The 2012-13 season was a breakout one for Midwestern State Women's Basketball, winning the Lone Star Conference Tournament championship and reaching the Sweet Sixteen.
But even with almost everyone back, they couldn't repeat the success last year, falling in the LSC semifinals and then in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
"I think we knew we had a lot of success the year before," senior Lisa Hampton said. "And I think it kind of changed our mindset a little bit."
Head Coach Noel Johnson agreed. "We didn't have the best chemistry going on at times," she said. "And I feel like it was a learning experience."
This season, the Mustangs have even more experience, with a seven-member senior class showing the way for a talented young group.
"It's something that we felt like we needed to do," Coach Johnson said of the new blood in the program. "We brought in seven new faces and they're molding in very well with our returners."
"Our seniors, when we were freshmen, really mentored us and showed us how to adjust to the speed of the game when you come to college," Hampton said. "I think we've tried to mimic the seniors that we had four years ago and do it for the new freshmen."
"We've been through the program, we know how things run," said fellow senior Andrea Carter. "So we have our vision and we're just going to go with it, and everyone's just going to fall in line."
Carter is the preseason LSC Player of the Year and will help lead the way for MSU this season. The senior from Angleton averaged 16 points and nine rebounds last season to lead the team in both categories.
"She's just one of those kids that just goes day to day, and she's going to do whatever she can in every situation, to make the best of it," Coach Johnson said of her star. "And you see that in her, and how she plays."
But Carter's far from the only weapon the Mustangs have. Four other returners averaged at least six points per game last year.
"We're really working to continue to diversify our offense to where those weapons can be utilized at any point in time, which makes you hard to scout," Johnson said.
"If you stop one, you still have to stop the rest of the four people on the court," Carter said. "So I think it's a really good thing that we have like, five dominant people on the court at all times."