Crusaders To Face Harvard In Season Opener

Taylor Abt

Audio: Coach Brown on the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Media Conference Call

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0 PL) vs. Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Event: Coaches vs. Cancer Tripleheader
Date: November 10, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: TD Garden (18,624), Boston, Mass.
New England Sports Network Television: Eric Frede, play-by-play; Abu Bakr, color
Holy Cross Radio: WNEB 1230 AM, Worcester; Dick Lutsk, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Gametracker
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 41-25
Last Meeting: Harvard 72, Holy Cross 65 (December 22, 2012; Cambridge, Mass.)

PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 13, Malcolm Miller, 6-7, 210, Jr.
F, 43, Taylor Abt, 6-8, 225, Jr.
C, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, Sr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, Jr.
G, 5, Cullen Hamilton, 6-2, 185, So.

CRUSADERS SET TO OPEN SEASON AT COACHES VS. CANCER TRIPLEHEADER: Holy Cross will begin the 2013-2014 campaign when it faces Harvard as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tripleheader at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass. The Crusaders and the Crimson will play the third game of the day on Sunday, Nov. 10, tipping off at 5:30 p.m. The action will begin with Boston University facing Northeastern at 12:30 p.m., followed by Boston College and Massachusetts at 3:00 p.m. After the Harvard game, Holy Cross will return to the Hart Center to face Sacred Heart in its home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

THE SERIES WITH HARVARD: This will be the 67th meeting between the Crusaders and the Crimson on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 41-25. Harvard has won the last five meetings between the schools, but the Crusaders had come out victorious in seven of the previous eight contests. For games played in Boston, Holy Cross holds a 4-0 advantage, with two wins at Matthews Arena and two victories at the old Boston Garden. Holy Cross and Harvard first met on January 15, 1901, with the Crimson posting a 20-10 victory in Worcester.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 41-25
In Boston: Holy Cross leads, 4-0
At the TD Garden: First Meeting
Milan Brown vs. Harvard: 0-3
Tommy Amaker vs. Holy Cross: 5-1
Current Win Streak: Harvard, five games
In Overtime: Harvard leads, 1-0

FOR OPENERS: Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 66-28 in its opening game of the season. The Crusaders defeated Old Dominion 46-45 in their opener last year, but prior to that had lost three straight games on opening day. This year will mark the 50th time Holy Cross has opened the season away from home, with the Crusaders posting a 30-19 mark in the previous 49 contests. Over the last 14 years, Holy Cross stands 9-5 in season openers. During that time, Holy Cross has defeated Providence (54-43 in 1999-2000), Quinnipiac (85-57 in 2001-2002), Boston University (59-57 in 2003-2004; 58-48 in 2004-2005), High Point (85-73 in 2005-2006), Fairfield (67-65 in overtime in 2006-2007), Hofstra (61-47 in 2007-2008), Sacred Heart (67-58 in 2008-2009) and Old Dominion (46-45 in 2012-2013) on opening day, while falling to Providence (63-57 in 2000-2001), Kansas (81-57 in 2002-2003), Harvard (87-77 in 2009-2010) and the College of Charleston (93-84 in 2010-2011; 78-69 in 2011-2012).

DUDZINSKI COMING OFF ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE SEASON: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) should once again be a key player for the Crusaders in the low post positions this season, after being named second team All-Patriot League a year ago. In 30 games played in 2012-2013, he averaged a team-best 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest, while connecting 48.3 percent (166 of 344) of his field goals and 81.7 percent (107 of 131) of his free throws. During the Patriot League quarterfinal game at Lafayette, Dudzinski led the team with 22 points and eight rebounds. Some of his other top games last year came at San Francisco (31 points, seven rebounds), against Columbia (31 points), against Bucknell (26 points, five rebounds), at Harvard (22 points), against Morgan State (20 points, eight rebounds), against New Hampshire (19 points, eight rebounds, three steals), at American (19 points, seven rebounds), at Sacred Heart (19 points, five rebounds), against Yale (18 points, nine rebounds, four blocks) and at Navy (16 points, 10 rebounds). During the 2011-2012 campaign, Dudzinski averaged 9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, while making 48.7 percent (97 of 199) of his field goal attempts and 83.1 percent of his free throws (69 of 83). As a freshman in 2010-2011, he was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team, after averaging 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 27 games played, while hitting 54.8 percent (51 of 93) of his field goal attempts. Over the course of his collegiate career, Dudzinski has now totaled 853 points, 447 rebounds and 68 blocked shots, while connecting on 49.4 percent (314 of 636) of his field goals and 80.0 percent (192 of 240) of his free throws.

