December 2, 2013

Crusaders Play Host To Albany On Wednesday

Complete Release in PDF Format

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (4-3, 0-0 PL) vs. Albany (4-3, 0-0 AEC)
Date: December 4, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Hart Center (3,600), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision; Dick Lutsk, play-by-play
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: First Meeting

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, 2, Anthony Thompson, 5-10, 150, Fr.
G, 24, Eric Green, 6-4, 191, So.

HOLY CROSS RETURNS HOME TO FACE ALBANY: The Crusaders will play just their second home game of the season when they face Albany at the Hart Center on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Holy Cross-Albany game will be the second part of a doubleheader, which will begin with the Crusader women facing Northeastern at 5:00 p.m. Following the contest with the Great Danes, Holy Cross will travel to Hartford on Saturday, Dec. 7, for a 7:00 p.m. game. The Crusaders will then take a nine-day break for final exams, before playing host to Canisius on Monday, Dec. 16.

THE SERIES WITH ALBANY: This will be the first-ever meeting between the Crusaders and the Great Danes on the hardwood. Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 62-29 all-time (7-5 against Hartford, 7-1 vs. Maine, 23-10 against New Hampshire, 0-2 vs. Stony Brook, 9-1 against UMass-Lowell and 16-10 vs. Vermont). The Crusaders played in the America East, then known as the ECAC North Atlantic, for four seasons from 1979-1983, posting a 9-7 record in conference play (the league played only a tournament and no regular season in the first two years). In 1980, Holy Cross won the ECAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

THOMPSON PLAYING KEY MINUTES: Freshman guard Anthony Thompson (Glenn Dale, Md.) has become a key part of the Holy Cross backcourt this year. He is currently averaging 10.0 points, 2.6 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game, while hitting 78.4 percent (40 of 51) of his free throws and 42.1 percent (eight of 19) of his three-point field goals. During Saturday's victory at New Hampshire, Thompson posted career highs of 17 points and five rebounds, while hitting all 10 of his free throw attempts. Previously against Belmont, he recorded 15 points, four assists and two steals, and knocked down four of five attempts from three-point range. Thompson also had a big game earlier in the year against Sacred Heart, totaling 10 points and two steals. Last season, he was named the Montgomery County Player of the Year for the Bullis School in Potomac, Md.

DUDZINSKI PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) is once again a key player for the Crusaders in the low post this season, after being named second team All-Patriot League a year ago. In seven games played this season, he is averaging 17.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks per game, while hitting 53.7 percent of his field goal attempts (44 of 82) and 80.6 percent of his free throws (25 of 31). During the victory over New Hampshire, Dudzinski recorded 17 points and eight rebounds. In the previous contest against Hartford, he totaled 18 points and nine rebounds, while hitting eight of nine field goal attempts. Dudzinski also played well against Belmont, scoring 15 points and pulling down five boards. A few of his other top performances this season have come against Sacred Heart (fifth career double-double, 26 points, career-high tying 15 rebounds, three steals, two assists two blocks), Harvard (25 points, six rebounds, three steals) and North Carolina (11 points, five rebounds). Last year, Dudzinski averaged a team-best 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest, while connecting on 48.3 percent (166 of 344) of his field goals and 81.7 percent (107 of 131) of his free throws. He scored a career-high 31 points at San Francisco last season, then matched that mark with 31 points in last year's game with Columbia. 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). Over the course of his collegiate career, Dudzinski has now totaled 972 points, 501 rebounds and 73 blocked shots, while connecting on 49.9 percent (358 of 718) of his field goals and 80.1 percent (217 of 271) of his free throws.

ALEXANDER STEPS INTO PROMINENT ROLE: Freshman forward Malachi Alexander (Bowie, Md.) has been a key player for the Crusaders down low this season. He currently ranks third on the team with an average of 11.6 points per game, and stands second with an average of 5.7 rebounds per contest. During the victory over Hartford, Alexander totaled 13 points and seven rebounds. He previously posted 13 points and five rebounds at Fairfield, while leading the team with 13 points and five rebounds at North Carolina. Earlier in the season, Alexander posted his first career double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds in the victory over Sacred Heart. Last year, he led Eleanor Roosevelt High School to an overall record of 27-1 and the Maryland Class 4A state championship.

