Men’s basketball set for record breaking season

After such great success last season for the Mercer men’s basketball team, the Bears look to continue to succeed in the 2012-13 season. Although the Bears won the Tournament, this year they will strive to accomplish what they came just short of doing last season, winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament and earning a berth to the “Big Dance,” the NCAA tournament.
“I think the only thing we have on our mind is winning the conference championship,” said Langston Hall, junior point guard. “We know how talented we are and have to just play Mercer basketball night in and night out.”
This year’s team has been picked as the favorite to win the Atlantic Sun Conference in a couple of annual preseason polls. In addition to the team predictions, junior Langston Hall, junior Jakob Gollon and junior Daniel Coursey have already picked up personal honors.
Hall was named a Preseason All-Conference Player for the first time in his career. At the end of last season, he was an A-Sun All-Conference first team member, a National Association of Basketball Coaches’ (NABC) All-District player and the MVP of the Tournament. Hall averaged an exceptional 11.4 points per game, 4.2 assists per game, and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Gollon was recognized by the league’s coaches after starting all 38 of Mercer’s games last season and finishing the year ranked among A-Sun leaders in scoring average (24th – 10.5), rebounding average (8th – 5.9), assists per game (10th – 3.3), steals per game (7th – 1.6), assist-to-turnover ratio (11th – 1.1) and average minutes played (9th – 31.8).
Coursey finished as the league leader in blocks last season, setting a program record with 88 rejections. His average of 2.32 blocks per game ranked 31st in the nation and helped the team finish 12th among Division I programs in field-goal percentage defense (38.6 percent).
Even with these remarkable honors and statistics, there is still always room for improvement.
“We all have been just trying to get better in every way because we know that we are going to have a target on our back every night and we are going to get every team’s best,” said Hall. “We are working most on communication. I think we needed to get a lot better at that.”
The Bears know that they can’t let their success last year get to their heads. They have been practicing just as hard, if not harder than ever this preseason to prove themselves to be the best this season.
“As far as preparation goes, we’ve done just about as much as we can. Everyone has given a great effort during team workouts and have done plenty on their own time as well,” said Jakob Gollon, redshirt junior and team captain. “I’ve been here long enough to know what it takes to win, and I can tell you that we’re on the right track.”
The men’s basketball team hits the court for the first time this season on Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. at Hawkins Arena against Sewanee.