NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Last year, the NCAA tournament was a new experience for every Lumberjack on the team.
This year, making the trip is different.
"Well, this year we're at an obvious advantage a little bit just from an experience standpoint," said Head Coach Brad Underwood.
There are familiar faces, but it's a different team with some names you should get familiar with and keep an eye out for while they play on the national stage, including freshman Ty Charles.
"Ty is one of the elite freshmen in the country, not just in our league," Underwood said. "Ty as a freshmen to start on a 24-9 team speaks volumes on his athletic ability and his basketball playing ability. Real, real late in the year he was the No. 1-rated offensive player in the country for freshmen in terms of offensive efficiency."
"Jared Johnson, a guy who can make plays is a difference maker, he's a playmaker and he's fearless," Underwood said.
"Demetrious Floyd is a capable scorer, he's a microwave off the bench in terms of being able to score the basketball and he has gotten so much better," Underwood said.
"Clide Geffrard is a hard match he's very physical, he's a good rebounder," Underwood said. "He's unique in that he steps out and shoots the 3 and has had huge games for us and played in big moments."
"We're more athletic," Underwood said. "We probably lack a little bit in size, but we more than make up for it in speed, quickness."
Last year Desmond Hammond and Jacob Parker were the most effective shooters and this year's roster has helped add depth to the offensive power the 'Jacks bring to the court.
"We definitely have more offensive firepower this year," said junior Thomas Walkup. "We have seven guys that can go out and get 20 any night and so i think that's a big big key for when you're going to play in a big game."
"This year i think we can score the ball a little bit better," said senior Jacob Parker. "We are a lot deeper this year and can shoot the ball."
For the new guys there are no surprises. They knew exactly what they were getting themselves into after watching last year's run in the tournament
"Well i know some people that I talked to, they expect us to do better, do more to keep up the good work and got some tough shoes to fill so i mean it's pressure but we'll be all right, we'll handle it," Charles said.
With veterans leading them every step of the way.
"I got tremendous confidence in this basketball team," Underwood said. "I think we're as good if not better than last year for sure."