December 1, 2010

Men's Basketball Heads South To Face Wake Forest

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-5, 0-0 PL) vs. Wake Forest (4-3, 0-0 ACC)
Date: December 4, 2010
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Lawrence Joel Coliseum (14,655), Winston-Salem, N.C.
Holy Cross Radio: Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Wake Forest Radio Network: WBRF 98.1 FM, Winston-Salem, flagship; XM Satellite Radio Channel 191; Stan Cotten, play-by-play; Mark Freidinger, color
Unofficial Live Statistics: Gametracker
Series Record: Wake Forest leads, 2-1
Last Meeting: Wake Forest 80, Holy Cross 71; December 28, 1959; Raleigh, N.C.

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 5, Mike Cavataio, 6-4, 190, Jr. 
F, 44, Phil Beans, 6-9, 233, So.  
C, 34, Andrew Keister, 6-9, 235, Sr.   
G, 10, R.J. Evans, 6-3, 200, Jr.   
G, 22, Andrew Beinert, 6-4, 185, Sr.
                                                               
THE SERIES WITH WAKE FOREST: This will be only the fourth meeting between the Crusaders and the Demon Deacons on the hardwood, and the first in over 50 years. Wake Forest holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series, with each of the previous three contests being played in Raleigh, N.C. The Demon Deacons won the first game between the schools 91-69 over No. 6 Holy Cross on Dec. 31, 1952, during the Dixie Classic. The Crusaders came back to post a 79-71 victory over No. 12 Wake Forest on March 13, 1953, later that season in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals. The last meeting between the teams took place on Dec. 28, 1959, at the Dixie Classic, with the Demon Deacons winning 80-71.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Wake Forest leads, 2-1
In Winston-Salem: First Meeting
At Lawrence Joel Coliseum: First Meeting
Milan Brown vs. Wake Forest: 0-0
Jeff Bzdelik vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: Wake Forest, one game

HOLY CROSS CONCLUDES ROAD TRIP AT WAKE FOREST: The Crusaders will play the final contest of a five-game road trip when they head to Wake Forest for a 1:00 p.m. contest on Saturday, Dec. 4. Holy Cross will then play host to Stony Brook on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 7:00 p.m., in only its second home game of the season. The Crusaders will remain at the Hart Center for their next contest, facing Fairfield on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 4:00 p.m.

HOLY CROSS FACES TOUGH SLATE: Even though Holy Cross is off to an 0-5 start so far this season, it has faced far and away the toughest non-conference schedule of any school in the Patriot League. Through games of Nov. 30, the Crusaders' schedule was ranked as the 52nd-hardest in the nation by CBSSports.com. The only other schools in the Patriot League to play schedules ranked better than 228th are Lehigh (165th) and Bucknell (195th). Holy Cross' opponents have combined to go 20-8 so far this season, with the lowest rated team on the Crusaders' schedule thus far being Harvard at 160th in the ratings percentage index.

BROWN PLAYS KEY MINUTES OFF THE BENCH: Junior guard Devin Brown (Baltimore, Md.) has returned to his role as one of the Patriot League's top sixth men during the 2010-2011 campaign. In five games played so far this year, Brown has averaged a team-best 13.4 points per contest while hitting 36.4 percent (8 of 22) of his three-point field goals and 89.3 percent (25 of 28) of his free throws. During last week's game at Massachusetts, he led the team with 18 points and four assists, while hitting all 11 of his free throw attempts. Brown previously recorded 16 points and two steals at New Hampshire, after posting 14 points and two assists against the College of Charleston. In 30 games played last year, he averaged 12.5 points per contest, while scoring in double-figures 16 times. Brown also hit 44.8 percent (64 of 143) of his three-point field goal attempts and 77.3 percent (85 of 110) of his free throws last season. He finished the 2009-2010 campaign ranked third in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage, eighth in free throw percentage and 11th in scoring. Some of Brown's top games last season came against Bucknell (career-high 29 points), at Navy (23 points, five of eight shooting from three-point range), at North Carolina State (21 points, five rebounds and three assists) and against George Washington (20 points and five rebounds). Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Brown has now totaled 627 points, 120 rebounds and 75 assists, while hitting 39.3 percent (84 of 214) of his three-point field goal attempts and 82.8 percent of his free throws (183 of 221).

