Hoffman pleased with early-season success

Mercer returns to action Saturday at home against Hiwassee College. /(Mason Prince, WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- College basketball analyst Andy Katz has warned the rest of college basketball.

The Mercer Bears are for real and they proved that with an impressive showing at the Paradise Island Jam over the weekend. Despite falling in the championship game to Colorado, the Bears showed they can hang with the big boys of college hoops.

Katz praised the Bears' starting five including leading-scorer Ria'n Holland, but Head Coach Bob Hoffman is impressed with his second unit.

"Some of our guys that didn't play big time minutes gave us big time production," Hoffman said. "If we can get that from all of the different types of players we have, we can play different combinations and that really makes us tough to guard."

Following a Sunday home game against Hiwassee College, the Bears get into the meet of their pre-conference slate with upcoming games against Tennessee, Memphis and Alabama. Hoffman hopes those tests before the New Year can help Mercer reach their end goal in March.

"That's going to be great these last seven non conference games that we have before we get ready for conference play," Hoffman said.

Mercer tips off against Hiwassee Saturday at 2 p.m. at Hawkins Arena.

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