GREEN MOVES INTO STARTING LINEUP: Sophomore guard Eric Green (Mountain House, Calif.) earned his first career start during the Hartford game, and turned in the top performance of his collegiate career. Green posted career highs of 18 points, six rebounds and five steals against the Hawks, in addition to handing out three assists. He followed that up with nine points and three rebounds in the victory at New Hampshire. Green also had a solid game earlier in the season against Sacred Heart, totaling 10 points, five rebounds and a career-best five assists. On the season, he is now averaging 7.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

MILLER MAKES PRESENCE FELT ON THE WING: Junior forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) has been one of the top perimeter players for the Crusaders in 2013-2014. Miller totaled nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals during the victory over Hartford, after finishing with eight points, four steals and two blocks against Belmont. He also posted eight points and three rebounds against Sacred Heart, and recorded eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks against Harvard. Miller is now averaging 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this year. 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) and against Texas-San Antonio (10 points). 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 253 points, 224 rebounds, 71 assists, 39 blocked shots and 34 steals.

NEW HAMPSHIRE RECAP: Anthony Thompson totaled 17 points, five rebounds and two assists, to lead Holy Cross to a 63-52 victory over New Hampshire at Lundholm Gymnasium on Nov. 30, 2013. Thompson made all 10 of his free throw attempts on the night, including six in the final two minutes to help the Crusaders hold on for the victory. Dave Dudzinski finished the game with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Eric Green added nine points and three rebounds. New Hampshire was led by Patrick Konan with 13 points and six rebounds. Holy Cross opened the game by jumping out to a quick 7-2 lead, and was still up 11-9 with 12:44 left in the first half. The Crusaders then used an 8-0 run to expand their lead to double digits (19-9), but the Wildcats came right back with an 8-0 spurt of their own to make the score 19-17. Holy Cross responded with another 8-0 run, and would eventually lead by 12 points late in the half, before taking a 36-25 advantage into the locker room. The Crusaders started the second half strong, holding New Hampshire without a made field goal for the first 7:59 while expanding their advantage to 17 points (46-29). The Wildcats then began to chip away at the lead over the next several minutes, and would eventually get the margin down to five points (57-52) with two minutes to go. But Holy Cross would not allow New Hampshire to score again, as Thompson made all six of his free throws the rest of the way to account for the final margin. The Crusaders made 41.5 percent (22 of 53) of their field goal attempts on the night, while posting a 36-30 rebounding advantage and holding the Wildcats to 36.4 percent (16 of 44) shooting.  Holy Cross did overcome an uncharacteristically poor night on the foul line, making just 61.9 percent (13 of 21) of their attempts.

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 338-137 at the Hart Center, including a 1-0 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 32 out of 38 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 17 times. The Crusaders stand 125-45 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 79-24 record against Patriot League foes.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 95th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1330-905 (.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 and coaches 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.

RECORDS FALL IN SACRED HEART GAME: A number of Hart Center and Holy Cross records were set during the 122-118 double overtime victory over Sacred Heart. The Crusaders set new building records for both free throws made (45) and free throw attempts (56), while Holy Cross and Sacred Heart broke the Hart Center records for combined points (240), free throws made (77) and free throw attempts (94) by both teams. In addition, the Crusaders' 122 points were the third-most ever scored in the building, while the Pioneers 118 points were the most by a visiting team and the fifth-most overall. All-time school records for both teams combined were set for points scored in a game (240) and free throws made in a game (77). The old mark of 236 total points last happened against Iona on Feb. 21, 1989, while the previous record of 75 free throws made stood since 1970 (against Seton Hall). Holy Cross nearly broke the school single-game record for free throws made with 45, coming up just two short of the mark of 47 set against Seton Hall on Feb. 7, 1970.

DUDZINSKI STANDS 28 POINTS AWAY FROM 1,000: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski enters the Albany game needing 28 points to become the 47th 1,000-point scorer in the history of Holy Cross men's basketball. Dudzinski has scored 972 points in 93 games as a Crusader, good for an average of 10.5 points per contest.

HAMILTON BECOMING A TOP SCORING THREAT: Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) is a key player for the Crusaders on the wing this year, but has missed the last two games due to injury. Hamilton is averaging 16.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, while hitting 41.2 percent (14 of 34) of his three-point field goals and 88.2 percent (15 of 17) of his free throws. During the Belmont game, he led the team with 16 points, two rebounds and two assists. Previously against Fairfield, Hamilton recorded 13 points and four rebounds. He also had a huge night against Sacred Heart, totaling a career-high 35 points, three rebounds and three assists. Hamilton hit 11 of 21 field goal attempts and six of eight free throws against the Pioneers, while tying the school single-game record with seven three-pointers made (on 13 attempts). Last season, Hamilton was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team after averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, and making 36.1 percent (22 of 61) of his three-point attempts in Patriot League regular season play. During last year's home game with Lafayette, he scored a season-high 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Over the course of his collegiate career, Hamilton has now totaled 271 points, 101 rebounds and 32 assists, while hitting 31.7­­ percent of his three-point attempts (52 of 164).

