The College of Southern Maryland men's basketball season gets underway the first weekend of November when they will play in the CCBC Dundalk Mixer.
They will play Mt. Zion Prep, Bryant & Stratton College (VA), and ASA Brooklyn at the weekend tournament.
The next weekend, they will travel to Louisburg, NC to play in the Roger Taylor Classic at Louisburg College. There they will face Brunswick Community College and Louisburg College.
For the third weekend in a row, CSM will play in a weekend tournament on the road. The Hawks head to Montgomery College to take part in the Montgomery College Tip-Off Classic where they will take on Mercyhurst North East and Cape Fear Community College.
CSM head coach Alan Hoyt said he likes to use these weekend tournaments as a way to prepare his team for the scheduling they will encounter in postseason play.
"We always are planning for the region tournament and the national tournament and that's how those are - three games in three days or four games in five days," Hoyt said. "These games give us an opportunity to travel and be together and to play teams outside of our area to get us ready. We're playing some good teams, and if we come out on the happy side - 4-3 by the end of the seven games - then we're going to be in good shape."
CSM will round out the month of November with two home games. Thomas Nelson Community College comes to La Plata on November 22 with Prince George's Community College visiting the Hawks November 26.
The Hawks will then have another stretch of road contests. From December 4 to January 24, eight of CSM's 10 games will be played away from home.
The Hawks will enjoy a quick four-game homestand across eight days from the end of January into the first week of February.
Then, CSM will be faced with back-to-back matchups against last year's Region XX Division II and Maryland JUCO champions. On February 8, the Hawks travel to Cecil College, the regional champs, with the conference champs Baltimore City Community College coming to CSM on February 12. The Hawks close out the regular season with three games at home against Allegany College of Maryland, Howard Community College, and Garrett College.
As for his roster, Hoyt says, "I think we have a lot of versatility. We're deep this year. We have a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things, so I think we have a lot of options. Early on it's been a bit of a struggle, guys trying to earn spots and having 15 new guys on the team, but we're going to be fine. It's good to have options."
Sophomore Kyle McAllister is the only player returning for CSM from last year's squad. He averaged 4.3 points per game, 1.2 assists per game, 1.1 rebounds per game, and 21.0 minutes per game in the 2018-19 season. He recorded a 34.1 field goal percentage and shot 34.3 percent from 3-point range.
"We've actually been lucky the past couple of years to have four or five guys come back, and obviously that's led to some of our success. We've brought in some high-end guys, so we don't expect to skip a beat in how competitive we can be."
"Offensively, we have a lot of speed and athleticism," Hoyt said. "We can get up and down the floor. We scored 121 points the other day in the scrimmage and we still shot under 50 percent and still took bad shots and turned the ball over. There are going to be some days where we get into the hundreds with no problem."
Hoyt thinks one of the biggest keys to the team's success this year is "just coming together. When you bring 16 new guys together, it just takes time for them to mesh and learn how we play basketball here. The sooner we mesh, the better we'll be overall record-wise, but I think we'll be able to compete in March."