BURRELL LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Junior Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) is now in his third season as Holy Cross' starting point guard. In 30 games played last year, he averaged 12.1 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest, while hitting 91.3 percent (63 of 69) of his free throws. Burrell totaled a career-high 30 points, five assists and three rebounds during last year's victory at Sacred Heart, while recording 29 points, four assists and three rebounds in the win over Columbia. A few of his other top games last season came against Dartmouth (19 points, four assists), against Lafayette (19 points, six assists, two steals), against Yale (17 points, three assists, two rebounds), against Texas-San Antonio (17 points, three rebounds, two steals), against Morgan State (16 points, four assists), at Bucknell (16 points, three assists), at Lehigh (16 points), at Old Dominion (15 points, six rebounds) and at San Francisco (15 points). Burrell previously earned Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors in 2011-2012, after averaging 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest, and hitting 77.4 percent (65 of 84) of his free throw attempts. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Burrell has now totaled 576 points, 216 assists, 117 rebounds and 36 steals, while making 83.7 percent (128 of 153) of his free throws.

CRUSADERS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2013-2014 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in seventh place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 70 total points in the conference preseason poll. Boston University placed first in the poll, with 162 total points and 18 first-place votes, followed by Lafayette in second with 130 points and two first-place votes, Army in third (115 points), Bucknell in fourth (113 points), Loyola (Md.) in fifth (109 points) and Lehigh in sixth (93 points). The preseason rankings were rounded out by Colgate (eighth, 49 points), American (ninth, 36 points) and Navy (10th, 23 points).

DUDZINSKI NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski has been selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Brown was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Bucknell senior guard Cameron Ayers, Loyola (Md.) senior guard Dylon Cormier, Boston University senior guard D.J. Irving and Lehigh senior guard Mackey McKnight. In addition, Irving was selected as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year.

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Junior guard Justin Burrell and senior forward Dave Dudzinski have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2013-2014 season. Both Burrell and Dudzinski were also among Holy Cross' leaders during the 2012-2013 season, serving as tri-captains along with Phil Beans.

ASSUMPTION RECAP: Cullen Hamilton scored a game-high 26 points to lead Holy Cross to an 88-68 victory over Assumption in an exhibition game at the Hart Center on Nov. 2, 2013. Hamilton hit 11 of 16 field goal attempts on the day, including three of six shots from three-point range. The game was close early on, and the score was tied at 17-17 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Crusaders then scored the next seven points, beginning a 15-3 run which made the score 32-20. Holy Cross added a 9-0 spurt a few minutes later, as it built a 49-32 advantage heading into the locker room at halftime. Assumption would get no closer than 16 points during the second half, with the Crusaders leading by as many as 27 points before finally claiming a 20-point win. Malachi Alexander totaled 15 points, five rebounds and three steals for Holy Cross, while Dave Dudzinski added 12 points and seven rebounds. Assumption was led by Chris Fitzgerald with 21 points.

MILLER MAKES PRESENCE FELT ON THE WING: Junior forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) looks to be one of the top perimeter players for the Crusaders in 2013-2014. In 27 games played last season, he averaged 5.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks per contest. During the victory at Navy, Miller posted his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. He also had a big game against American, totaling a career-best 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals. A few of Miller's other top performances last season came at Boston College (13 points, four rebounds, two steals), against Lehigh (10 points, nine rebounds, three assists)), against New Hampshire (10 points, seven rebounds), against Texas-San Antonio (10 points), against Army (nine points, five rebounds, two assists), against Navy (nine points, four assists) and at San Francisco (eight points, six rebounds, two assists). As a freshman in 2011-2012, Miller averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 204 points, 191 rebounds, 55 assists, 32 blocked shots and 24 steals.

HOLY CROSS SHINES ON THE DEFENSIVE END: The Crusaders look to once again be a strong defensive team in 2013-2014. Last year, Holy Cross gave up only 64.3 points per contest, while holding the opposition to 42.0 percent shooting from the field and 31.8 percent shooting from three-point range. The Crusaders also averaged 3.5 blocked shots per game, and outrebounded the opposition by 0.1 boards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross held 11 of its opponents to 60 points or less in regulation. In 2011-2012, the Crusaders ranked first in the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.5 percent) and blocked shots (4.4 blocks per game), while holding their opponents to 66.8 points per game and 42.1 percent field goal shooting overall.

