December 5, 2013

Holy Cross Travels To Hartford On Saturday

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College Insider Podcast with Coach Brown

GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (5-3, 0-0 PL) vs. Hartford (2-7, 0-0 AEC)
Date: December 7, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Chase Family Arena (4,017), West Hartford, Conn.
Live Video Streaming: America East TV
Holy Cross Radio: WNEB 1230 AM, Worcester; Jeremy Lechan, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Side Arm Stats
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 7-6
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 80, Hartford 55 (Nov. 24, 2013; Uncasville, Conn.)

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.

CRUSADERS TRAVEL TO HARTFORD: Holy Cross returns to action when it heads 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 (7:00 p.m.). Holy Cross will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule with two more road games, at New Jersey Tech (Dec. 21, 2:00 p.m.) and Michigan (Dec. 28, 6:30 p.m.).

THE SERIES WITH HARTFORD: This will be only the 14th meeting between the Crusaders and the Hawks on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 7-6. The Crusaders have won five of the last six games between the schools, including an 80-55 victory earlier this year during the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The teams have split the previous eight games played in the state of Connecticut, with Hartford owning a 3-2 lead at the Chase Family Arena. The schools first met on Dec. 22, 1985, when the Hawks posted a 69-65 victory at the Hartford Civic Center.

SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 7-6
In Connecticut: Tied, 4-4
At the Chase Family Arena: Hartford leads, 3-2
Milan Brown vs. Hartford: 2-1
John Gallagher vs. Holy Cross: 1-2
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1

DUDZINSKI STANDS SIX POINTS AWAY FROM 1,000: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) enters the Hartford game needing six points to become the 47th 1,000-point scorer in the history of Holy Cross men's basketball. Dudzinski has scored 994 points in 94 games as a Crusader, good for an average of 10.6 points per contest.

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 11.4 points per game, and stands second with an average of 5.5 rebounds per contest. During the victory over Albany, Alexander recorded 10 points and four rebounds. Previously against Hartford, he totaled 13 points and seven rebounds. Earlier in the season, Alexander posted his first career double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds in the victory over Sacred Heart. A few of his other top performances this year have come against Fairfield (13 points, five rebounds) and North Carolina (13 points, five rebounds). Alexander came to Holy Cross from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., where he led the team to an overall record of 27-1 and the Maryland Class 4A state championship as a senior.

DUDZINSKI PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski 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 eight games played this season, he is averaging 17.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks per game, while hitting 51.5 percent of his field goal attempts (51 of 99) and 83.8 percent of his free throws (31 of 37). During the Albany game, Dudzinski led the team with 22 points and seven rebounds, including 13 of the team's final 15 points to help the Crusaders earn the victory. Previously at New Hampshire, he recorded 17 points and eight rebounds. Dudzinski also played well in the first meeting with Hartford, totaling 18 points and nine rebounds while hitting eight of nine field goal attempts. 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), Belmont (15 points, five rebounds) 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 994 points, 508 rebounds and 73 blocked shots, while connecting on 49.7 percent (365 of 735) of his field goals and 80.5 percent (223 of 277) of his free throws.

CRUSADERS AGAINST THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Against the nine schools which currently compete in the America East Conference, Holy Cross stands 63-29 all-time (1-0 vs. Albany, 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 9.3 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 40.0 percent (eight of 20) of his three-point field goals. During the 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.

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 95th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1331-905 (.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.

ALBANY RECAP: Dave Dudzinski totaled 22 points and seven rebounds, as Holy Cross defeated Albany 62-57 at the Hart Center on Dec. 4, 2013. Dudzinski scored 13 of the Crusaders' 15 points in the final eight minutes of the second half, to lead Holy Cross to the win. The score was tied at 47-47 with eight minutes left to play, when Dudzinski scored four straight points to give the Crusaders the lead for good. Holy Cross went up by six (55-49) on a layup by Malcolm Miller with 4:44 remaining, before the Great Danes used a quick 6-2 spurt to trim the margin down to two points (57-55). The Crusaders were still up by two (59-57) in the final minute, when Dudzinski drained a three-pointer with 13.5 seconds on the clock to put the game away. Albany led for the most of the first half, with its largest margin being five points (16-11) with 8:27 to go before the break. After the Great Danes led 27-25 at halftime, Miller hit a three-pointer on the opening possession of the second half to give Holy Cross a 28-27 advantage. Albany then scored the next 11 points, to take its largest lead of the night (38-28) with 15:42 remaining. But the Crusaders responded with a 12-2 run of the their own to tie the score at 40-40, including six points from Malachi Alexander, before Dudzinski led Holy Cross to victory down the stretch. Alexander finished the game with 10 points and four rebounds, while Miller totaled eight points, three rebounds and two blocked shots. The Great Danes were led by Peter Hooley with 19 points, and Sam Rowley with 14 points and seven rebounds.

