Warm and fuzzy feelings might seem an odd match with sweat and toil.
Not if you're Happy Osborne, the Georgetown College men's basketball coach.
Osborne's Tigers open their season Thursday night at 7:30, playing host to Temple Baptist.
"I know this is cliché city, but I just want our team to get better every day," Osborne said. "I want to see our team care about each other. I want them to become brothers."
Such warm-and-fuzzy talk equates to the team chemistry and unselfish play coaches seek.
"We've just got to work tremendously hard," Osborne added. "And that's the No. 1 thing I want, is just that our guys give all that they have and care about each other. Enjoy the time that we have."
Georgetown has reached the 32-team NAIA Tournament 18 years in a row. The Tigers went 27-5 last season, leading the NAIA by holding opponents to 36.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Osborne wants to stay No. 1 in that category. Georgetown will use man-to-man coverage almost exclusively and press.
"We've got to get deflections," Osborne said. "Our goal every game is 50, which is a really high number, but we're going to try to get our hands on a lot of balls so that we can push the ball."
The Tigers are able to maintain a high pace in part because of their deep bench.
Sophomore Johonne Hamilton and juniors Eddie Gray and Matt Walls will see playing time at point guard.
Walls, senior Kyle Saxton, transfers Teshawn Byron, Jamel Ferguson, Abe Kpaka and Dillon Boggs figure into plans on the wing. So does Hollis Giles, who will become eligible in December.
In the post, Vic Moses, Vinny Crutcher and Maurice Pearson return, joined by transfer Shawn Outen. Osborne says they'll all play.
"In half-court, Vic Moses shot 69 percent last year. It's probably pretty smart to get him the ball," Osborne said of his 6-foot-6 sophomore out of Henry Clay. "We're going to try to play inside-out in the half-court — get the ball in his hands, Maurice Pearson's hands, Vinny Crutcher's hands.
"Our perimeters, I feel like we shoot the ball well, that we can have a good inside-out game."
Moses led the team with 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds a game last season, sinking 197 of 285 shots. He also blocked 22 shots.
Georgetown lost second-leading scorer Demetrius Guions, steals and assists leader Jerry Turner and six others from last year's team.
But Crutcher, Walls and Giles combined for nearly 22 points and 81/2 rebounds per game.
After Thursday's opener, the Tigers will be tested with road exhibitions against Louisville, Mississippi State and Florida State. Then comes a Nov. 12 home game against Ohio Dominican, a team that beat the Tigers 82-80 last year.