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November 16, 2012

Cardinals battling for playing time as season opens

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.

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