ELON, N.C. – Looking to close out its five-game road trip and the 2022 calendar year on a high note, the Elon University men’s basketball team heads to Delaware on Saturday, Dec. 31, in a New Year’s Eve matchup. Tipoff between the Phoenix and the Blue Hens is slated for 2 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW
• Saturday’s game will be streamed live on FloHoops via a paid subscription.
• Listen to the game on the Elon Sports Network from Learfield on The Varsity Network app.
• Longtime voice of the Phoenix, Taylor Durham, will be on the call with the pregame show beginning at 1:30 p.m.
• Links for the broadcast and live stats can be found on the Elon men’s basketball schedule page at elonphoenix.com.
• Other in-game updates will be provided on Twitter by following @ElonMBasketball.
• Delaware leads the overall series with the Phoenix, 10-8. Save for the first meeting, which came on Feb. 8, 1934, both teams have met as Colonial Athletic Association foes since Elon joined the league in 2014-15.
• The Blue Hens have won six straight in the series and nine out of the past 10 meetings. The most recent contest was a 71-62 victory for Delaware over the Phoenix last February at Schar Center.
• The last victory of the series for the Phoenix came on Jan. 31, 2019, as Elon won 57-56. Tyler Seibring nailed a game-winning jumper from the top of the key with 1.6 seconds remaining to lift Elon. Seibring had 22 points and 11 rebounds in the contest, his 10th-career double-double.
LAST TIME OUT
• The Phoenix trailed by only three at the half, but could not find enough offense in the second period as Elon fell at Drexel, 62-50, in its CAA opener on Thursday.
• Elon was led offensively by Sean Halloran and Sam Sherry with the duo both scoring 11 points. Overall, the Phoenix shot 38.8 percent in the contest including just 33.3 percent in the second half while going 8-of-24.
• The loss earned Drexel its fourth straight win over the maroon and gold and its eighth out of the past nine games. Elon also fell to 3-6 all-time in CAA openers.
MACKINNON NAMED CAA CO-ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
• Freshman Max Mackinnon was named the CAA Co-Rookie of the Week as announced by the league office on Monday, Dec. 26.
• Mackinnon scored 19 points at No. 18/21 Indiana before the Phoenix’s holiday break. His 19 points were the most for an Elon freshman against a ranked opponent since Hunter Woods had 18 at #5 North Carolina in 2019. It’s also the second-highest point total that a freshman has scored against the Hoosiers this season. Kansas’ Gradey Dick had 20 against Indiana on Dec. 17.
• Mackinnon shared the weekly honor with Northeastern’s Jared Turner. He also becomes the first Elon freshman to earn CAA Rookie of the Week honors since Darius Burford in 2021 and the ninth Phoenix first-year overall.
• Halloran leads the Phoenix in scoring at 13.1 points per game while his 66 total assists rank second in the CAA. His 4.7 assist average is the highest for the program since Luke Eddy averaged 4.5 assists per game during the 2015-16 season and would be the second-best single-season average at the program’s Division I level behind Chris Long’s 6.1 APG average in 2010-11.
• Halloran had four steals at Drexel, his fourth game this season of tying his career-high mark. The Orlando, Fla., native is second in the CAA in total steals (33) and is tied for first with his 2.4 SPG average. That average would be the best single-season performance in school history at the Division I era, besting Scottie Rice’s 2.0 SPG average in 2002-03. The graduate student has 14 steals in his past four games.
• Mackinnon is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game while leading the Phoenix on the boards with 5.1 rebounds per game. The Brisbane, Australia, native has scored 18-plus points in four of his past seven outings and is second to Halloran in assists (30) and steals (18).
• Sherry added his sixth double-digit scoring performance against the Dragons and his fourth out of his past five games. The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native is shooting 60.2 percent from the floor this season, including shooting a blistering 73 percent from the field (27-of-37) in his past five games.
• The Phoenix welcomed back Jerald Gillens-Butler in his first game of the season against the Dragons. The Orlando, Fla., native and a preseason All-CAA honorable mention a year ago, scored three points while playing seven minutes.
• Zac Ervin ranks third on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game and leads the Phoenix with 33 makes from three. The Gate City, Va., native started against Drexel after coming off the bench in the previous five games.
• Factoring true road contests, Elon’s current five-game road trip is the program’s longest since enduring a four-game stretch in December of 2017. The Phoenix started that trip at Piedmont Triad rival UNCG before traveling to Boston College, Canisius and Indiana State.
• 55 percent of Elon’s points scored this year has come from members who did not appear in a game for the Phoenix last season (524 of 946).