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE: Holy Cross has an all-time record of 61-71 against the 12 schools which currently compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The majority of those games were played against Boston College, before the Eagles joined the ACC. In addition to their 57-53 all-time mark against Boston College, the Crusaders stand 0-2 against Clemson, 0-2 vs. Duke, 0-5 against Maryland, 0-1 vs. Miami, 1-1 against North Carolina, 2-5 vs. North Carolina State and 1-2 against Wake Forest.

KEISTER LOOKS TO CONTINUE DOMINATING IN THE LOW POST: Senior center Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) has been one of the top low post players in the Patriot League over the last two seasons, and has twice been selected All-Patriot League. He earned first team All-Patriot League in 2008-2009, then was named second team all-conference in 2009-2010. In five games played so far this season, Keister has averaged 10.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest, while hitting 53.8 percent (21 of 39) of his shots from the floor. During last week's game at Massachusetts, he posted his 21st career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Keister opened the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds against the College of Charleston, then had 10 points and seven rebounds at both Boston College and New Hampshire. In 31 games played last season, he averaged 10.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest, while hitting 51.6 percent (130 of 252) of his shots from the floor and posting 12 double-doubles. Keister led the Patriot League in rebounding a year ago, while ranking third in field goal percentage and 19th in scoring. Some of Keister's top games in 2009-2010 came at Navy (22 points, 14 rebounds and four assists), against Harvard (22 points and eight rebounds), at Rhode Island (21 points and 11 rebounds) and against Army (17 points and 18 rebounds). Over the course of his collegiate career, Keister has now totaled 660 points and 548 rebounds, while making 52.3 percent (270 of 516) of his field goal attempts.

MASSACHUSETTS RECAP: Devin Brown scored all 18 of his points in the second half, but Holy Cross was defeated by Massachusetts 83-76 at Curry Hicks Cage on Nov. 27, 2010. Andrew Keister also had a strong game for the Crusaders, posting a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. UMass led 70-46 with eight minutes left to play, before Holy Cross began an improbable comeback effort. The Crusaders scored 11 straight points to ignite a 26-6 run, making the score 76-72 with 1:42 remaining on the clock. Brown scored 14 of his points during that spurt. But that was as close as the Crusaders would get, as the Minutemen hit five of six free throws in the final 30 seconds to hold on for the win. The score was close early in the game, and Holy Cross held a 13-12 lead after the first eight minutes of play. The Minutemen then went on an 11-0 run to pull in front, with Freddie Riley hitting a pair of three-point field goals during that spurt. UMass eventually extended its lead to 12 points (35-23) with 4:57 left in the first half, when Gary Correia hit a three-point shot. But the Crusaders then came back to close out the half with a 6-0 run of their own, and trailed by just six points (35-29) heading into the locker room. After Keister scored the first basket of the second half, the Minutemen ran off seven straight points to push their lead back to double figures (42-31). A few minutes later, UMass used an 8-0 run to extend its lead, eventually going up 70-46. Mike Cavataio finished the game with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals, while R.J. Evans added 11 points and three rebounds. UMass was led by Anthony Gurley with 24 points and three assists, and Freddie Riley with 17 points.

HOLY CROSS IN NORTH CAROLINA: The Crusaders own an all-time record of 4-11 in games played in the Tar Heel State. Holy Cross has lost its last six games played in North Carolina, since posting a 72-68 win over Providence at the Charlotte Invitational on Dec. 30, 1969. This week's game marks the Crusaders' third trip to North Carolina in the last five years, including a 57-45 loss at Duke (on Dec. 6, 2006) and an 87-70 defeat at North Carolina State (on Jan. 6, 2010). Holy Cross' only previous game at Lawrence Joel Coliseum came on March 18, 1993, when it was defeated by Arkansas 94-64 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

