Hartwick College’s men, despite three starters to graduation, are seeking their third straight to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament this season.
The Hawks tied a program by winning 23 games last season, but 1,000-point scorers Mark Blazek and Chris Ryder, along with point guard Andres Carpio, have graduated.
“We lost three great players, two of which were 1,000 point scorers, and a starting point guard that will be very hard to replace,” reigning Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year Todd McGuinness said of his squad, which won its first E8 regular season title a season ago.
The Hawks begin the season on the road against SUNY Purchase on Friday in the Regis College Tip-Off Tournament. Hartwick will play five of its first nine games at Lambros Arena. The Hawks will play Union in its home opener on Nov. 20.
Returning for Hartwick is last year’s top scorer Jared Suderley, who was named a D3hoops.com Preseason All-America First Team last week. Last season, Suderley was named a D3hoops.com and a NABC Coaches’ Division III All-American. He was also selected to the NABC East Region All-District First Team, the D3hoops.com All-East Region First Team, the ECAC Upstate First Team and was named the Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year.
Suderley, a junior, finished the season second overall in scoring in the E8 (17.4 ppg). He was also second in free-throw percentage (.863) and field-goal percentage (.528), and seventh in rebounds (8.1).
Against Farmingdale State in the NCAA Tournament, Suderley scored his college-high of 40 points. In the process, he became just the second player in program history in reach 1,000 points in their first two years.
“Jared has had two great years so far and I hope he has another outstanding year for us this season,” McGuinness added.
Starting at point guard will be junior Christian Laputka. He will be asked to carry more minutes than in previous years.
At shooting guard is junior Mike Geisser. Last season, Geisser played in all 27 games and started nine. He scored in double digits the last five games of the year and had his college-high of 19 points against Ithaca with a 5-for-5 showing from beyond the three-point arc.
Also returning for the Hawks at the guard position is junior Anthony Keane, who led Hartwick in assists and steals a year ago. He scored a college-high 19 points against Nazareth and hit a winning three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat Ithaca 78-75.
Freshman Rob Heller, a Chenango Valley graduate, will provide depth.
At the other forward position is junior transfer Kyle Bradley, who comes to Hartwick from Division II Mansfield and will be counted on to play right away.
Seniors Aaron Laing (Laurens) and Jon Zehe will battle for minutes at forward.
Delhi 72, Broome 54
SUNY Delhi improved to 5-0 Tuesday night with a road victory over Broome Community College.
Stefan Bock led the way with 18 points and eight assists. Quayshaun Mitchell contributed 16 points and nine rebounds, and Arif Mehmetaj finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Broncos led by eight at halftime before breaking away early in the second half.
Mitchell had all 16 of his points after halftime.
“We executed a little better and played a little harder,” Delhi coach Rob Schoener said of his team’s second-half performance.
Delhi will travel to Fulton Montgomery at 7 tonight.