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‘Culture over everything’: TCC looking to set standards, finish business ahead of high expectations in 2021

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 8:41 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - March 9, 2020: The sound of unbridled joy after the Tallahassee Community College men’s basketball team learned they had received an at-large bid to their first NJCAA tournament since 2011.

Days later, though, that joy was extinguished, as the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

January, 2021: The sound of unfinished business, as the TCC men start year number two under Zach Settembre with high hopes and higher stakes.

”There’s not much I’d change about everything we’ve had to endure,” Settembre said. “Adversity pushes you to where you have to figure things out. We’ve established the fact that, no matter the environment we’re put in or is going to be, we can be comfortable living in the fire.”

TCC’s roster is full of fresh faces but still chock-full of D1 prospects. Still, Settembre says he’s hoping the Eagles’ reestablished winning tradition is becoming about far more than just having high-major talent.

“We’re culture over everything at this point. We’ve recruited really high character guys. We have guys that understand what it means to work hard consistently so the energy that this team has displayed so far on a daily basis gives me a lot of hope for the big picture that we can do special things with this group,” Settembre said.

The Eagles were quite the offensive threat in 2020, but this season, it’s the other side of the ball that’s turning heads: A defense willing to switch one through five and bring the fire for 40 minutes.

”They’ve done a good job of adjusting to the passion and the fire that we bring every day in practice and I think the discipline, the structure, the togetherness is going to have a significant effect to play very deep into our season.”

TCC opens its season on Wednesday at South Georgia Technical College.

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