The 2007-08 basketball season begins tomorrow night for Virginia Tech when the Elon Phoenix visit Cassell Coliseum. Elon might not sound like much of a threat, but the Hokies are starting two freshmen, and when you look around the country and see some of the upsets that have already happened, anything is possible.

There have been three major upsets in college basketball thus far. Last night, Gardner-Webb blew out #20 Kentucky 84-68. Think you were upset the time Temple beat the Hokies in football? Try being a Kentucky fan right now.

The other two upsets were just scrimmages, but they were major upsets nonetheless. Ohio State was defeated by Division II Findlay 70-68. Considering the players the Buckeyes lost from last year's team, maybe that's not all that surprising. However, Division II Grand Valley State also defeated #8 Michigan State 85-82 in double overtime. The Spartans are expected to win the Big Ten this season.

The results of those games show that you have to come to play every night. The Hokies need to be ready for Elon, who despite going 7-23 last season, return one of their top players who missed last season with a foot injury.

Elon won both of their recent scrimmages. They defeated Belmont Abbey 70-57, and then knocked off North Carolina Wesleyan 77-53. They are an experienced team, with better size than you would expect from a Southern Conference team. Here is a look at their starting lineup.

Elon Projected Starting Lineup
Name Position Height Weight Year
Brian Waters G 6-2 185 Sr.
Montell Watson G 6-1 170 Sr.
Brett James G 6-5 185 Jr.
Ola Atoyebi F 6-8 220 Jr.
Adam Constantine F 6-8 210 So.

Here is the Tech lineup that they'll be facing.

VT Projected Starting Lineup
Name Position Height Weight Year
Hank Thorns G 5-9 140 Fr.
A.D. Vassallo G 6-6 215 Jr.
Deron Washington F 6-7 210 Sr.
Jeff Allen F 6-7 258 Fr.
Cheick Diakite C 6-9 220 Jr.

Hank Thorns should get a solid test in his first outing as Virginia Tech's starting point guard. The Phoenix start three guards, two of which are seniors. Montell Watson is a r-senior who missed last season because of a foot injury. He is a career 37.7% shooter from three-point range. He is a native of Clifton Forge, VA, where he was Virginia AA Player of the Year as a senior in high school.

Watson averaged 9.7 points per game two years ago, and will be looking to up that mark this year. He is Elon's on-court leader.

Joining Watson in the backcourt will be senior Brian Waters, who started 22 games at point guard last season. He averaged 5.1 points per game, while leading the team with 94 assists. He has started 51 games in his career, and is a former member of the Southern Conference All-Freshman team.

Brett James is another Virginia native. He played his high school ball at Mills E. Godwin High School. He averaged 12.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game a year ago. He was the second leading scorer on the team. James isn't a great shooter from anywhere (39.5% from the field, 31.5% from three-point range), but he finds ways to score.

Ola Atoyebi is Elon's top returning rebounder. He averaged 4.7 rebounds to go along with his 5.9 points per game a season ago. He is joined on the inside by Adam Constantine, who averaged 2.6 points and 2.5 rebounds last year.

Most Southern Conference teams don't have the size of Elon. Besides the starters, Elon has five players coming off the bench who stand 6-6 or taller. That includes freshman Daniel Watts, who is listed at 7-0, 240.

Despite being experienced and bigger than most small conference teams, Elon will be outmatched by Tech's athleticism. Don't expect the Hokies to overlook the Phoenix. This will be the first college basketball game for six of the 12 Tech players who will be dressed out. They'll want to go out and impress.

Elon Key 2006-07 Stats
FG% 41.7%
FG% Def. 44.9%
3-Pt. % 33.1%
3-Pt. % Def. 34.1%
FT % 67.7%
Assists 334
TO 436
Reb. Margin -2.8

Last season Elon shot the ball poorly, had over 100 more turnovers than assists, and lost the battle on the boards by a healthy margin. They lost two of their top three scorers from last year's team. This one shouldn't be much of a game, but judging from the week's earlier upsets, you never know.