FREDERICK, Md. - The Hood College men's basketball program recently announced their 2019 recruiting class, a six-player group of incoming first-year student-athletes.
Head Coach Chad Dickman has high hopes for the upcoming basketball season after the Blazers won 17 games and earned the second seed in the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Tournament last season.
"I'm extremely excited about next year," he said. "We have an outstanding group of guys returning and we have some nice pieces that we've added to the puzzle with this recruiting class."
Will Pataki, a 6-foot-2 185-pound wing from Mountain View High School (Va.), averaged 18 points, four rebounds and two assists per game as a senior. He was named first team all-district and first team all-region.
"Will is going to surprise some people. He's an athletic wing that can really score from all three levels. We think he can be an impact player early on in his career," said Dickman.
The Blazers gained some size with their next pick-up, Lual Chol, a 6-foot-6 forward from James Monroe High School (Va.). He averaged eight points and five rebounds per game and was named second team all-conference, second team all-district, all-area honorable mention and was named to the FABO and Central Virginia all-star teams.
Dickman thinks Chol, a 3.7 GPA student, has top-tier potential. "Lual is just scratching the surface of what he can be as a player. His perimeter skills have really developed this past year, so with continued hard work, and his natural length and athleticism, he could be scary-good in a couple of years.
Hood hit the gyms of New Jersey for their next recruit, Glenn Swenson Jr, from Donovan Catholic High School. The 5-foot-10 point guard was a captain and three-year varsity letterman, but injuries slowed down his junior and senior years.
"Glenn's just had a streak of bad luck with injuries, so hopefully, he has that behind him and he can continue to move forward as a college player. He's a hard-nosed guard and a great team guy, who will be an asset to our program in all aspects," stated Dickman.
Brian Barrett, a 6-foot-3 210-pound forward from Riverside High School (Va.), was the next player to commit the Blazer program. The two-year captain led Riverside to their best season in school history, reaching the Virginia State 4A quarterfinals and finishing 21-7.
"Brian will be a great program guy for us. He is a strong kid, a hard worker, and has the ability to score inside or step out and hit the 3," Dickman said.
Hood finalized their recruiting class with two in-state products.
Ryan Hollwedel, a 6-foot-3 wing from Centennial High School, averaged 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals a game. He was a Howard County All-Star, an MD-PA All-Star, an all-county honorable mention nominee and graduated with over a 3.7 GPA.
"Ryan is a coach's son, so he's been around basketball all his life. He's a smart, versatile player whose game fits well with our style of play," said Dickman.
Andrew Warehime, a 6-foot-5 swingman from South Carroll High School, finalized the Blazers' 2019 recruiting class. He averaged eight points, eight rebounds and 2 blocks a game, earning All-Carroll County Second Team honors.
Dickman sees potential in Warehime. "Andrew is a 6-foot-5 lefty that can really shoot the ball, so those are big assets for us. He needs to put some weight on and expand his game, but he has some tools that I'm excited about."
Hood opens the 2019-20 season on November 1 with an exhibition game at George Washington University (DC), coached by former Frederick resident and Mount St. Mary's head coach, Jamion Christian.
Dickman thinks the upcoming season could be a special one for the Blazers. "We are going to have a target on our backs this year, so we need to mesh together quickly and not allow any complacency from last year's success to set in. If we can stay focused on the process, I think this could be a historical season for us."