• The Blue Hens are 8-6 on the season overall and 0-1 in league play after falling to Hofstra in its CAA-opener on Thursday, 87-73. The loss was Delaware’s second in a row, whose last win came against Rider, 60-59, on Dec. 19.
• The reigning CAA Tournament champion, the Blue Hens were selected third in the 2022 CAA Preseason poll. Last year, Delaware went 22-13 with a 10-8 ledger during league play and earned the fifth overall seed for the CAA Championships.
• Delaware is averaging 71.6 points per game with three players averaging double figures. Jameer Nelson Jr. is averaging 20 points per game to lead the Blue Hens with that average also being second in the CAA. The redshirt junior was a second team All-CAA selection last season.
• Jyáre Davis is second on the squad in scoring at 16.9 points per game and edges Nelson Jr. in the team-lead assists with 47. Transfer LJ Owens is third on the program in scoring at 10.8 points per game while Christian Ray is nearly averaging a double-double with 8.1 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per contest.
• Martin Ingelsby is in his seventh season as the head coach at Delaware. He has posted a career record of 103-93.
TICKETS ON SALE
• Season tickets are now on sale for $170 for men’s basketball.
• Single-game tickets are now on sale! Single-game tickets begin at $15 for men’s basketball.
• Fans are able to purchase a book of 10 ticket vouchers for $75. These vouchers are redeemable for a ticket to any Elon men’s or women’s basketball regular season home game. Use all 10 for any one game, or use one voucher for 10 different games. Fans will also receive an Elon mini autographed basketball from the head coaches. These tickets represent a 50 percent savings for men’s basketball tickets and a 25 percent savings for women’s basketball vs. single-game prices.
• Ticket vouchers must be redeemed for a reserved seat ticket prior to entry. This can be done at the Schar Center Box Office during regular business hours (M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) or starting 90 minutes prior to tipoff.
• For more information, visit ElonTickets.com or call the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750.
LAUNCHING THE BILLY TAYLOR ERA
• Billy Taylor was named the 19th head coach of the Phoenix on April 15, 2022. Taylor arrived to the Phoenix after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa.
• Prior to working with the Hawkeyes, Taylor spent five years as head coach at Lehigh University followed by six seasons as the head coach at Ball State University and three at Belmont Abbey College.
• In his time at Iowa, the Hawkeyes ranked as one of the top offensive teams in the country, ranking fifth nationally in scoring average in both 2021 (83.7) and 2022 (83.2). The program also led the country in assist-to-turnover ratio in both seasons.
• Taylor was a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (2003, 2004) and led Lehigh to both the regular season and tournament titles in 2004, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament that season. He also guided Ball State to the 2009 MAC West Division crown.
• Elon welcomes back seven letterwinners from last year’s team including five upperclassmen. Among the notable returners for the maroon and gold includes graduate student Torrence Watson and senior Zac Ervin. Both players are the leading returning scorers for Elon at 9.2 and 7.1 points per game, respectively.
• The Phoenix also welcomes back redshirt Jerald Gillens-Butler, who hopes to return to form after being named an All-Colonial Athletic Association honorable mention prior to last year. The Orlando, Fla., native appeared in only 10 games last year after missing most of the prior season due to an injury.
• A pair of graduate transfers will look to make an immediate impact for the Phoenix this season. Sean Halloran arrives to the Phoenix after an outstanding four-year career at Belmont Abbey. The Orlando, Fla., native finished as the all-time career assist leader with the Crusaders while helping the program to back-to-back Conference Carolinas Tournament Championships and three straight NCAA tournament appearances. He rounded out his career averaging 14.4 points per game as a senior and concluded his career with 1,422 points.
• Another graduate transfer, John Bowen III, brings size to the Phoenix front line at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds. The Bladenboro, N.C., native last played at UNCW in 2019-20 and appeared in 28 out of 32 games. Prior to UNCW, Bowen III was a teammate of Halloran’s at Belmont Abbey and averaged 8.9 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per contest in 2018-19 while starting 27 of 28 games.
• A pair of freshmen will also look to make an impact for the maroon and gold in 2022-23. Max Mackinnon is a 6-foot-5 swingman from Brisbane, Australia, where he won back-to-back gold medals with the U20 Australian National Team. He was also named an All-Star 5 at the Australian National Championship.
• Another freshman, LA Pratt, is a 6-foot-5 guard from Columbus, Ohio, who was a three-time All-4A Team member and three-time conference champion at Lincoln Park High School. He scored over 1,000 points in high school and helped guide the program to two WPIAL Championship appearances and two State Semifinal appearances.
The Phoenix returns to the home confines of Schar Center on Wednesday, Jan. 4 to jump start the new calendar year versus UNCW. That contest is set for 7 p.m.
— ELON —
Credit: Source link