Coming off a finals break that kept the Hoyas' student-athletes off the floor for ten days, Georgetown returns to the hardwood for a matchup with the Elon University Phoenix from the Southern Conference (SOCON).
The Phoenix currently sit at 5-5 and average 78.9 points per game (62nd overall nationally), 30.7 rebounds per game (332nd), 14.1 assists per game (107th) and shoot 49.2% from the field (32nd overall). Elon also has four players--led by Lucas Troutman and Sebastian Koch--who average double figures in scoring. Georgetown clearly holds a physical and athletic matchup over Elon, but the Phoenix have a fighting chance thanks to its 3-point shooting proficiency. The Phoenix currently lead the conference in 3-point percentage, hitting at a 43.6% clip, while Tanner Samson and Sebastian Koch are one-two in threes made with 34 and 32, respectively.
Not much has changed in Georgetown's world since they last took the court against Colgate (for a refresher on Georgetown's season thus far, click here). Aside from the Greg Whittington transfer news, very little has come out of D.C. regarding Georgetown. So what can we expect from a team that hasn't played in a game in ten days?
Considering that G'Town has gotten off to a slow start in almost every game they have played, expect another, more amplified sluggish start thanks to an extended break. If that's the case offensively, Georgetown has to bring maximum effort on the defensive end and shut down Elon early and put an early end to any upset thoughts. Much like Colgate, the Phoenix live and die by the three ball. Against Colgate, the Hoyas held the Red Raiders to just 5-24 (20.8%) shooting from beyond the arc and did a great job of closing out on the perimeter. Expect a similar effort against the Phoenix.
Six-foot-eight-inch guard, Sebastian Koch, provides an interesting matchup dilemma for the Hoyas. The Munich, Germany native hit an absurd nine three-pointers for 27 points in Elon's most recent loss to Colorado and is averaging 13.1 points and 3.6 assists per game. Jabril Trawick will likely guard Koch and while he is not as tall as Koch, he definitely holds a strength advantage and should do a good job of making life hard for the lanky guard by bumping him coming off screens and beating him to the spot.
Elon's other threat is 6-10 forward Lucas Troutman. The senior was picked by many in the preseason to win the SOCON Player of the Year award and the big man is following up those predictions with a solid stat line of 16.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 56.4% per game. Joshua Smith will likely be given the task of guarding Troutman in the post and will have to do his best to keep Troutman off the line where he hits at a 74.5% rate. Unfortunately for Smith, that may prove tougher in reality than it does in theory. From CasualHoya.com's game preview:
Georgetown has been foul-prone this season, sending opponents to the foul line at a bottom-30 rate nationally. Smith has been the worst malefactor, drawing 7.7 whistles per 40 minutes. Tuesday, he'll be tasked, either in man or zone, with controlling Troutman, who is strong, agile, and the focus of Elon's offense. Staying in front of Troutman while avoiding fouls will be important for Smith.
For the Hoyas, this game is a final tuneup before they travel to Lawrence to face the Kansas Jayhawks this Saturday afternoon. While Elon was picked to win the Southern Conference, the Phoenix have underwhelmed. After winning its opening to games, the Phoenix lost four straight, including losses to Canisius and Division II team, Metro State. Against top D-I teams, Elon has lost by an average of 12.6 points.
The Hoyas should have no problem against the Phoenix and will be riding a six-game win streak into Big 12 country.