HAMILTON LOOKS TO BUILD ON ALL-ROOKIE SEASON: Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) should be a key player for the Crusaders on the wing this year, after being selected to the Patriot League All-Rookie team in 2012-2013. Hamilton averaged 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, and made 36.1 percent (22 of 61) of his three-point attempts in Patriot League regular season play. During the home game with Lafayette, he scored a career-high 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while hitting six of eight shots from the floor and four of six attempts from three-point range. A few of Hamilton's other top games last season came at Old Dominion (15 points, four rebounds), against American (13 points, two assists), against New Hampshire (11 points), against Dartmouth (10 points, five rebounds, two assists) and at Bucknell (10 points, four rebounds). His 15 points against Old Dominion were the most by a Holy Cross player in his collegiate debut since R.J. Evans scored 15 points against Sacred Heart in 2008.

THE LAST MEETING WITH HARVARD: Dave Dudzinski scored a game-high 22 points, but Holy Cross was defeated by Harvard  72-65 at Lavietes Pavilion on Dec. 22, 2012. Dudzinski hit seven of 10 shots for the field, two of three attempts from three-point range and all six of his free throws on the day.  Justin Burrell totaled 13 points, two assists and two rebounds for the Crusaders, while Phil Beans added nine points and seven rebounds. The Crimson was led by Wesley Saunders with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals, and Siyani Chambers with 14 points and six assists. Holy Cross played strong defense early on, jumping out to a 6-1 lead after the first five minutes of play. Harvard scored the next five points to tie up the game, and the score was still tied at 13-13 with 10 minutes left in the half. The Crimson were later up by two points (25-23) with 4:38 to go until the break, before closing out the half on an 11-4 run to take a 36-27 advantage into the locker room. Harvard started the second half strong, using a quick 9-4 spurt to increase its lead to 14 points (45-31). The Crimson was still up by 14 (52-38) with 14:55 left to play, when the Crusaders went on a 15-0 run to regain the lead. Burrell scored five points during that spurt, while Dudzinski and Eric Obeysekere added four points each. The score stayed close for the next several minutes, and Holy Cross was up 60-59 with 5:43 remaining. Harvard then used an 8-2 spurt over the next three minutes to pull back in front for good. The Crusaders were able to close back within two points (67-65) with 1:02 left to play after a pair of free throws by Dudzinski, and had one last possession down by three (68-65) in the final minute. But a jumper by Burrell was off the mark, and the Crimson then hit all four of its free throws in the final 15 seconds to hold on for the win. Holy Cross made 49.0 percent (25 of 51) of its field goal attempts on the day and 83.3 percent (10 of 12) of its free throws. But Harvard also had a strong afternoon shooting the ball, connecting on 50.0 percent (25 of 50) of its short from the floor and 75.0 percent (15 of 20) of its free throws.

CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross should be an excellent free throw shooting team in 2013-2014 season, after making 75.3 percent (351 of 466) of its foul shots last year. Guard Justin Burrell led the team by hitting 91.3 percent (63 of 69) of his free throws, while center Phil Beans made 88.0 percent (44 of 50) of his attempts at the charity stripe and forward Dave Dudzinski knocked down 81.7 percent (107 of 131) of his foul shots. The Crusaders posted the second-best single-season free throw percentage in school history, behind only the 1961-1962 Holy Cross squad which knocked down 77.6 percent (505 of 651) of its free throws. Prior to last year, the Crusaders had not made at least 75 percent of their foul shots for an entire season since 1978-1979 (75.1 percent, 560 of 746).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year will mark the 95th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1326-902 (.595), 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 LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: During the 2013-2014 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 2006-2007, 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' three outright titles are the second-most in league history, and Holy Cross' five total championships are tied for the second-most in conference history with Navy (one outright, four shared), behind only Bucknell (five outright, three shared).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders finished the 2012-2013 season ranked among the top 125 in NCAA Division I leaders for five statistical categories. In addition, Justin Burrell and Dave Dudzinski ended the year among the top 250 in the nation in individual statistics. The rankings:

Category Rank    Player / Team Avg.
Free Throw Percent 17   Holy Cross 75.3
  106   Dave Dudzinski 81.7
Three-Point Percent Defense 73   Holy Cross 31.8
Field Goal Percent 103   Dave Dudzinski 48.3
Fewest Turnovers 106   Holy Cross 12.4
Scoring Defense 113   Holy Cross 64.3
Fewest Personal Fouls 123   Holy Cross 17.1
Scoring 186   Dave Dudzinski 15.2
Assists 188   Justin Burrell 3.7
Rebounding 244   Dave Dudzinski 6.6


CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 337-137 at the Hart Center, including a 7-5 mark last 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 32 out of 38 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 17 times. The Crusaders stand 124-45 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 79-24 record against Patriot League foes.

