NICEVILLE, Fla. (WMBB) — The Northwest Florida State Men’s basketball team is gearing up for another deep run with a stacked roster.

The Raiders began last season ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation, then hit some bumps during the regular season.

The team started peaking at the right time towards the postseason, where they clinched the Panhandle Conference, state tournament and finished as the National runner-ups.

The Raiders are returning three players this season, adding eleven newcomers.

“You can’t even worry about last year,” Northwest Florida State head coach Steve DeMeo said. “When you add one player to a new team, the team completely changes. We’ve added 11 new players so we can’t even think about last year’s team.”

The three goals for the Men’s team this season are to win the conference, state, and then finish with a national title.

To help prepare for conference play, the Raiders have a tough early schedule.

“Every year I’m trying to add something to our repertoire to throw them off,” DeMeo said. “When we play a non-conference season, that usually helps us figure out what we need to structure, what areas we’re going to get better at, or what we should have had that we didn’t have and in a bag of tricks last year.”

Northwest Florida State opens the season at Raider Arena hosting Southern Union State Community College on Wednesday, November 1.