ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team begins its final preparations for the 2016-17 season with its lone preseason tune-up on Tuesday night, Nov. 1, in Alumni Gym against the Randolph College WildCats. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Admission to the game is free.
The game time could be pushed back depending on when the 6 p.m. Elon volleyball against NC Central match finishes. You can listen to the game live on WSML 104.5 FM/1200 AM with Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger on the call. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes before tipoff.
ELON VS. RANDOLPH COLLEGE
Elon and Randolph College have not met previously. This will be the first-ever matchup between the two sides in exhibition or regular season competition.
The Phoenix has a perfect 8-0 record in exhibition games under head coach Matt Matheny. Last season, Elon defeated the William Peace Pacers 95-73 on Nov. 5, 2015 inside Alumni Gym. Dainan Swoope was one of four Phoenix players in doubles figures and led the way with 23 points. Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana and Tanner Samson all scored 11 points each. Luke Eddy also dished out a game-high eight assists.
The CAA released its preseason men’s basketball poll on Oct. 25 at CAA Media Day, as the league’s coaches predicted the Phoenix to finish eighth in the league. Reigning conference champion UNCW was picked as the favorite and the Seahawks’ guard Chris Flemmings got the nod as the Preseason Player of the Year. Elon’s Tyler Seibring earned a spot on the Preseason All-Conference team as an Honorable Mention.
A LOOK AT ELON
Elon returns an experienced squad of 14 players and four starters from a team that finished 16-16 overall and 7-11 in conference play in 2015-16. The Phoenix brings back 11 players who saw action in 16 or more games and six players who averaged over eight points a game last season. Elon welcomes back four starters in seniors Luke Eddy (10.5 ppg) and Christian Hairston (8.6 ppg), as well as junior Dmitri Thompson (9.9 ppg) and sophomore Tyler Seibring(9.8 ppg). Ryder Bowline and Patrick Ryan join Eddy and Hairston to make up this year’s senior class.
Highlighting the four returning starters is 2016 CAA All-Rookie Team selection, sophomore forward Tyler Seibring, who finished fourth on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and first in CAA points per game (11.8). Elon also made one addition in the offseason, bringing in freshman guard Seth Fuller (Dublin, Ohio) into the fold.
Elon brings back most of its players from last season that contributed to the fourth-highest scoring team in the CAA last season. The Phoenix averaged 75.9 points per game, were second in the CAA with 15.3 assists per game, and were a threat behind the arc averaging a league-best 9.5 triples per game. Dainan Swoope and Tyler Seibring contributed to Elon’s success behind the three-point line ranking 12th (60 3PTM) and 13th (59 3PTM) respectively. Luke Eddy also finished with 144 assists last season, which is the 10th-most assists in Elon single-season record books.
HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY
The 2016-17 season marks the eighth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters this season with a career record of 108-116 as a Phoenix. He is currently sixth on the all-time wins list in program history. He is two wins from surpassing Mark Simons and eight wins from moving into fourth all-time.
SCOUTING RANDOLPH COLLEGE
Randolph College is a NCAA Division III institution out of Lynchburg, Va. They compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The ‘Cats were picked to finish 12th in the ODAC’s 2016-17 Preseason Poll after finishing with a 17-12 record overall and a 8-8 league mark. The WildCats will be led this year by new head coach Pete Hamilton and a group of three junior captains in Ryan Fields, Reid Jacoby, and Keion Robinson. Fields and Jacoby both started in 15 games as sophomores.
The Elon men’s basketball team will open the 2016-17 season on Friday, Nov. 11, against William Peace inside Alumni Gym. The game will be broadcasted by Phoenix All-Access and will tip off at 8 p.m. or immediately after the conclusion of the Elon vs. Hofstra volleyball match at 6 p.m.