HCC mixing signals

October 25, 2000

HCC mixing signals

Hawks' speed hopes to slow down foes for 2000-01 season

By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

The Hagerstown Community College basketball team is a contradiction of its own terms.

If you ask coach Jim Brown, the Hawks will be quick, but they will do real well if they take their time.

Sounds confusing, but it's sort of an interesting oxymoron HCC will have fun tackling when it begins the 2000-2001 season.

"We are going to be very aggressive," Brown said. "If we can spread out the floor against teams that are bigger in size, our quickness will win."

On paper, the Hawks have a team similar to those Brown fielded during HCC's heyday in the early 1990s. They are fast and will probably employ a variety of pressure defenses to accelerate the pace of the game. That's the quickness.


Consistent outside shooting along with competent play of power forwards and centers will be the huge question marks.

"We are going to be quick," Brown said. "I think if we can be patient with the young, physically immature inside players, we will do well. It will be an adjustment for them to compete on this level of play. Still, on any level, guards control the game."

And guards are what HCC have in abundance, despite only three returning players from last year: Hancock's Derek Hoffman, 3-point shooting specialist Corey Tabron and point guard Shawn Waller, who returns after redshirting last year.

Like successful HCC teams of the past, Brown has three point guards at his disposal with Bayi Handy and Eric Branham to join Waller. Handy has transferred from Delaware State and has made a verbal commitment to Georgia State.

"It's the first time we've had three point guards in a long time," Brown said. "Our No. 3 guard right now led us to 20 wins two years ago. And last year in practice, I could take Branham and put him with any of our third-team players and they could beat our first team."

Darius Lumpkin and Brandon Shields join Tabron at shooting guard while Dominic Crutchfield, Julius Gause and Mark Jennings will vie for time at small forward.

The field is wide open for the inside game with Hoffman, Jerome Goodman and Keith Mc-Knight working at center with Brian Showers, Gerbront Gabby, Ian Brenner and McKnight working at power forward.

"We don't have a big dominant player," Brown said. "We are going to get them in and see who emerges. We won't have anything figured out until after Christmas when we have a chance to see what we have."

Brown's first chance to see will come at 6 p.m. Friday in the free Green-White intersquad scrimmage at the HCC athletic complex. The Hawks kick off the season with an exhibition game on Nov. 3 against the Swedish National Team.

"We have to cut down on turnovers and be more aggressive on defense to help us against taller teams," Brown said. "But right now, I'll dress 15 players and won't be worried about using any one of them at any time."

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