Elon Phoenix

2016-17 record: 18-14, 10-8 in the CAA

Head coach: Matt Matheny

Tenure at Elon: 9th season

Career coaching record: 126-130

Home court: Alumni Gym

Starters: G Dainan Swoope, G Dmitri Thompson, G Steven Santa Ana, F Tyler Seibring, F Brian Dawkins

Bench: G Sheldon Eberhardt, G Nathan Priddy, F Jack Anton, F/C Duje Radja, F/C Karolis Kundrotas

Overview: Tripping—despite his key contributions to Duke’s 2015 national championship and 2016 first-team All-ACC selection, this is the first word that comes to mind for many when they hear the name Grayson Allen. The Duke guard’s third and most recent tripping incident came in the team’s 72-61 victory against Elon last December. With 4:15 remaining in the first half, Allen stuck out his right leg, causing Phoenix guard Steven Santa Ana to tumble to the floor, resulting in a technical foul. Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski stripped Allen of his captaincy and suspended him indefinitely before reinstating him after one game.

Both Santa Ana and Allen return to the starting lineups for their respective teams. This is certainly a matchup to look out for when the two guards face off in the season opener Nov. 10 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

For the Phoenix as a whole, there is a lot to look forward to in the 2017-18 season. All five starters from Elon’s 2016-17 squad are returning. These include four players who averaged double figures in points per game in Tyler Seibring, Brian Dawkins, Dainan Swoope and Santa Ana. All four attempted more than 100 3-pointers, so the Phoenix will likely be a team that can stretch the floor at all positions again. Teeming with veterans and shooters, Elon could be a dark horse to win the Colonial Athletic Association and was picked third in the conference's preseason poll.

One thing that needs to go right: Elon’s returning veterans progress from the team’s 2016-17 campaign and shoot from outside well to lead the team to the NCAA tournament.

One thing that could go wrong: Without much depth, the Phoenix don't get many contributions from freshmen Nathan Priddy or Duje Radja and fail to take a step forward.