Created: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 09:31:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 11:38:52 EST
Mercer's men's basketball team tipped off its first official practice Tuesday.
The Bears don't face their first opponent for another month, but 3-time Atlantic Sun all-star, senior point guard Langston Hall already has ambitious goals for his team.
"Win the A-Sun regular season championship, win the A-Sun conference championship, and go to the NCAA tournament," Hall said.
This team might do just that. Bears' Head Coach Bob Hoffman says the team has just the right mix of veterans and talented newcomers to eclipse last year's succesful run in the NIT Tournament.
"our guys have played at a high level, won a lot of big games on the road, but they want to get to the NCAA tournament and not getting there last year has been a big time motivator, every day, every hour, they're thinking about it," Hoffman said.
The Bears return four senior starters from last year. Hoffman says he can't wait to make it back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1985.
"This season to me is going to be the best we've ever had, I'm fired up about getting people in the stands and throwing it up, and get the popcorn popping and the cokes rolling and see how we play," Hoffman said.
But for players like Hall, he's just focused on the next pass, the next shot, and the next play.
"Taking it one day at a time so we have to look at it game by game, can't look over anybody," Hall said.