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HCC works to get versatility into its system

October 30, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

For years, Earl Redden was Hagerstown Community College's version of a professional shopper.

He was the recruiting coordinator for the men's basketball team and went out to find the players for the Hawks' coaches.

Now, he's doing his own bargain hunting. Redden now occupies HCC's coaching hot seat, allowing him to fill his cart with his own favorites in assembling the Hawks for the Nov. 7 season opener against Potomac State.

"I had an understanding of what we wanted to do," said Redden, who became HCC's fourth coach in two years. "I recruited players to fill the spots to fill our system."

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HCC's system is one of mobility and versatility, and will be unveiled next week during the opening round of the Region XX Hall of Fame Tournament at the school's athletic complex.

"We wanted guys that could get up and down the floor to do the things that have made us successful," Redden said. "That means we wanted 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6 guys who can run, play inside and shoot the 3. To me, if we can put three, four, five of those guys on the floor, it could make matchup problems for the other team."

HCC's multipurpose roster is being built from the inside out, using the talents of one Washington County player and a pair of transfers as the Hawks' foundation.

Williamsport's Will Taylor returns as HCC's starting center while Isaiah Hill and Amaurys Fermin have transferred from Missouri State-West Plains to join the Hawks.

"Will is the only returning player we have from last year's team," Redden said. "Fermin is a point guard and he had a good game in our scrimmage against Massenutten Prep's graduate team. Hill is 6-8 and runs the floor well for his size and is able to step out and shoot the 3."

Redden is leaning on the two transfers to get HCC past the shaky period that comes with a host of new players. Fermin and Hill played on the West Plains team which was ranked in the National JuCo Top 10 for most of last season, but transferred east to be closer to home.

The only other player with a good shot at a starting position is Raason Young, who will get the nod at shooting guard.

That puts HCC at a starting four plus four. The Hawks have four players who could be first on the floor for games, depending on the situation and what the opponent brings to the game. The four starters-on-call are Jordan Brooks, Brandon Rascoe, Daryl Poole and Raylin Brown.

Brooks starred at Fort Hill and comes to HCC as a shooting threat, Brown is a 6-3 guard who played at Massenutten Prep last year and Poole is considered a change-of-pace threat at the forward positions. If they don't start, they will be among the first players off HCC's bench.

"It doesn't matter which five is in, they all can do the job," Redden said. "We will have options with any five we have in."

The Hawks got a jump-start - many of the players have played with and against each other with club teams, and some attended a summer camp together. They came to HCC ready to go when practice started on Oct. 1.

For Redden, the goals for his new coaching assignment are simple.

"We want to represent the school well and work to get the kids to the next level at a four-year school," he said. "We want to be a team that represents the community well."

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