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Mercer's Hoffman enjoying slower pace of summer camps

41NBC spoke with Mercer basketball coach Bob Hoffman Wednesday about his annual summer camps and his upcoming team.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Three months ago, Mercer men's basketball coach Bob Hoffman was leading the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament win.

There's still a good while until the 2014-15 team hits the court, but Hoffman is back in the gym this week at his boys individual camp.

"Fundamentals never change about the game," Hoffman says.  "But the ability to perform them do as you get stronger and quicker.  The basics are very important.  To be a good player, you've got to have a great foundation."

There's probably no better person in middle Georgia to learn basketball from than Hoffman.

Despite the Bears' success last season, which included a win over Duke to advance to the NCAA Round of 32, coach says attendance at this year's summer camps has been normal.

"We've always had big camps," he says.  "We've been blessed that way.  We're thankful for the turnout.  Our players and all the coaches work really hard and it's been a great week."

This isn't only a time for teaching.  It's a reunion of sorts.

"All our incoming guys are here, and some of the guys from last year's team are also working," Hoffman says.  "We've got some foreign players that have played overseas.  They come back and work camps, too."

Wednesday's session ended with time set aside for character building, proving this camp is about more than basketball.

"We give them a long day," Hoffman says with a smile.  "I think they sleep well at night.  I'm sure their parents appreciate that."

The camp ends Thursday night.

Expect a different look

We asked Hoffman what his team might look like next season.  After losing seven seniors, things will obviously be different.

"We're excited about the upcoming season," Hoffman says.  "We know a lot of people have already bought season tickets.  They're available.  We think we're going to have some big crowds. We're really fired up about the new players coming in. We're going to be a little bit different, but I think we're going to have a really successful season."
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