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HCC recruits hoops army

July 27, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Barry Brown has been given a field commission.

He is the new general of the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team. He has a plan and has just finished recruiting his forces.

Now, it's time to get ready for battle.

Brown's first season as HCC's coach is manned by the signing of nine freshmen to go with four holdovers from last year's 21-10 team under Earl Redden. Orders are about to be issued.

"We're pleased to have this group," said Brown. "This is an athletic group and they are good kids. I was pleased to be able to find players to run the style I want."

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The new era is about to begin. The style is probably best characterized as organized mayhem.

"We are going to be aggressive," Brown said. "We are going to press and run. We want to get down and play defense and then attack the basket."

Most of the new Brown Brigade come in the point guard to small foward sizes, but they have a common theme.

"They are all long and lean," Brown said. "We have the kids to match our style and the style to match our kids."

Maybe the best known name of the incoming group is Cameron Cato of Martinsburg, W.Va. Cato signed to play at HCC after averaging 11 points while collecting a total of 107 rebounds and 57 assists for the West Virginia Class AAA state champion Bulldogs.

He was named the third-team captain of the West Virginia All-State team and was on the all-tournament team and The Herald-Mail's All-Area first team.

"He's important to us and is a very good local player," Brown said. "He comes from a great program under coach Dave Rogers and is a winner. He typifies the type of player we have -- he is lean, fast, plays defense and is a team player."

Brown is equally high on the rest of the signees.

Xavier Drake

Drake is a 5-foot-11 point guard from Baltimore's Milford Mill. He averaged 16.8 points, five rebounds and five assists while becoming Baltimore County's player of the year and a member of the All-Metro first team.

Chris Hartmann

Hartmann is a 6-7 forward from Delone Catholic in Hanover, Pa. He averaged 18.4 points and was named to the York All-Area first team and to the third team of the Pennsylvania Class AA All-State squad.

D-Quan Lynch

Lynch is a 6-0 guard from Virginia Beach, Va., who averaged 20.5 points per game while being named to the All-Virginia Beach first team.

Donte Stuckey

Stuckey is a 6-4 guard from Walbrook High School in Baltimore who averaged 18 points and six rebounds. He was Walbrook's team MVP and on the All-Baltimore County second team.

Daiquanne Peterson

Peterson is a 6-3 guard from Willmington, Del., who averaged 23.9 points and 10 rebounds per game while earning All-State first-team honors.

Demetrus Richardson

Richardson is a 6-3 guard from Wilmington, Del., who averaged 21.9 points and 9.9 rebounds a game for Apex Academy.

Jonathan Ford

Ford is a 6-5 forward from Wakefield, Va., who averaged 19.4 points and 8.3 rebounds and had four triple-doubles.

Najee White

White is a 6-7 forward from Virginia Beach, Va., who averaged 14.7 points and 10 rebounds per game.

They will be joining Raylin Brown, K'yan Andrews, Isaiah Hill and Brandon Rascoe from last year's team.

"(The four returnees) have attributes we need," Brown said. "We are going to depend on them to lead us in the beginning."

Brown's style of play isn't radically different than Redden's. Nor is it far different than the attack he used while coaching the North Hagerstown girls basketball team.

"We scored 70 points a game, came out shooting 3s and had fun," Brown said. "But it all starts with defense and goes to the offenisve end."

With that in mind, HCC will try to win the battles that lead to winning the war awaiting at the national tournament.

"We promise to play at a high level," Brown said. "We have to build chemistry, but we look to keep improving and peak at the right time. There is no bigger challenge than that of junior college basketball."

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