CRUSADERS STEP UP ON THE DEFENSIVE END: Holy Cross has developed into a solid defensive team over the last few weeks. In their last six games, the Crusaders have held their opponents to just 59.3 points per contest and 41.4 percent shooting from the field. Holy Cross has also averaged 6.5 steals per game during that time, while forcing 14.8 turnovers per contest. Overall this year, the Crusaders are allowing 69.5 points per game and 43.5 percent shooting from the floor. 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.

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. In eight games played this season, he is averaging 7.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. During the victory over Albany, Miller totaled eight points, three assists and two blocks. He previously recorded nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against Hartford, after finishing with eight points, four steals and two blocks against Belmont. A few of Miller's other top games this year have been against Harvard (eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks) and Sacred Heart (eight points, three rebounds). In 2012-2013, Miller averaged 5.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks per contest. Some of his top games a year ago came at Navy (13 points, career-high 13 rebounds, first career double-double), against American (career-high 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks, two steals) and at Boston College (13 points, four rebounds, two steals). 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 261 points, 227 rebounds, 72 assists, 41 blocked shots and 34 steals.

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 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Junior guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) 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.

THE LAST MEETING WITH HARTFORD: Eric Green posted career highs of 18 points, six rebounds and five steals, to lead Holy Cross to an 80-55 victory over Hartford in the Baseball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Nov. 24, 2013. Green hit seven of 13 field goal attempts and all four of his free throws on the night. The Crusaders turned in one of their top defensive performances of the season, making 10 steals while forcing Hartford to commit 21 turnovers. Holy Cross also owned a 35-18 rebounding advantage, and held the Hawks to 37.5 percent shooting from the field (15 of 40).  In addition, the Crusaders made 58.7 percent (27 of 46) of their own field goal attempts. Holy Cross played outstanding defense from the opening tip, holding Hartford to just one point in the first 11 minutes while jumping out to an 18-1 lead. Green scored 10 of his points during that run, while Malcolm Miller added a pair of three-point field goals. The Crusaders went on to hold the Hawks to just one made field goal in the first half, while taking a 35-14 advantage into the locker room. Hartford hit just one of 13 field goal attempts before the intermission, in addition to committing 13 turnovers. Holy Cross tied the NCAA single-game record for fewest field goals allowed in a single half, matching the mark of one set by Kansas State against Savannah State on Jan. 7, 2008. The Crusaders continued to dominate the game in the second half, increasing their lead to 32 points (60-28) with 8:56 left to play. The Hawks would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the way, as Holy Cross eventually posted a 25-point victory. Dave Dudzinski finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Malachi Alexander added 13 points and seven boards. Taylor Dyson led Hartford with 15 points.

CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross is once again an excellent free throw shooting team in 2013-2014. In eight games played, the Crusaders have hit 75.0 percent (162 of 216) of their foul shots as a team. Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) leads the way by hitting 88.2 percent (15 of 17) of his free throws so far in 2013-2014, while senior forward Dave Dudzinski has knocked down 83.8 percent (31 of 37) of his foul shots, and junior guard Justin Burrell has drained 81.8 percent (nine of 11) of his attempts at the charity stripe. Freshman guard Anthony Thompson (78.4 percent, 40 of 51), freshman forward Malachi Alexander (76.1 percent, 35 of 46) and sophomore guard Eric Green (73.3 percent, 11 of 15) are also hitting over 70 percent from the foul line this year. In 2012-2013, the Crusaders made 75.3 percent (351 of 466) of their foul shots as a team, good for 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).

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 40-56 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 135-176 (.434). 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).

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).

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.

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 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 AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 339-137 at the Hart Center, including a 2-0 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 126-45 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 79-24 record against Patriot League foes.

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.

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 HAWKS: Hartford enters the game with an overall record of 2-7 on the season. The Hawks have lost their last five games, and are coming off a 75-62 setback at La Salle on Wednesday. Junior forward Mark Nwakamma leads the team by averaging 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game so far this season. Junior guard Yolonzo Moore has added 9.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest, while junior guard Wes Cole is adding 7.0 points per game. Hartford is led by John Gallagher, who is 39-63 in four seasons as the Hawks' head coach. Gallagher previously served as an assistant coach at Boston College, Pennsylvania, Hartford, Lafayette and La Salle.

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 ... Freshman guard Robert Champion (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a career-high eight points in the Albany game, while hitting two of four attempts from three-point range ... Junior guard De'Vaughn Reid (West Orange, N.J.) made his first career start at New Hampshire, scoring six points. 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".