CAVATAIO SHINES ON THE WING: Junior guard Mike Cavataio (Forest Hills, N.Y.) is once again among Holy Cross' top players during the 2010-2011 campaign. In five games played, Cavataio has averaged 9.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. During last week's game at Massachusetts, he filled up the stat line with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Cavataio opened the year with 16 points and seven rebounds against the College of Charleston, then recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals at New Hampshire. In 31 games played last season, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest. Cavataio also shot 47.1 percent (131 of 278) from the field and 82.1 percent (78 of 95) on the free throw line in 2009-2010. He finished last year ranked fourth in the Patriot League in free throw percentage, eighth in field goal percentage, ninth in rebounding and 14th in scoring. A few of Cavataio's top performances in 2009-2010 came at Brown (21 points and six rebounds), at Bucknell in the Patriot League quarterfinals (20 points, four rebounds, two assists), against Colgate (19 points, five assists, four rebounds) and against Marist (19 points, eight rebounds). Cavataio previously sat out the 2008-2009 season after transferring to Holy Cross from St. John's University, where he totaled 23 points and 20 rebounds during his only year with the Red Storm.

KEISTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Senior center Andrew Keister was selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Keister was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Lehigh sophomore guard C.J. McCollum, Lafayette senior forward Jared Mintz, American senior forward Vlad Moldoveanu, Bucknell sophomore forward Mike Muscala and Navy junior guard Jordan Sugars. In addition, McCollum was selected as the preseason Player of the Year.

EVANS KEEPS ON SCORING: Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) is once again among the top players in the Patriot League during the 2010-2011 season. In five games played so far this season, Evans is averaging 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest, while hitting 48.9 percent (23 of 47) of his field goal attempts. He recorded 16 points, five assists, three steals and two rebounds against the College of Charleston in the season opener, then scored 13 points at Harvard. Evans also totaled 12 points and seven rebounds at Boston College, while finishing with 11 points and three rebounds at Massachusetts. In 28 games played last year, he averaged a team-best 13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. Evans finished last season ranked eighth in the Patriot League in scoring, 11th in assists and 14th in rebounding. A few of Evans' top performances in 2009-2010 came at Lafayette in the Patriot League semifinals (21 points, seven rebounds and three assists), at Fairfield (21 points and 10 rebounds), against Sacred Heart (20 points and five rebounds) and against Navy (20 points, four rebounds and four assists). The 2008-2009 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, Evans has now totaled 859 points, 326 rebounds, 133 assists and 78 steals over the course of his Holy Cross career.

BEINERT LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Senior guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) has been one of the Crusaders' top players in the backcourt over the last three seasons. Over the last two games Beinert has averaged 10.0 points and 3.5 assists, while hitting six of 10 shots from three-point range. He totaled 11 points, three rebounds and two assists at Boston College, then had nine points and five assists at Massachusetts. In 31 games played last year, Beinert averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest, while hitting 61 of 141 (43.3 percent) three-point field goal attempts. He finished the season ranked fourth in the Patriot League in assists and three-point field goal percentage, while standing 17th in scoring. Some of Beinert's top games in 2009-2010 came at Lehigh (career-high 21 points and three steals, while hitting five of six shots from three-point range), at Bucknell in the Patriot League quarterfinals (19 points and three assists) and against Loyola (17 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals). During his career as a Crusader, Beinert has now totaled 733 points, 229 assists, 192 rebounds and 82 steals, while hitting 41.8 percent (136 of 325) of his three-point field goal attempts.

BROWN ENTERS FIRST SEASON WITH THE CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his first season as the head men's basketball coach at Holy Cross in 2010-2011, with a record of 0-5. The 16th head coach in the history of the program, he joined the Crusaders after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach at Mount St. Mary's. During the last three years at Mount St. Mary's, Brown led the Mountaineers to three straight winning seasons and a pair of postseason appearances. His teams posted a 54-44 record (.551) during those three years, including a 35-19 mark (.648) in Northeast Conference play. During the 2007-2008 campaign, Brown led Mount St. Mary's to the first NCAA Division I Tournament victory in school history, with a 69-60 win over Coppin State in the opening round. Brown's career collegiate head coaching record stands at 95-124 (.434).

