Previewing Elon

2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan2011 Scouting Reportt / 2011 Game Plan
2011 Stats
2011 Roster
2011 Schedule

Elon Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 46.9 257
Turnover Rate 19.5 119
Off Reb Rate 27.6 320
FTA/FGA 32.8 292
Elon Offense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.3 117
Turnover Rate 20.3 139
Off Reb Rate 24.3 331
FTA/FGA 34.6 237

 

 

 

 

 

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This may be a first in college athletics.  Not only does David Meyer cite Elon's student-to-teacher ratio as a reason why he chose to attend the school, he's also rocking a killer bowtie in his team photo.  Josh Bonney is more direct: "Why not? It's the best place in the world!" Indeed, just have a look at all those trees.  These comments do nothing to hide the farcical nature of the Why Elon? section of the media guide, as not one player has a word for JR's cheap cigars.  There is a reason why the Koury Athletic Center smells like delicious Cuba.  Let's not kid ourselves here.

Elon gave NC State the shock of its pre-conference life last season and in the process proved themselves immune to my derision.  Senior forward Adam Constantine scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the near-upset effort.  From there they went right back to being terrible. 

This year's team is similar in that they suck but distinct in at least one way: they shoot the ball a lot better.  As they were a year ago, they're extremely perimeter-oriented at the offensive end, and the offensive rebounds they grab represent nothing more than good fortune.  They have improved their outside shooting considerably, and that combined with a greater frequency of three-point attempts (43% of their FGAs are threes) makes them a bit scary.  They aren't likely to get much of anything in the paint, but they have some legitimate outside shooters who could make things interesting.  Six guys have attempted at least 20 threes this year, and five of the six are shooting 35% or better.

Starters

Chris Long (6-2, 182) -- Long is an excellent three-point shooter who has improved his assist and free throw rates every year.  The fluky portion of his profile is his two-point shooting, which is vastly better this season than it has been in any of the previous three.  Considering how well he scores the ball at the line and beyond the arc, he remains a guy you want to force inside whenever possible.

Terrance Birdette (6-2, 180) -- He's a much better distributor than he has been in the past, but his outside shot remains suspect and he turns the ball over way too much.

Drew Spradlin (6-5, 192) -- Spradlin remains a capable outside shooter--his 35% three-point shooting is the lowest mark of his career--but takes to many shots in general, stretching his skills too far.  He was an efficient contributor as a freshman when he took a fifth of the shots; the last two years he's taken about 27% of the shots, and that's hurt quite a bit.  But because he is pretty good from outside and not the least bit shy, he's a concern.

Roger Dugas (6-8, 205) -- He'll probably spend most of his time outside, where he's a 39% shooter.  He takes care of the ball and rebounds well at the defensive end, but that's about the extent of his contributions.

Scott Grable (6-9, 245) -- An occasional shooter, and understandably so given his propensity for mistakes.  He's definitely That Guy, you know, the one dude who hustles in every pick up game you play but has no skills so you avoid letting him touch the ball whenever possible.

Bench

Jack Isenbarger (6-2, 175), Lucas Troutman (6-10, 205), Sebastian Koch (6-8, 190), Ryley Beaumont (6-7, 195).  Isenbarger has come off the bench in every game this season but leads the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game.  He has out-played Birdette by a wide margin and stands as the team's best three-point shooter (44%), but I guess the coaching staff prefers him as the sixth man.  He'll get plenty of minutes and factor heavily into Elon's efforts at the offensive end.

Koch has made 42% of his three-point attempts, while Troutman is Elon's best offensive rebounder.

Elon Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.6 288
Turnover Rate 19.8 212
Off Reb Rate 34.1 238
FTA/FGA 35.2 125
Elon Defense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 53.8 312
Turnover Rate 20.2 203
Off Reb Rate 35.2 268
FTA/FGA 42.5 253

 

 

 

 

 

They have height but little in the way of functional heft, which has been a huge problem for their interior defense; opponents have made 53% of their two-point attempts this season. 

Opponents haven't had much trouble making threes, grabbing misses, or getting to the line, either.  Elon's inability to rebound at the defensive end killed the team's chances in Raleigh last season; along with a rested and surly Macrowave, that should spell doom once again.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by 14.

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