Last year was the first year Elon’s power rating did not improve under Matt Matheny. Perhaps with everyone back, the high expectations were too much to handle. The team crashed. This year not much was expected of the Phoenix. And early on, the critics were correct.
After a terrible start to the season, Matheny decided to play the future as he played his freshman many more minutes. It appears to be paying some dividends. Tyler Seibring and Steven Santa Ana are two seniors who have always produced for Matheny. However, the youth movement now has brought a third option to the attack. Kris Wooten had 13 points in the win over UNCW and with Santa Ana only scoring 2, he took up the slack with 16 pts as a late Seibring basket gave Elon a 57-56 win over Delaware on Thursday.
Matheny also starts another freshman, Chuck Hannah and has two more, Andy Pack and Federico Poser getting more time off the bench. His fifth starter is sophomore Nathan Priddy.
Elon is having a dismal year, but they have definitely shown improvement in the last couple weeks, behind this youth movement, as they have won three of their last four, including a shocker at William and Mary.
In the first meeting with Drexel, Elon jumped out to a quick 21-10 lead and later led 32-25 before Drexel closed the half on a 9-3 run and trailed by just one, 35-34. Drexel dominated the second half, led by as much as 20 and coasted home 79-65. In their last game, the Dragons led at William and Mary 39-31 at the half. They quickly lost the lead early in the second half, but then made run after run at The Tribe, before caving late, in losing 75-69. Injuries have forced Spiker to shorten his rotation. The minutes are piling up on the starters. They are on short rest and may not have their A game. Improving Elon for sure, will.
Elon 78 Drexel 75