INDIANAPOLIS — "They'll be the first to the floor, Their mantra is to try to be the toughest team on the floor at all times. That's a little bit of our mantra, so we'll see who is the toughest team, I guess." That's NSU head coach Robert Jones assessment of the situation in the Spartans First Four game with Appalachian State on Thursday.
Norfolk State comes in with a (16-7) record and has won 6 straight games. The Mountaineers (17-11) finished the regular season fourth in the Sun Belt but won the conference tournament. They have won five out of six.
Jones says his team will be in for a challenge, "We told the guys the other day, in this tournament you're going to play a lot of champions so it's going to be a tough game every game you play."
NSU guard Joe Bryant, gives us the matchup drill, "They've got some guys who can score. We've got some guys who can score. We have a physical presence inside and they also have a physical presence inside. They're a tough team. They try to out-tough you. So do we."
Back to Jones who says those non-conference games at the beginning of the season were a good preparation for what's to come, "Appalachian State is a very good program. They're a very good team. But, I think that we won't be in awe by any means because we played teams that looked just like them at the beginning of the year."