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December 17, 2013
Hoyas hope to deny Phoenix rising today
December 17, 2013 - According to legend, a powerful bird labeled the Phoenix will burn, then rise from the ashes, reborn and again powerful. Georgetown hopes not to prove the myth true tonight against Elon's Phoenix, who recently fell to Colorado.
Game time is 7p at Verizon Center. Rich Chvotkin has the radio call on ESPN 980, while TV broadcast duties are the responsibility of CBS Sports Network. Tickets are available here - presently they are as low as $14.
The Hoyas are 6-2, while Elon, picked to win its Southern Conference stands 5-5. The Hoyas have won 48 straight non-BIG EAST conference home games.
"They are one of the teams, when you put this team on the schedule, it's a tough team, veteran team" said G'Town head coach John Thompson III of Elon. "They have a post presence, they have perimeter guys that can put the ball in the basket, their spacing is very good".
The Hoyas last played 10 days ago, as Georgetown has been in the heart of final exams. Senior forward Nate Lubick shared in addition to finishing the semester academically, during the lay off "We've used this time to sharpen up, to make sure we're doing everything together on offense and defense".
Thompson was more measured, lamenting "The past 10 days, being quite frank, have been difficult. Today may have been the first day we had everybody practice", as academic concerns prohibited all hands on deck during that time.
With a national caliber game at Kansas looming Friday, could the Hoyas overlook Elon?
"It shouldn't be" a letdown today, opined senior point guard Markel Starks. "We have to still prepare for Elon as if they are Kansas, Duke, or whoever. They're a very good team".
On looking past the Phoenix, his coach commented " I don't think our guys have a history of doing that...We're not thinking about Kansas yet".
They better not. Elon is led by senior Louis Troutman's 16 points per game. Thompson called him "different" a guy that's "crafty with the ball". Three other Phoenix players score in double figures; seniors Sebastian Koch (13.1 ppg), Ryley Beaumont (10.2) and sophomore Tanner Samons at 12.7 points each time out.
Thompson commented on that inside-out package, "They have post presence, they have perimeter guys that can put the ball in the basket, their spacing is very good".
Elon shoots 49.2%, 43.6% on long balls. The Hoyas are dropping 48.3% of their shots, running up 75.5 points per game. More impressive are the Hoyas holding teams to 35.1% from the field and 24.2% on three balls, good for second and third nationally, respectively.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera paces G'Town in scoring, at 16.6 ppg, including making an eye-popping 48.8% of three pointers. The sophomore guard is followed in scoring by his starting backcourt mate, senior Markel Starks, the latter contributing 15 points each time out and dropping a shade under five dimes per game.
For more on this contest, including Thompson commenting on both team's defenses, his starting backcourt, why Elon was scheduled and personal hopes for Washington's NFL franchise, see Premium Court. Also there is Lubick's take on what the Hoyas have focused on improving defensively, since the December 7th win over Colgate.
If you can't access Premium Court, take advantage of the offer below; it pays for the subscription cost!