Team preview: Norfolk State

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Norfolk State ended last season with a surprising run to the semifinals of the MEAC Tournament. Coach Dwight Freeman would like to see that momentum continue into this season.

The veteran coach doesn't think anything magical happened to help the Spartans pull off wins against Maryland Eastern Shore and Coppin State in the MEAC Tournament.

"We made too many turnovers and missed too many free throws for most of the season," Freeman said. "We improved in those areas late in the year and we started winning some close games. Sometimes it's the little things that can win games.

"We just made too many mental errors for most of the year. We've got to stop that this year."

The Spartans went 13-18 last season against a rugged non-conference schedule. They were competitive in the MEAC and finished with a winning record at 10-8. Freeman has made this program competitive in the MEAC since taking over five years ago after chaos had ensued under former coach Will Jones.

There always seems to be a team in the MEAC that comes out of nowhere to make a run during the season. This year's club could be Norfolk State. The Spartans return three starters and look like they've brought in some impressive recruits who could help right away.