Updated: Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012, 11:24 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012, 11:24 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - After last year's remarkable run, the Norfolk State Spartans are back, trying for another golden season. Ten returning players, six new faces, but only one returning starter from last year's Cinderella team make up the 2012-2013 team.
That returning roster playeris Pendarvis Williams.
"Right now, we are zero and zero and we are going into this year with a new mindset," Williams said.
Rob Johnson says that new mindset helped his team put in the extra time in the gym and in weight room this off season.
"We tasted success and everyone here wants to taste it again, all the new guys want to be a part of it, so we are just focused on getting back where we were last year," Johnson said.
Every single player who came back to the Spartan bench is upperclassman.
"You can't teach experience and we have a lot of experience, a lot of guys played last year and a lot have been here for two or three years," Johnson said.
The four seniors Head Coach Anthony Evans lost accounted for almost 60 percent of the Spartans' point production.
Their biggest gap to fill is Kyle O'Quinn, who signed with the Orlando Magic.
"He did so much for us last year and for the past two years and last year, he just took it to another level. You can't replace him, but we are going to try and do it by another committee and see if all of our centers and power forwards can give us some of the production that he did," Evans said.
While there is a lot of uncertainty about who will fill the void left by O'Quinn, one thing this team is well aware of is that Norfolk State is on the map.
"Knowing that everyone is coming after us since we are the champions so it's going to be harder to be repeat and we are going to work hard to do it," Williams said.
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