ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball gets set for its second road contest in five days on Tuesday evening, Nov. 14, against former Southern Conference rival Furman inside Timmons Arena at 7 p.m.
Watch the action against Furman ESPN3 through WatchESPN. You can listen to the action on the Elon IMG Sports Network on WSJS 104.5 FM, 1200 AM, on the TuneIn app, or on elonphoenix.com. Taylor Durham and Brian Morris will have the call from Timmons Arena with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m.
• Friday will mark the 16th meeting all-time between the Elon Phoenix and Furman Paladins since the series started back in 2006.
• The Phoenix has won four straight matchups against the Paladins since 2011 and the last two in Greenville, S.C. since 2013. Elon defeated Furman 78-49 in the last meeting between the two sides on Feb. 24, 2014 at Furman. The Phoenix also defeated the Paladins 64-60 in Greenville on Feb. 9, 2013.
• Furman’s last win in the series came inside Timmons Arena on Dec. 1, 2010, as the Paladins defeated the Phoenix 80-65.
LAST TIME OUT
The Phoenix bounced back from Friday’s 97-68 defeat against No. 1-ranked Duke to defeat William Peace 96-53 on Saturday evening inside Alumni Gym. Dmitri Thompson has led the team in scoring averaging 13.5 points per contest through the first two games. Tyler Seibring is averaging 13.0 ppg and Sheldon Eberhardt has grabbed eight rebounds per game thus far.
A LOOK AT ELON
• Elon returns all five starters and its top five scorers from a team that finished 18-14 overall and placed tied for fourth in the CAA with a 10-8 mark in 2016-17.
• Four of the five starters averaged double-figure scoring last season, led by 2016-17 All-CAA Second Team forward Tyler Seibring, who averaged a team-high 14.4 ppg.
• Brian Dawkins finished second on the team in scoring at 12.9 ppg, while Steven Santa Anaand Dainan Swoope each scored 11.7 ppg. Dmitri Thompson posted 8.9 ppg as a junior last season.
• Dawkins, Thompson, Jack Anton, Jack George and Collin Luther make up this year’s senior class.
• Elon also made three additions this past offseason, bringing in freshman guard Nathan Priddyand forwards Simon Wright and Duje Radja into the fold.
• Furman opened the 2017-18 season with a 101-48 victory over Bob Jones, a non-NCAA school and member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Furman made 16 three-pointers in the contest and Devin Sibley paced the Paladins with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including a 4-for-4 effort from three-point range.
• Like the Phoenix, Furman is also ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Preseason Mid-Major Poll. They are just ahead of the Phoenix with a No. 17 ranking.
• The Paladins won 23 games during the 2016-17 season, including a 14-4 mark which earned them a share of the Southern Conference regular season title. Furman also reached the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com (CIT) Postseason Tournament last season and had an RPI in the top-100 (90) last year.
• The 2017-18 Paladins are under new leadership as Bob Richey was elevated to the position of head coach in April, following a six-year run as an assistant coach with the Paladins. Richey begins his first season at the helm after being elevated to head coach of the Paladins after the departure of SoCon Coach of the Year Niko Medved for the head coaching job at Drake. He helped Furman reach a school-record tying 23 victories and the program’s first regular season title in 26 years as an assistant on the staff last season.
• Furman brings a veteran roster into the 2017-18 season, with eight of its 15 players currently at upperclassmen status.
• Senior Devin Sibley, the 2017 Southern Conference Player of the Year and Lou Henson Award Watch List selection, highlights Furman’s list of four returning starters and 11 letter winners from last season’s 23-12 squad that won a share of the SoCon regular season title. Sibley, who averaged 17.7 points per game a year ago, was named to preseason College Sports Madness Mid-Major All-America Team and to the Lou Henson Watch List as one of the top mid-major players in the nation.
ELON RANKED IN PRESEASON MID-MAJOR POLL
• CollegeInsider.com released its Preseason Mid-Major Top-25 Poll on Oct. 30, and Elon University men’s basketball earned a spot at No. 22 in the rankings. Furman is also currently in the rankings, just ahead of the Phoenix at No. 17 in the polls.
• It’s Elon’s fourth appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 and highest ranking in the poll as a Division I program. The Phoenix was ranked No. 23 for two straight weeks last season. The first time Elon earned a ranking in the poll was when the Phoenix was ranked No. 25 on Feb. 4, 2013.
CAA PRESEASON PREDICTIONS AND ACCOLADES
The Phoenix has been predicted to finish third in the league as the CAA released its 2017-18 preseason men’s basketball poll on Oct. 18, during the conference’s digital media day. College of Charleston was picked the favorite to win the league. Elon had two players earn preseason all-conference honors as Tyler Seibring was named to the first team and Brian Dawkins collected second team honors.
FINAL SEASON IN ALUMNI GYM
The 2017-18 season marks the 67th and final year of competition inside historic Alumni Gym as the program is set to relocate to the Schar Center for the 2018-19 campaign.
2016-17 SEASON REVIEW – QUICK HITS
• Tyler Seibring was named to the All-CAA Second Team last season. Seibring became Elon’s first second-team selection and highest all-conference selection as a member of the CAA. It’s was highest overall selection since Lucas Troutman ’14 was a first-team honoree in 2014.
• Seibring was also named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team. He became the first Academic All-American selection for the program since Drew Spradlin in 2011.
• The Phoenix has had balanced scoring last season. Six different Elon players scored 20 or more in a game during the 2016-17 campaign. Thompson was the only Phoenix last season to score 20+ in two consecutive games.
• Elon has eclipsed the 15 or more win total for fifth consecutive seasons. It was the first time program has done so since the 1987-88 season.
• In conference games only, Elon finished second in the league shooting 73.2% from the line through 18 games. Elon made 80% or above from the line in six of those contests.
• Elon began the season with a 6-1 mark, the best start in 29 years through the first seven games. In addition, it was Elon’s best start in program’s Division I era since 1999 and also the program’s best start as a member of the NCAA.
• The last time an Elon squad won at least six of its first seven games was in 1987-88 when the Fighting Christians, members of the NAIA, also started the season 6-1 overall.
• For the third consecutive season, Elon has had the most players of any team in the league selected to the CAA All-Academic Team. The Phoenix topped its total from the first two seasons in the CAA with four selections in 2016-17.
The Phoenix continues its stretch of four games in six days with a trip to Milwaukee, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 17-19, when it takes part in the Black & Gold Shootout, hosted by the Milwaukee Panthers. Elon opens the Black & Gold Shootout on Friday against FIU, then plays Concordia St. Paul on Saturday, and close tournament against host Milwaukee on ESPN3.