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HCC men have their parts in place

October 24, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Barry Brown sounds more like a producer of a TV miniseries than a junior college basketball coach.

"There are three parts to the season -- the first semester, the second semester and the postseason," said Hagerstown Community College's new men's basketball coach. "We are trying to do all the work in this first part that will help us get to the third part."

The first episode of the Hawks' saga has been to get HCC's players primed for the five-month season. The team, anchored by four returning players, still has work to do before its Nov. 7 opener against Globe Institute.

HCC's "pre-production meetings" revolved heavily around academics and getting into the right frame of mind before moving into the practice phase, which began on Oct. 1.

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"We have put so much emphasis on academics," Brown said. "We want each and every one of these players to improve as people. If we can get them to do that, we will be a stronger team. Now it's time to start worrying about developing the individual parts."

Those parts are a conglomeration of players labeled as guards and forwards, which is a throwback to when Brown was an assistant to his father Jim Brown, who ran the program for three decades before retiring in 2002. Barry Brown is the fourth coach since that retirement -- after spending time coaching the North Hagerstown girls team -- and has brought his father back as a voluntary assistant.

That means HCC's vintage run-and-gun, end-to-end basketball is back. The Hawks have used variations of the elder Brown's style since he stepped down, but now it's back to the genuine article.

"With our style of offense, we want as many players on the floor at the same time who can handle the ball and think like a point guard," Brown said.

The experience for the Hawks will come from four players with varied experiences.

K'yan Andrews (6-foot-5 forward) and Raylin Mack-Brown (6-3 guard) logged chunks of playing time for HCC last season under coach Earl Redden, while guard Joel Cerda (5-11 guard) played a reserve role. Deray Cole (6-3 guard), who played two years ago for Terry Truax, returns after a redshirt season.

"K'yan and Raylin are fine players and we have high expectations for them," Brown said. "They wanted to come back to be leaders and succeed. Andrews is a stud and can break out any night for a big game. He missed the last third of last season with an injury."

Brown is looking for big things from Donte Stuckey (6-4 guard), DaiQuane Peterson (6-2 guard) and Jonathan Ford (6-5 guard), who all have a chance to be starters.

"We have high hopes for Stuckey to be our point guard," Brown said. "Peterson plays hard all the time and Ford has the capability of putting up a triple-double any time he's out there."

The team's local flavor comes from Martinsburg's Cameron Cato (6-3 guard), who adds a form of toughness to the Hawks.

"He has a great attitude and is a super defender," Brown said. "He has the great all-around skills for the versatility to play all four of our guard positions."

Other players with key roles are Arthur Hairston (6-4 guard), who was Howard County's leading scorer last season, Demetrus Richardson (6-3 guard), Xavier Drake (5-11 guard) and D'Quan Lynch (6-0 guard). Chris Hartman and Nagee White, a pair of 6-7 forwards, give HCC some height under the boards.

The smaller roster allows the Hawks to put a number of combinations in a number of situations to accomplish the main goal of success.

"The main point that we have been trying to get across to these players is that it all starts with defense," Brown said. "We want the aggressive style of play to keep up the intensity and allow us to have the tempo so we can do what we want to do."

And if the Hawks can do that, only good things will happen.

"When you play great teams, you have to neutralize them," Brown said. "Our team has to do the little things, like take charges and get to loose balls. There has to be commitment. We hope to make them confident. It's all a matter of getting the best effort ... after that, wins will take care of themselves."

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