Elon University sophomore point guard Luke Eddy didn’t know he was going to be starting until just after warm-ups in Elon’s opening-night victory against Florida Atlantic University Nov. 14.
He made the most of the opportunity, stepping in for injured senior guard Austin Hamilton and finished the night second on the team in scoring with 13 points, all while scrapping for loose balls and even recording a block.
Eddy showed glimpses of potential for the Phoenix in 22 games last year, particularly when he came off the bench and registered a career-high 23 points against Canisius College in the NIT season tip-off game last November.
Despite the short notice and his first career start, Eddy appeared poised under the pressure of playing in front of packed Alumni Gym.
“What I love about this team is they never asked me about [who was starting],” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “That carried over to getting down 10 in the first half. None of the guys were looking over to me asking what do we do. They just kept playing. Luke is the symbol of that.”
Matheny said he was pleased with the performance, and Eddy said it was something he had never experienced.
“I’ve never played like that before,” Eddy said. “I’ve never had the fans go crazy when I’ve been out there on the court.”
Eddy made his presence known early and often in the game with a three-point play after being fouled in the paint during the first half. The point guard seemed comfortable driving the ball under the net and sinking some 3-pointers.
The sophomore took the game into his own hands by driving the ball hard to the bucket and making vital hustle plays to maintain possession for the Phoenix. Eddy’s play led to huge dividends, saving the ball from going out of bounds or from becoming Florida Atlantic possession.
“We knew Eddy could play,” said junior center Tony Sabato. “He might have been overshadowed his freshman year, but he comes in and practices hard every day. He’s very physical and tough as a point guard.”
Eddy, along with Sabato and freshman guard Elijah Bryant, led the second half surge by the Phoenix as the defense held Florida Atlantic to only 21 points in the final 20 minutes.
“The key was that we were having fun,” Eddy said. “Nobody thought we were going to win that game, so why not play your hardest, have fun and come out on top.”
Eddy’s performance against Florida Atlantic speaks volumes as to where the Phoenix stands from a depth perspective at the guard position. With the return of starter Austin Hamilton coming within the next week, the pairing with Eddy may prove to be a force for the Phoenix.