CRUSADERS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2010-2011 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in fourth place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 70 total points in the conference preseason poll, along with two first-place votes. American placed first in the poll with 79 total points and seven first-place votes, followed by Bucknell in second (76 points, three first-place votes) and Lafayette in third (73 points, two first-place votes). The preseason rankings were rounded out by Lehigh (fifth, 69 points, two first-place votes), Navy (sixth, 35 points), Colgate (seventh, 31 points) and Army (eighth, 15 points).

CRUSADERS REMAIN SOLID AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 316-121 at the Hart Center, including an 0-1 mark so far this year. The Crusaders posted their 300th win in the building against Sacred Heart on Nov. 14, 2008. Holy Cross had a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center from Feb. 15, 2006-Jan. 2, 2008, which was the longest streak in the history of the building and the sixth-longest home court winning streak in the nation at the time. In 2006-2007 the Crusaders posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since they moved into the building. During the Hart Center's history, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 30 out of 35 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 16 times. The Crusaders stand 103-29 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 66-14 record against Patriot League foes.

CRUSADERS LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: During the 2010-2011 campaign, Holy Cross will attempt to win the Patriot League regular season title for the sixth time in school history. The last championship for the Crusaders came in 2007, when they tied for first place in the conference with Bucknell, as both teams posted 13-1 records in league play. Prior to that, Holy Cross won outright Patriot League regular season titles in 2001, 2003 and 2005, while sharing the regular season championship in 1994. The Crusaders are the only team in league history to win more than two outright titles, while their five total championships are tied for the most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared) and Bucknell (two outright, three shared).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in two statistical categories, through games of Nov. 28. In addition, junior guard Devin Brown ranks 63rd in the nation in free throw percentage, and senior center Andrew Keister stands 171st in rebounding. The rankings:

Category Rank Player / Team Avg.
Fewest Personal Fouls 46 Holy Cross 17.0
Free Throw Percentage 63 Devin Brown 89.3
Field Goal Percentage 156 Holy Cross 44.2
Rebounding 171 Andrew Keister 7.4


SHOTS FROM THE HEART: Holy Cross head coach Milan Brown and assistant coach Dan Engelstad are taking part in Shots from the Heart, a project created by CollegeInsider.com to help raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease. Brown and Engelstad will compete against other college basketball coaches from around the nation in a free throw shooting tournament, which will benefit the American Heart Association. In the first round of the tournament, Brown defeated Ron Hunter of IUPUI 30-29, while Engelstad downed Notre Dame's Martin Inglesby 30-28. Brown will now move on to face either Rick Byrd of Belmont or Rick Stansbury of Mississippi State in December, while Engelstad will take on Rusty LaRue of Wake Forest in the second round.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 92nd season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1291-854 (.602), while making 24 postseason tournament appearances — 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and 12 to the National Invitation Tournament. In the history of collegiate basketball, Holy Cross is one of only 16 schools to have won the NCAA Tournament (1946-1947) as well as the National Invitational Tournament (1953-1954). Throughout its history, Holy Cross has had six first team All-America selections, sent 10 players to the National Basketball Association, had four players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 23 players drafted by professional teams, had three players go on to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college.

CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross was a good free throw shooting team during the 2009-2010 season, making 70.1 percent (464 of 662) of its foul shots last year. Guard Mike Cavataio led the team by hitting 82.1 percent (78 of 95) of his free throws, while guard Devin Brown made 77.3 percent (85 of 110) of his attempts at the charity stripe and guard Andrew Beinert knocked down 77.1 percent (64 of 83) of his foul shots. Even though he had fewer attempts, guard Dee Goens (Alpharetta, Ga.) was also an excellent free throw shooter, hitting hit 37 of 47 foul shots (78.7 percent). All told, 10 of the 12 players on the Holy Cross roster who attempted a free throw last year hit over 70.0 percent.

HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders look to once again be a strong rebounding team this year, having outrebounded College of Charleston 33-25 and Massachusetts 35-30. During the 2009-2010 campaign, Holy Cross averaged 36.6 boards per contest and outrebounded its opponents by an average margin of 4.1 rebounds per game in 2009-2010. Holy Cross was even more impressive on the boards during conference regular season play last season, posting a +4.7 rebound margin against Patriot League foes. The Crusaders' top game overall on the boards last year came at St. Joseph's, when they pulled down a season-best 50 rebounds. Center Andrew Keister led the team with an average of 8.9 rebounds per game, while forward Eric Meister stood second with 5.6 boards per contest. Guard Mike Cavataio pulled down 5.5 rebounds per contest and guard R.J. Evans has chipped in with 5.1 boards per game. Entering 2010-2011, the Crusaders had posted a positive rebounding margin in 11 straight seasons, including nine years in which they outrebounded the opposition by at least four boards per game.

CRUSADERS HAVE FIVE PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWNS: Four years ago, the Crusaders captured their fifth Patriot League Tournament with their 74-66 victory over Bucknell on March 9, 2007. Holy Cross' previous tournament titles came in 2003 (72-64 over American), 2002 (58-54 at American), 2001 (68-64 over Navy in overtime) and 1993 (98-73 at Bucknell). The Crusaders' five conference tournament championships are the most in Patriot League history, with Navy having the second most (three in 1994, 1997 and 1998). Holy Cross has also appeared in the championship game in seven times in the last nine years. Overall, the Crusaders have made a conference-record 10 appearances in the Patriot League championship game.

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: All of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2010-2011 season will be carried live over the internet. The games will be streamed by Stretch Internet free of charge, and can be heard by clicking here. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre will be in his 24th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their seventh year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. In addition, the Holy Cross student station, WCHC 88.1 FM, will carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least seven games shown on live television during the 2010-2011 season. The Crusaders had nine television appearances last year, while appearing on television 10 times in 2008-2009, eight times in 2007-2008, 13 times in 2006-2007, 10 times in 2005-2006 and 10 times in 2004-2005. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2010-2011 season:

Dec. 22 at Hofstra: Verizon FiOS1
Dec. 28 vs. St. Joseph's: WCTR-TV3
Jan. 16 at Bucknell: CBS College Sports
Jan. 27 vs. Colgate: CBS College Sports
Jan. 29 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable
Feb. 5 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Feb. 9 vs. Army: WCTR-TV3

CRUSADER VISION: Live video streaming of three home non-conference games during the 2010-2011 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The contests against the College of Charleston, Stony Brook and St. Joseph's will be shown. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available through individual game pay-per-view. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.

PATRIOT LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of all Patriot League regular season games during the 2010-2011 season will be available over the internet through Patriot League All-Access. The package, done in association with CBS College Sports Online, is available for a monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Patriot League All-Access, click here.

SCOUTING THE DEMON DEACONS: Wake Forest enters the game with an overall record of 4-3 on the year. The Demon Deacons are coming off a 76-73 victory over Iowa on Tuesday night. Wake Forest previously posted wins over Hampton (63-56), Elon (89-70) and Marist (81-59), while falling to Stetson (89-79), Virginia Commonwealth (90-69) and Winthrop (83-73). Freshman guard J.T. Terrell averages a team-best 15.4 points and 2.1 assists per game, while hitting 42.5 percent (17 of 40) of his three-point field goal attempts. Freshman forward Travis McKie has added 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest, while sophomore forward Ari Stewart is averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Wake Forest is led by Jeff Bzdelik, who stands 4-3 in his first season as the Demon Deacons' head coach. Bzdelik's career record stands at 119-108, including time at Maryland-Baltimore County, Air Force and Colorado. He was also the head coach of the Denver Nuggets for three years.

DRIBBLES: Freshman forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) had a strong night off the bench at Harvard, scoring eight points and pulling down a team-high five rebounds in 24 minutes of action. He then added seven points and four boards at New Hampshire, and is now averaging 3.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game ... Senior forward Josh Jones (Ocala, Fla.) earned his first career start in the season opener against the College of Charleston. He responded with a solid performance, totaling nine points and four rebounds while hitting three of four shots from the field ... The Crusaders have a 13-4 record in overtime contests since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, including a 1-1 mark last year ...  Holy Cross stands 0-1 so far this season when wearing its white uniforms, while going 0-4 in its purple uniforms and 0-0 in its black uniforms.