ELON, N.C. – The fourth-seeded Elon University men’s basketball team treks to Asheville, N.C., for the 2014 Southern Conference Tournament, as the Phoenix takes on fifth-seeded Western Carolina on Saturday, March 8. Tip is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center.
ELON VS. WESTERN CAROLINA: Saturday marks the 96th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Catamounts, as Elon leads the series 55-40. Saturday is the 25th meeting between the two schools since Elon joined the Southern Conference. The Phoenix is 11-13 against the Catamounts as a member of the SoCon. Elon and WCU have met twice in the SoCon Tournament, with the Catamounts ending Elon’s season both times. The last time the two schools met in the SoCon Tournament was March 6, 2010, as the Catamounts claimed a 68-57 win in Charlotte, N.C. The Phoenix and Catamounts also met in the tournament on Feb. 28, 2007, in North Charleston, S.C., where WCU won, 69-65.
ELON IN THE SOCON TOURNAMENT: Elon has advanced to the semifinals the last two years in the tournament. The Phoenix fell to Davidson in the semis in 2012 and to College of Charleston last season. Elon is 11-10 all-time in the SoCon Tournament, including 2-2 since the tournament returned to Asheville. Elon has won at least one game in the SoCon Tournament every year during Matt Matheny’s tenure. This year marks Elon’s 11th and final SoCon Tournament, as it departs for the Colonial Athletic Association next year. Elon has advanced to the title game just once, dropping a 65-49 decision to 23rd-ranked Davidson on March 10, 2008. Davidson went on to advance to the Elite Eight that season, with Matheny as an assistant on staff.
LOOKING BACK: The Phoenix dropped an 86-69 decision to Davidson on March 1 in Alumni Gym in its regular season finale. The first-place Wildcats shot 62 percent from the field in the win, led by Brian Sullivan and De’Mon Brooks, who scored 26 and 24, respectively. Elon put four in double figures led by Ryley Beaumont’s 19 points.
TROUTMAN AND KOCH HONORED: Lucas Troutman and Sebastian Koch earned All-Southern Conference accolades on March 4. Troutman was a first-team selection by the media and was named to the 10-member All-SoCon team by the league’s head coaches. Koch earned third-team all-league honors by the media. Troutman
HOME COOKING: Over the last three years, Elon has a 33-11 record inside the friendly confines of Alumni Gym. Elon has sold out Alumni Gym 13 times under head coach Matt Matheny, with its most recent sellout coming on March 1 vs. Davidson. Elon is 9-4 when Alumni Gym is sold out. Elon finished 11-4 at home this year and has won 18-of-23 inside Alumni Gym. Against league foes, Elon is 19-7 over the last three years.
TROUTMAN HONORED: Lucas Troutman was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 25. In three wins against UNCG, Georgia Southern and Furman, Troutman averaged 18.7 points and 7.3 boards, shooting 56 percent from the field. The Belton, S.C., native also recorded seven total blocks during the three game stretch.
ELITE COMPANY: Lucas Troutman now ranks among the top-10 in Elon history in career scoring with 1,619 career points. Troutman ranks ninth all-time in school history in career points and needs 11 points to pass Brendon Rowell (1998-2002) for eighth. If Troutman passes Rowell this season, he will be Elon’s all-time scoring leader during the school’s Division I era.
TRACKING THE THREES: Jack Isenbarger became Elon’s all-time leader in career threes on Feb. 24 at Furman, passing Chris Kiger’s 16-year mark of 259. Isenbarger now sits at 262 career triples and is the Southern Conference’s active leader in career threes made. Sebastian Koch ranks third all-time in school history with 240 career threes.
APPROACHING A MILESTONE: Both Tanner Samson and Sebastian Koch are closing in on Elon’s single-season threes made record of 82 set by both Jack Isenbarger (2012-13 season) and Matt Nowlin (2003-04 season). Samson currently has 78 threes this season, while Koch has 77.
THE CORE FOUR: Elon, North Dakota State and Georgia State are the only schools in the nation with four 1,000-point scorers on its current team. Ryley Beaumont reached the career milestone on Feb. 6 and currently has 1,077 points. Beaumont joined teammates Lucas Troutman (1,619 points), Jack Isenbarger (1,428 points) and Sebastian Koch (1,120) in the 1,000-point club.
STAY CLASSY: This year’s senior class of Ryley Beaumont, Egheosa Edomwonyi, Jack Isenbarger, Sebastian Koch and Lucas Troutman has totaled 68 wins during its tenure at Elon, which is the most by a class during the school’s Division I era. The 1974 class, led by Clarence “Diffy” Ross, holds the all-time record for wins by a senior class with 85. The class of 1974 played with a total of eight players that have scored 1,000 or more points in their career at Elon.
STREAK ENDED: Elon’s eight-game winning streak this season tied the 2005-06 squad for the longest during the school’s Division I era. The longest winning streak in school history is 14 games by Horace Hendrickson’s 1939-40 squad that finished 18-3.
TROUTMAN DUNKS: Lucas Troutman has tallied a total of 26 dunks this season. When Troutman dunks, Elon is 13-7. When Troutman does not dunk, Elon is 5-6. Troutman has registered a total of five multi-dunk games, including a season-high three at Chattanooga on Jan. 23. Troutman has dunked 13 times in his last 14 games.
EYEING 20 WINS: Should Elon reach the 20-win plateau this season, it would mark the school’s 16th season with 20 or more wins in 105 years of basketball. A 20-win season would be only the fifth time in school history a team has finished back-to-back years with 20 or more wins. Matt Matheny would join Doc Mathis, Bill Miller and Bob Burton as the only coach to lead a team to back-to-back 20-win seasons. Bill Miller led Elon to six straight 20-win seasons from 1968-74.
ELON IN SOCON PLAY: The Phoenix is in its 11th season as a member of the Southern Conference. Elon is 93-98 (including tournament action) against current members of the Southern Conference since the 2003-04 campaign. Elon went 13-5 against league foes during the regular season last year, winning the SoCon North Division title. Matt Matheny has a 45-43 record in SoCon play.
FROM LONG RANGE: Elon currently ranks second the Southern Conference in three-point field goal percentage at 37.8 percent and first in total threes made with 251. Tanner Samson (78) and Sebastian Koch (77) rank third and fourth in the league in threes made, respectively. The long-distance duo ranks third and fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage, too.
BLOCK PARTY: With four blocks against Wofford on Feb. 27, Lucas Troutman extended his program-best career mark to 211 blocks. Troutman set Elon’s all-time blocks record last season and ranks sixth all-time in Southern Conference history in blocks and needs five to pass The Citadel’s Kirill Misyuchenkoleague (1995-98) for fifth in league history. Troutman is the conference’s active leader in career blocks.
HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: Matt Matheny is in his fifth season as the Elon head men’s basketball coach. The 2013 Southern Conference Coach of the Year by the media, Matheny enters the SoCon Tournament with an overall record of 77-81. Matheny was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham Award last season, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.