By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The ingredients are there for the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team to have a successful 2012-13 season.
The Cardinals return nine of 13 players from a year ago and have added seven recruits.
Coach Tom Curle said, however, only time will tell.
“We don’t know anything yet,” he said. “The conference (SUNY Athletic Conference) is tough, and we’re playing a difficult nonconference schedule.
“We’re not going to know anything about our team until we get tested. We don’t usually bring in seven recruits, but we want good competition for playing time in practice. The players will need to work hard because they will be evaluated every day.”
Plattsburgh opens its season tonight in the Cardinal Classic against Sage at 8 p.m. at Memorial Hall.
A young Plattsburgh team paid its dues last season.
The Cardinals’ season ended in a 75-60 loss at Cortland in the opening round of the conference tournament, and Plattsburgh, which has had good success under Curle over the years, finished with an 8-18 overall record and a 6-12 mark in the conference.
“We were a young team a year ago,” Curle said. “And we were in most games. But we weren’t able to make plays at the end of games. It was about emotion as much as it was physical as we weren’t able to respond when a team made a run. It was a combination of a lot of things.
“We have to bring our work ethic to every game because every team we play has talented players. We still have to compete and made sure there is no quit on the team.”
The Cardinals return their three leading scorers in 6-foot-6 junior Shavar Fields (13.5 points), 6-foot-3 junior John Perez (12.3) and 6-foot-2 sophomore Shamoy McIntosh (7.1).
The team is still a young one, with freshmen and sophomores accounting for 10 of the 16 on the roster. There are no seniors on the squad.
Also back for the Cardinals are sophomore guard Mike Mitchell (3.7), sophomore forward Gary Tibbs (2.2), junior forward Reggie Williams (4.2), sophomore guard Jordan Moody (3.8), sophomore guard Anthony Baker (2.3) and sophomore forward Ezra Hodgson (3.8).
Program newcomers include freshman guard Kirk Ottey, junior guard Chris Manning, freshman guard James Outlaw, junior guard/forward Kalik Parker, freshman guard/forward Billy O’Shea, freshman guard Edward Correa and sophomore forward Alan Siergiej.
Curle plans on making everyone on the team work for their playing time.
“We have 16 players competing for playing time,” he said. “Nobody is going to be handed anything. It should help the players who have spent some time in the program with their level of preparation.
“But I don’t know who is going to be finishing games for us yet. It’s kind of a double-edged sword. It’s nice to have 16 players working hard in practice, but we’re not going to play 16 in a game very often.
“We have our three leading scorers returning, but what’s done is in the past. That has no bearing on this year. Players will be evaluated on what they do on a daily basis and rewarded. Nothing is guaranteed.”
Curle did praise what he has seen from Perez.
“He came back in great shape and is trying to embody what we are looking for,” Curle said. “He’s enthusiastic, and he’s looking to fill a leadership role.
“We want all our players to work hard, but we also need them to be enthusiastic. You need to have a good attitude.”
The Cardinals are hoping to be a better shooting team in 2012-13.
“We have good size and speed,” said Curle. “But we have more kids who can make shots this year and also make the extra pass. We feel we are much better in that area.
“We can’t worry about the other teams. We need to be as good as we can be and focus on giving it our best. We have to be prepared.”
3- Mike Mitchell, 5-8, 150, sophomore guard, Milford, N.H./Milford
4- Kirk Ottey, 5-11, 180, freshman guard, New Rochelle/New Rochelle
5- Chris Manning, 6-0, 180, junior guard, Baldwin/Baldwin
10- James Outlaw, 6-0, 155, freshman guard, New York City/Thurgood Marshall Academy
11- Shamoy McIntosh, 6-2, 180, sophomore guard, Floral Park/Floral Park
14- John Perez, 6-3, 185, junior guard/forward, Haverstraw/North Rockland
15- Gary Tibbs, 6-4, 200, sophomore forward, Great Neck/Manhassatt
21- Reggie Williams, 6-6, 240, junior forward, Yonkers/Gorton
22- Shavar Fields, 6-6, 200, junior forward, Albany/Bishop Maginn
23- Jordan Moody, 6-2, 170, sophomore guard, Yorktown Heights/Yorktown
24- Anthony Baker, 6-5, 200, junior guard/forward, Bronx/Gorton
32- Kalik Parker, 6-4, 185, junior guard/forward, Brooklyn/Ragsdale
33- Billy O’Shea, 6-4, 190, freshman guard/forward, Blauvelt/Tappan Zee
34- Edward Correa, 6-3, 190, freshman guard, Bronx/Mount St. Michael
44- Ezra Hodgson, 6-5, 200, sophomore forward, Rindge, N.H./Conant
55- Alan Siergiej, 6-6, 220, sophomore forward, Staten Island/St. Joseph by-the-Sea
Head coach: Tom Curle
Associate head coach: Cameron Conover
Assistant coach: Matt Berry