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Next Up - Elon

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Time does not allow a full look ahead at Elon today: usually when games are scheduled back-to-back it makes it really hard to do a reasonable look at the second opponent.

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But what we can do is to give an excerpt of Carl Heimel's schedule analysis from the Duke's Fan's Guide. Here's what he had to say about Elon. There are looks at each non-conference opponent and some of the information will be relevant at tournament time as well, and of course a comprehensive look at the ACC.

Elon (15-16, 9-9 Southern)Thursday, December 20, 7:00 p.m., Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham

Key Returnees: Jack Isenbarger (6-2 SG, 15 ppg/3 apg/3 rpg), Lucas Troutman (6-10 C, 13 ppg/6 rpg), Austin Hamilton (5-10 PG, 9 ppg/3 apg),Sebastian Koch (6-8 SF, 9 ppg/5 rpg), Ryley Beaumont (6-7 F, 7 ppg/6 rpg)Key Losses: Drew Spradllin (6-5 SF, 9 ppg), Newcomers: Tony Sabato (6-7 PF), Tanner Samson (6-4 SG)Let’s see, a big man who prepped at Christ School in NC and a guard named Austin. Obviously I’m talking about Duke in 2011-12 here. Or it could be Elon circa 2012-13, which returns big man Lucas Troutman, a Plumlee teammate at Christ School, and point guard Austin Hamilton, a member of the four-man sophomore class that is the backbone of the team.

Coach Matt Matheny is in his fourth year with the program after spending a decade as an assistant at Davidson, his alma mater. Give the Phoenix credit for knowing that if you want to win in the Southern Conference it’s never a bad idea to emulate Bob McKillop.

Elon’s experience should help it improve on last year’s second-place finish in the conference’s weaker North division.

Outlook: Christ School will be well represented in this one with Troutman, Sebastian Koch, and Mason and Marshall Plumlee. The game should take on a real family-reunion atmosphere, particularly if your family gatherings involve one side beating the heck out of the other. The last time these teams met (2011) Duke won by 26. This game may be somewhat closer, but it’s unlikely to be by much.