Elon to achieve that dream, the first step is making it to the NCAA tournament. Last season’s CollegeInsider.com Tournament, the school’s first Division I appearance in the postseason, was a necessary precursor. All five starters return from last year’s 21-win squad. The pieces are all in place.
Coach’s Corner: “The Davidsons, the Butlers, the VCUs, the Gonzagas — we aspire to be a program like that. When we get the Monday USA TODAY, we want Elon to be on the front of paper. Every player that comes in my office, every recruit, that’s what we talk about. Every day we have to ask ourselves: What does it take to get there?”
2012-13 in review: 21-12 overall, 13-5 (Southern Conference North Division champs), lost in first round of CIT.
Path to the Dance: The Phoenix will have to win the Southern to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament. As usual, Davidson enters the season as a favorite despite losing top player Jake Cohen from last year’s NCAA tourney team.
Projected tournament seed: No. 14.
Star watch: Lucas Troutman, a 6-10 senior big man, comes back as the team’s top producer (15.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg). Senior forward Ryley Beaumont (11.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is another key returnee, and senior Jack Isenbarger (13.2 ppg) returns as the team’s top backcourt player. Senior Sebastian Koch (9.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is a 6-8 perimeter player who can spread the floor. Junior Austin Hamilton, who … [For more on College basketball countdown: No. 60 Elon, click here.]
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