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.