Norfolk State Men's Basketball 2013 NIT Tournament Capsule

Norfolk State Spartans
MEAC (21-11, 16-0)


Norfolk State lost four starters from the team that knocked off Missouri in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Thus, the expectations were dampened a bit heading into 2012-2013. But Coach Anthony Evans and his Spartans had other ideas. A handful of newcomers and transfers stepped up their game and this group also dominated the MEAC.

Big Wins: 12/01 at Savannah State (55-45), 2/04 at Morgan State (64-59), 2/18 at Hampton (62-59)
Bad Losses: 11/18 at UMKC (57-63), 11/26 at Morehead State (67-73), 1/02 at Ball State (61-62)
Coach: Anthony Evans (6 seasons at Norfolk State)

Why They Can Surprise:
Pendarvis Williams, a 6-6 junior, was the only returning starter and he has emerged as the go-to-scorer. Williams is an extremely consistent outside shooter and will use his size to finish around the basket. Malcolm Hawkins has not been as efficient as Williams, but he has developed into a fine secondary scorer in the backcourt. Both Williams and Hawkins, along with point guard Jamel Fuentes, play fine perimeter defense and it is defense that makes Norfolk State so good. And it has been the emergence of seven-footer Brandon Goode that really got the Spartans on top of the MEAC. Goode barely played as a freshman and sophomore, but now he is a decent interior scorer and a major force on the defensive end. Combined with the solid defensive play on the perimeter, nobody has an easy time scoring against this team when Goode is on the floor.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Despite the quality size on this team, they are not very effective on the glass. Fuentes is 6-3, Hawkins is 6-5 and Williams is 6-6. That is a lot of size on the perimeter. Rob Johnson and Rashid Gaston are both 6-8 and can handle both post positions. And, of course, Goode is 7-0. That kind of size makes a huge difference in the MEAC, but it could be neutralized during the tournament. And the fact that all of the size does not equate to success on the glass will be quite troublesome for the Spartans. Norfolk State is going to need to knock down some shots if they hope to live up to the run from last season, yet this has not been a consistent shooting team. Williams and Hawkins are more than capable of getting hot at the right time, but even that may not be enough.

Probable Starters:
Jamel Fuentes, Junior, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 5.0 apg
Malcolm Hawkins, Junior, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 1.2 apg
Pendarvis Williams, Junior, Guard, 14.2 ppg, 1.7 apg, 4.5 rpg
Rob Johnson, Senior, Forward, 9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Brandon Goode, Junior, Center, 7.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Kris Brown, Senior, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 1.2 apg
Rashid Gaston, Freshman, Forward, 8.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.6 (197th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.3 (141, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (225, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.1 (55, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (274, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.3 (238, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.5 (319, 8)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (229, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (217, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.5 (259, 4)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Missouri
2012    NCAA    Third Round loss to Florida

*all team stats through 3/10


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