The Stetson men's basketball team (0-1) will play its home opener of the 2012-13 season Tuesday night at the Edmunds Center. The Hatters will look for their first win of the season against Florida A&M (0-1) with a tip off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
"We're excited for our home-opener," Stetson head coach Casey Alexander said about Tuesday's contest. "We learned a lot in our trip to Miami, and we've had a couple of good practices since returning home."
The Hatters fell just short on the road at Miami in the season-opener, dropping one to the Hurricanes 87-79 after trailing by just two points with two minutes remaining. Stetson battled possession after possession against Miami, but 22 second half points from senior Adam Pegg weren't enough to overcome 53 Hurricane points in the final frame.
"I was most pleased with our confidence level throughout the game," Alexander said of the opener. "I think we played like we belonged; we played with a real purpose. That's definitely want we want, especially when we're going into a road game in the ACC. That's a great hurdle to get over.
"On the other hand, I really didn't think we battled defensively like we need to," Alexander continued. "It created a situation where we needed to play great on offense, or have somebody play great - as Adam did in the second half."
Stetson will look to improve upon some of the team's success down in Coral Gables, taking on the Rattlers in Tuesday's home-opener. Florida A&M returns just three players from last year's 10-23 squad, bringing nine newcomers into the fold for 2012-13. Eight of the 10 players who saw action in a 81-76 loss at Houston to start the season are new to the team this season.
"Not only is their personnel significantly different, but their style is also very different," Alexander said of the Rattlers. "They are really playing fast on both ends. Offensively, they're getting the ball down the floor, taking quick shots, really putting pressure on the defense. Defensively, they're in a really active matchup zone. They'll zone press back into the matchup, and it is 40 minutes long, so that means you have to prepare a little bit differently than against most teams.
"It's definitely one of those games where whichever style of play wins out will probably be the team that wins," Alexander concluded. "We like to play fast, but a little bit more controlled, so if we let them hurry us up into quick decisions offensively, then that will play into their hands. If we're disciplined enough to take a great shot, then I think it will work in our favor."
Stetson holds a 6-1 advantage in the all-time series against Florida A&M, including last year's 78-60 victory in Tallahassee. The Hatters have won the last four meetings, dating back to a 94-72 win in 1983.
Tuesday night's contest can be watched live on HatterVision and ASun.TV for free. The game can also be heard on WSBB 1230 AM in New Smyrna and 1490 AM in DeLand, or at www.myam1230.com. Robbie Aaron and Ryan Rouse will be on the call.
Fans can also follow @StetsonMBB on Twitter to get in-game updates, or check in with Live Stats at GoHatters.com. Don't forget to sign up for Hat-Alerts to get Stetson men's basketball scores and news sent directly to your phone.