The Hood College men's basketball team, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Frederick, will host the sixth annual Rotary Holiday Classic tournament this Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19 in BB&T Arena.
The two-day tournament will begin with the CNU Captains against the Catholic University Cardinals at 4 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the Blazers against the Wilmington (Ohio) Quakers at 6 p.m. On Sunday, the consolation game tips off at 1 p.m., followed by the championship at 3 p.m.
Admission to the Rotary Holiday Classic is $5 per day for adults. Students receive free admission with presentation of their student ID. Children wearing their rec or youth league jerseys will also receive free admission if accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased from any Rotary Club of Frederick member or at the door on game day.
Live stats and a live video stream will be available for all four contests. Follow the schedule at the bottom of this preview with complete links.
For a full history of the Rotary of Frederick Holiday Classic, click here.
The Blazers are looking to build off of a 16-9 season a year ago, and some key players will take the court once more for Hood.
Junior Jared Ruiz is the leading returning scorer at 7.5 points per game. He shot 38 percent from 3-point range. Senior Luke Casey, who was named to the all-tournament team last year, is coming off career-highs of 6.8 ppg, 6.5 rebounds per game, 55 percent shooting and 44 percent from the 3-point line. Casey forms part of a danger frontcourt with Daniel Wegener, who averaged 6.2 ppg on 48 percent shooting and grabbed 4.4 rpg.
The Blazers averaged 73.1 points per game and outrebounded their opponents by five boards per game. Defensively, Hood was the only Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth team to hold opponents under 70 ppg (69.6).
Hood will enter the tournament after a tough test in its season opener. The Blazers open the season on Wednesday, November 15 at No. 25 Swarthmore.
Scouting Christopher Newport
The Captains, making their first appearance in the Rotary Holiday Classic, are returning from a 27-3 season last year. Christopher Newport is ranked No. 14 by D3hoops.com on the heels of its impressive 2016-17 season.
Marcus Carter, returning for his senior year, led CNU in scoring last season with 12.8 points per game. Carter finished his junior year with 6.5 rebounds per game and a 50 percent success rate from the field. Aaron McFarland, also a senior, ranked third in scoring for the Captains last year as the team's sixth man. He finished the season with 10.7 points per game, hit 38 percent from the 3-point line, and garnered 21 steals.
CNU finished their 2016-17 season with a 16-1 record in conference play. The Captains averaged 74.4 points per game and were plus-seven on the glass. Offensively, CNU finished with 36 percent success from the 3-point line and 45 percent success from field goal range in the conclusion of their 2016-17 season.
Randolph-Macon hosts the Captains on November 15.
The Cardinals, making their first appearance in the Rotary Holiday Classic, are returning from a 17-9 season last year.
Jay Howard, recently named to the D3hoops.com Preseason All-America team, led Catholic in scoring last season with 18.2 points per game. Howard finished his junior year with 7.4 rebounds per game and shot 51 percent from the floor. He led the team with 3.4 assists per game. Andre Mitchell, returning as a junior, ranked third in scoring for the Cardinals last season. He finished his sophomore year with 11.6 points per game, 80 rebounds, and 78 assists.
Catholic finished their 2016-17 season with a 9-5 record in Landmark Conference play. The Cardinals averaged 74.1 points per game and were virtually even with their opponents on the boards.
The tournament opens the Cardinals' season.
Scouting Wilmington (Ohio)
The Quakers, making their first appearance in the Rotary Holiday Classic, are looking to improve on a 9-16 season last year.
Christian Jones, returning for his senior season, led Wilmington in scoring last season with 12.5 points per game. Jones finished his junior year with a 40 percent success rate from the 3-point line, 60 rebounds, and 69 assists. Senior Nathan Scott ranked third in scoring for the Quakers last season, averaging 10 points per game on 38 percent 3-point shooting.
Wilmington finished their 2016-17 season with a 4-14 record in a tough Ohio Athletic Conference. The Quakers averaged 79.9 points per game, but had a tough time on the glass, getting outrebounded by five boards per game. Wilmington shot 45 percent from the field.
The Quakers head to Thomas More to begin the season on November 15.
2017 Rotary of Frederick Holiday Classic Schedule/Coverage
|Game 1||No. 14 Christopher Newport vs. Catholic||4 p.m.||Live Stats | Video|
|Game 2||Wilmington (Ohio) at Hood||6 p.m.||Live Stats | Video|
|Consolation Game||TBA||1 p.m.||Live Stats | Video|
|Championship Game||TBA||3 p.m.||Live Stats | Video|