BURRELL LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Junior Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) is in his third season as Holy Cross' starting point guard, but missed the New Hampshire game due to injury. Burrell recorded seven points and two assists in the victory over Hartford, after posting nine points and two rebounds at North Carolina. He previously totaled nine points and eight assists against Sacred Heart, while recording eight points and four assists against Harvard. On the season, Burrell is now averaging 5.8 points and 3.2 assists per game. 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) and against Texas-San Antonio (17 points, three rebounds, two steals). 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 611 points, 235 assists, 125 rebounds and 37 steals, while making 83.5 percent (137 of 164) of his free throws.

CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross is once again an excellent free throw shooting team in 2013-2014. In seven games played, the Crusaders have hit 74.5 percent (149 of 200) of their foul shots as a team. Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton leads the way by hitting 88.2 percent (15 of 17) of his free throws so far in 2013-2014, while junior guard Justin Burrell has knocked down 81.8 percent (nine of 11) of his foul shots. Senior forward Dave Dudzinski (80.6 percent, 25 of 21), freshman guard Anthony Thompson (78.4 percent, 40 of 51) and freshman forward Malachi Alexander (76.7 percent, 33 of 43) are also hitting over 70 percent at the charity stripe this year. Last season, the Crusaders made 75.3 percent (351 of 466) of their foul shots as a team, good 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).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in two statistical categories, through games of Dec. 1. In addition, senior forward Dave Dudzinski and sophomore guard Eric Green stand among the best in the nation in several individual categories. The rankings:

Category Rank    Player / Team Avg.
Free Throw Percent 45   Holy Cross 74.5
Three-Point Percent 104   Holy Cross 36.4
Field Goal Percent 111   Dave Dudzinski 53.7
Rebounding 136   Dave Dudzinski 7.7
Scoring 176   Dave Dudzinski 17.0
Steals 214   Eric Green 1.6


CRUSADERS STEP UP ON THE DEFENSIVE END: Holy Cross has developed into a solid defensive team over the last few weeks. Over their last five games, the Crusaders have held their opponents to just 59.8 points per contest and 40.7 percent shooting from the field. Holy Cross has also averaged 6.8 steals per game during that time, while forcing 14.6 turnovers per contest. Overall this year, the Crusaders are allowing 71.3 points per game and 43.4 percent shooting from the follow. 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.

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.

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 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).

BROWN NOW IN FOURTH YEAR WITH CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his fourth season as the head coach at Holy Cross in 2013-2014, with an overall record of 39-56 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 134-176 (.432). 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).

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. Dudzinski 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.

CRUSADERS PICKED SEVENTH 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).

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 Bucknell (2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013) ranking 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 & THE 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: Live Well Network
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 GREAT DANES: Albany enters the contest with an overall record of 4-3 on the season. The Great Danes have won their last two games, and are coming off a 66-55 victory over New Jersey Tech on Sunday. Sophomore guard Peter Hooley currently leads the team with an average of 16.3 points per game, while hitting 89.4 percent (42 of 47) of his free throws. Junior forward Sam Rowley has added 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest, while senior guard D.J. Evans is chipping in with 11.7 points and 2.6 assists per game. The Great Danes are led by Will Brown, who stands 176-194 in 13 seasons as Albany's head coach. Brown owns a career record of 266-204, including three years at Sullivan County Community College.

DRIBBLES: During the Nov. 24 victory over Hartford, the Crusaders allowed the Hawks to make just one field goal in the first half. That tied the NCAA single-game record for fewest field goals allowed in a half (since the shot clock era began in 1986), matching Kansas State, which held Savannah State to just one made shot in the second half on Jan. 7, 2008 ... Junior guard De'Vaughn Reid (West Orange, N.J.) made his first career start at New Hampshire, totaling six points, one rebound and one steal. A walk-on, Reid has now played in 11 career games, totaling 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists ... 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 ... Holy Cross is taking part in the Coach4aDay Program during the 2013-2014 season, with opportunities auctioned off for a guest "assistant coach," with the proceeds going to charity. For more information, visit "www.coach4aday.com".