"The kids played hard and didn't give up, even when they got behind," Larson said. "We need to correct the mental part of the game. If we do that, we will be a better team and we'll be able to compete. We really need to get our sets down, run our offense correctly and cut down on our turnovers. If we can do all those things, we'll be successful. If not, it's going to be a long year."
This year's Falcon squad is both inexperienced and undersized, which means that if they expect to play competitive basketball, they'll need to play smart and execute crisply.
Oh, and they're going to run - a lot.
"I think the kids know that the program's been down and knew that we didn't have a lot of returning players, but they believe in the up-and-down, fast-paced system I have in place. They like the tempo and realize that when we get stuck in the half court we're not very good. They believe running is the only way for us to win against these bigger teams."
Freedom is led by senior Eddie Rettagliata, whom Larson touts as a tremendous outside shooter. The 6-foot, second-year varsity player earned all-tournament honors for the Falcons over the weekend.
"Eddie is a great shooter, one of the best you'll see at this level," Larson said. "He really impressed me driving to the hoop in the tournament. He found his openings and took them, and he created for other people, too."
Point guard Scott Hayano will be relied on heavily to direct Larson's breakneck offense. Although the 5-foot-9, 150-pound senior struggles with his shot at times, he does an excellent job running the offense and creating scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Although they're admittedly undersized when compared to most of the post players in the league, Larson looks to Kyle Ubrick (6-foot-1) and Josh Calahan (6-foot-2) to provide a presence in the interior.
Freedom will also need strong efforts from Marc Miranda, Ryan Santos, Brad Jones and Roderick Trice if it's going to be able to hold its own against the bigger, more experienced competition.
Cameron Gupton, an extremely quick sophomore guard who's at his best taking the rock to the hole, is catching on quickly and should help to get the program turned around - if not this year, in the near future.