HOLY CROSS JOINS COACH4ADAY PROGRAM: The Crusaders are partnering with the 3-Point Foundation and Coaching for Literacy to take part in the Coach4aDay Program during the 2013-2014 season. For selected games this year, opportunities will be auctioned off to serve as a guest "assistant coach," with the proceeds going to charity. This will involve the chance to sit directly behind the team bench, meet the Holy Cross coaches and players, and get a glimpse inside the locker room on game day. Games which are included come against Harvard (Nov. 10), American (Jan. 5), Lehigh (Jan. 18) and Bucknell (Feb. 9). For more information, visit "www.coach4aday.com".

BROWN NOW IN FOURTH YEAR WITH CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his fourth season as the head coach at Holy Cross in 2012-2013, with an overall record of 35-53 and a 20-22 mark in Patriot League regular season games. With the win over Army on Feb. 9, 2011, he recorded the 100th victory of his collegiate head coaching career. Brown's overall career record now stands at 130-173 (.429). The 16th head coach in the history of the program, he came to Holy Cross after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach at Mount St. Mary's. During his final 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 (69-60 over Coppin State).

HOLY CROSS OWNS FIVE PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWNS: Seven years ago, the Crusaders captured their fifth Patriot League Tournament crown with a 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 (1994, 1997 and 1998) and Bucknell (2005, 2006 and 2011) being tied for second. Holy Cross has also appeared in the championship game seven times in the last 12 years. Overall, the Crusaders have made a conference-record 10 appearances in the Patriot League championship game.

CRUSADER VISION & PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK: Live video streaming of all Holy Cross home non-conference games and most Patriot League regular season games during the 2013-2014 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision and the Patriot League Network. The package, done in association with Campus Insiders, is available free of charge. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision or the Patriot League Network, click here.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least 10 games shown on live television during the 2013-2014 season. The Crusaders had seven television appearances last year, while appearing on television seven times in 2011-2012, eight times in 2010-2011, nine times in 2009-2010, 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 2013-2014 season:

Nov. 10 vs. Harvard: New England Sports Network
Nov. 15 at North Carolina: ESPNU
Nov. 30 at New Hampshire: WBIN TV18
Dec. 28 at Michigan: Big Ten Network
Jan. 8 vs. Colgate: Charter TV3
Jan. 22 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Jan. 29 vs. Loyola (Md.): Charter TV3
Feb. 4 at Colgate: CBS Sports Network
Feb. 9 vs. Bucknell: CBS Sports Network
Feb. 15 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Twelve of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2013-2014 season will be carried by Emmanuel Radio, WNEB 1230 AM in Worcester.  Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 27th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their 10th year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. All games aired on Emmanuel Radio can also be heard live over the internet by clicking here. WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will also carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Updates on Holy Cross basketball can be found through the Holy Cross Athletics pages on the following social media networks:

Facebook: Holy Cross Athletics
Twitter: @GoHolyCross
YouTube: GoHolyCross
Instagram: GoHolyCross

E-MAIL ALERTS: Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross men's basketball team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, click here.

SCOUTING THE CRIMSON: Harvard is coming off a 2012-2013 season in which it posted an overall record of 20-10 and won the Ivy League with an 11-3 mark in conference games. The Crimson also advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it knocked off New Mexico 68-62 in its opening game. Junior forward Wesley Saunders returns after averaging 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last year. Sophomore guard Siyani Chambers also had a strong season in 2012-2013, averaging 12.4 points and 5.7 assists per contest. The Crimson is led by Tommy Amaker, who is in his seventh season as Harvard's head coach. Amaker stands 112-66 with the Crimson, while owning a career record of 288-205 (including six years at Michigan and four seasons at Seton Hall).

DRIBBLES: In the latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate Report, for the four-class aggregate of entering classes from 2003 through 2006, the Crusader men's basketball team posted a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. Holy Cross' overall Graduation Success Rate for all student-athletes was 98 percent, tied for the fourth-best mark among all Division I schools ... Holy Cross has received an NCAA Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award in each of the last eight seasons, for having a multi-year APR in the top 10 percent of all Division I men's basketball teams in the nation.