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Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

Fundamentals the Focus as BCC Men Prepare for State Basketball Tournament

February 27, 2013 - The message Brevard Community College men's basketball head coach Jeremy Shulman gave his team was simple.

"It's all about progression," Shulman told his players as they prepared for their Florida College System Activities Association/NJCAA Division I Region 8 tournament quarterfinal game next week at Chipola College in Marianna.

"We can't be the same team we were in conference just as in conference we couldn't be the team we were before conference," Shulman said. "We have to keep improving if we want to accomplish our goal of winning a state championship."

The Titans automatically qualified for the state tournament by winning the 2012-2013 FCSAA Southern Conference championship, their first since the 1999-2000 season.

BCC played its way into the state playoffs at the end of the 2010-2011 season by winning the conference tournament. But, then were eliminated 59-56 by the College of Central Florida in the quarterfinals.

Now the Titans, 24-6 overall, are headed back to Chipola where they will play Mid-Florida Conference runner-up Santa Fe College (20-11) at 8 p.m. March 7. At this point in the season every game is expected to be a close, hard-fought affair regardless of the opponent.

Thus Shulman has begun ramping up his team's preparation coming off a break following its conference championship-winning game on Feb. 20 against Broward College.

The focus has been on the fundamentals of defense and shooting, something Shulman has stressed since the first day of practice.

"Defensively we made great improvements from first semester to second semester and our conference games," Shulman said. "I expect us to make that same type of a jump defensively heading into the state tournament.

"We also are really focusing on individual skill work: shooting, footwork, the fundamentals. We work on skill work throughout the year, but this week and a half break before state has given us extra time for the fundamentals. Our guys' focus has been great."

After all, it's the fundamentals that have built the foundation for success.

"We need to make sure we do all the little things right when we get to Chipola," sophomore co-captain and leading scorer Addison Spruill said. "We get all that then the other stuff will fall into place."

Classmate, co-captain and second-leading scorer Nyles Evans agrees.

"We just go back to the basics from what we started doing since the first day we got here," Evans said. "Just build off what got us the championship. Use that as momentum going into the state tournament."