Looking ahead to Elon

By: Austin Piatt ’17

First-year guard Austin Piatt

First-year guard Austin Piatt

I believe I speak for the whole team when I say we are all very excited for the upcoming game against Elon (Live Stats / Live Video).  Getting to play a prime time game on the Division I stage is something that we all work towards.  We’ve not only been working hard in practice since the season officially started on October 15, but we have been putting in work since the day we stepped on campus on August 31.  So the whole team is really looking forward to this neat opportunity to test ourselves against a great opponent in what we plan on being a great game.

We know that Elon is an excellent team, as they are picked to contend for a Southern Conference championship this year.  Also, on Monday night, the Phoenix defeated Lynchburg College 100-57.  Knowing that Lynchburg is one of our league opponents, we are aware that we have a challenge ahead of us, but it is a challenge we will eagerly meet.

While Elon may be coming off a win over Lynchburg, we are also coming off a 101-87 victory over Virginia Intermont, in which our team played very well together and we made progress on both sides of the ball.  This performance, along with the hard work we’ve been putting into practice for nearly three weeks, gives us confidence going into the Elon game.

We know this game will be a great test for us, because while a 14-point victory is good, it doesn’t expose much for us to work on.  The main point of these preseason games is not to win big and learn nothing, but rather to play the best we can and take some lessons from the game that we can apply to our team as we begin the season.

Elon is a tough team, but the fact of the matter is that our league is tremendously tough, so the only way to prepare ourselves for the gauntlet we face on our schedule is to play against tough teams early on.  This game against Elon will give us valuable experience needed before we come up against the challenges our schedule plays.  Currently, four of the teams we play this season are ranked in the Preseason Top 25.  Pitting our team against the talents and athleticism of a Division I program will get us ready to play these highly-ranked teams.

All of us- from the first-years to the coaches and everyone in between- have high hopes for this season, but as Coach Hutchinson tells us, either rely on cause and effect or wish and hope it happens.  So in order to attain our goals as a team and produce the effect we want, we have to be willing to take this game against Elon as a great indicator of where we stand as a team, using it to cause motivation for us to become even better.  The only way to be the best is to beat the best, and to beat the best you have to play the best.  That’s what we are all looking forward to on Friday night at 7:30.

In our next entry, we ask the team members on video for their best/worst impressions of their teammates.

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