Crusaders Travel To American For Patriot League Semifinals
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (19-12, 12-6 PL) vs. American (18-12, 13-5 PL)
Event: Patriot League Semifinals
Date: March 8, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Bender Arena (3,044), Washington, D.C.
Television: CBS Sports Network; Sean Grande, play-by-play; Chris Walker, color
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 18-14
Last Meeting: American 63, Holy Cross 57 (February 1, 2014; Washington, D.C.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS:
Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 13, Malcolm Miller, 6-7, 210, Jr.
F, 24, Eric Green, 6-4, 191, So.
C, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, Sr.
G, 2, Anthony Thompson, 5-10, 150, Fr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, Jr.
CRUSADERS SET FOR PATRIOT LEAGUE SEMIFINALS: Holy Cross continues play in the 2014 Patriot League Tournament on Saturday, March 8, when it travels to American for a semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. The Crusaders are the third seed in the tournament, while the Eagles are seeded second. Holy Cross advanced to the semfinals with a 54-48 victory over Lehigh, while Amercian defeated Colgate 59-50. The winner of the game between the Crusaders and the Eagles will move on to the championship game on Wednesday, March 12, against the winner of the Army-Boston University contest. For the eighth straight year, all games in the Patriot League Tournament will be played on the campus of the higher seed.
THE SERIES WITH AMERICAN: This will be the 33rd meeting between the Crusaders and the Eagles on the hardwood, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 18-14. American has won three straight and nine of the last 12 contests played by the schools. For games played in Washington the Eagles hold a 10-7 advantage with eight straight wins. Holy Cross and American first played on Dec. 21, 1967, with the Crusaders winning 81-57 on the road.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 18-14
In Washington: American leads, 10-7
At Bender Arena: American leads, 10-6
Milan Brown vs. American: 4-9
Mike Brennan vs. Holy Cross: 2-0
Current Win Streak: American, three games
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 2-1
HOLY CROSS LOOKS TO MAKE FINAL: The Crusaders are looking to become the eighth No. 3 seed to advance to the Patriot League championship game, and the first No. 3 seed to ever claim the title. No team seeded lower than second has ever won the conference tournament title, with the No. 1 seed capturing 17 championships and the No. 2 seed taking six titles ... The top seed in the tournament has advanced to the championship game in each of the 23 years the Patriot League Tournament has been played. The other title game appearances all belong to the No. 2 (15 times), No. 3 (seven times) and No. 6 (one time) seeds.
THE SEEDINGS: Holy Cross is the No. 3 seed in the 2014 Patriot League Championship. This marks the fifth time the Crusaders have been the third seed in the tournament, with the previous occasions coming in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 2011. In two of those years (1991 and 1996), Holy Cross advanced to the conference title game ... Throughout its history in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has been the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament four times (10-1 record), No. 2 four times (10-2), No. 3 four times (6-4), No. 4 four times (1-3), No. 5 twice (0-2), No. 6 twice (0-2), No. 7 twice (1-2) and No. 8 once (0-1) ... Holy Cross stands 4-13 all-time in Patriot League Tournament games when it has been seeded lower than its opponent. The Crusaders have lost six of their last seven games as the lower seed, with the last victory coming at Bucknell in the 2010 quarterfinals (67-64).
TOURNAMENT TIP-INS: The Crusaders, who will face American in the semifinals, stand 3-2 all-time against the Eagles in Patriot League Tournament play. The two teams have not met in the postseason since 2009, when American won 73-57 in the championship game ... Holy Cross stands 3-7 all-time in Patriot League Tournament games which have been played on the opposing team's home court, including a 1-2 mark at American. Previous postseason meetings between the schools at Bender Arena came in the 2002 championship game (Holy Cross won 58-54), the 2008 quarterfinals (American won 62-60) and the 2009 championship game (American won 73-57) ... The Crusaders are 10-3 all-time in the Patriot League Semifinals, but stand 0-2 when the semifinal game has been played on the opposing team's home court, falling to Navy in 1994 (93-91 in overtime) and Lafayette in 2010 (66-63) ... In the conference's history, teams playing on their home court have an overall record of 82-18 during the Patriot League Tournament ... For the eighth year in a row, all games in the Patriot League Tournament will be played on the campus sites of the higher seed ... Since the Patriot League moved to its current format of having the higher seed play host to each game (beginning in 2007), home teams stand 24-8 in the quarterfinals, 13-1 in the semifinals and 6-1 in the championship game.
DUDZINSKI NAMED ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE AGAIN: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) has received first team All-Patriot League honors this season, after being a second team All-Patriot League selection a year ago. In 31 games played, he is averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game, while hitting 75.2 percent of his free throws (112 of 149). During the victory over Lehigh in the Patriot League quarterfinals, Dudzinski totaled 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks, including a key basket with 38.3 seconds remaining which put the Crusaders up by four points. Previously against Boston University, he led the team with 20 points, five rebounds and two assists. Dudzinski also played well against Navy, posting the 10th double-double of his collegiate career with 22 points and 10 rebounds. A few of his other top performances this season have come against Sacred Heart (26 points, career-high tying 15 rebounds, three steals), against Army (26 points, seven rebounds, three steals), against Loyola (24 points, 12 rebounds, three steals), against Harvard (25 points, six rebounds, three steals), against Albany (22 points, seven rebounds), against Hartford (18 points, nine rebounds), against Lafayette (17 points, 11 rebounds), at New Hampshire (17 points, eight rebounds), at Hartford (17 points, seven rebounds), at Michigan (17 points, six rebounds), against Canisius (16 points, 10 rebounds), at Navy (16 points, nine rebounds), against Colgate (16 points, eight rebounds), against American (15 points, six rebounds), against Belmont (15 points, five rebounds), at New Jersey Tech (14 points, six rebounds), at Colgate (14 points, five rebounds), at Army (14 points, five rebounds) and at Boston University (12 points, 10 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. Over the course of his collegiate career, Dudzinski has now totaled 1,323 points, 678 rebounds and 91 blocked shots, while connecting on 48.7 percent (481 of 987) of his field goals and 78.1 percent (304 of 389) of his free throws.
HOLY CROSS POSTS ANOTHER WINNING RECORD IN LEAGUE PLAY: With a 12-6 mark in conference action, the Crusaders finished the regular season with a winning record in Patriot League play. This marks the 15th time Holy Cross has posted a winning record against conference opponents in the league's 24-year history. The Crusaders previously finished with winning records in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012. Holy Cross' 15 winning seasons in conference play are the second-most in the history of the Patriot League, behind only Bucknell with 19.
MILLER EARNS ALL-LEAGUE HONORS: Junior forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.), one of the top perimeter players for the Crusaders in 2013-2014, has been named third team All-Patriot League. In 31 games played this season, Miller is averaging 10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 blocks and 0.9 steals per game, while hitting 40.7 percent (33 of 81) of his three-point field goals and 76.0 percent (76 of 100) of his free throws. In the Patriot League quarterfinal victory over Lehigh, he led the team with 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Previously at Loyola (Md.), Miller scored a career-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He also played well at Lehigh, totaling 12 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and three assists. A few of Miller's other top games this year have been at Bucknell (19 points, nine rebounds, three blocks), at New Jersey Tech (18 points, nine rebounds, career-high seven blocks, three assists), at Hartford (18 points), at Army (17 points, six rebounds), at Colgate (17 points, five rebounds, three assists), against Canisius (15 points four rebounds, four assists), against Lehigh (14 points, seven rebounds), against Bucknell (14 points, six rebounds), at American (14 points, four rebounds) and against Colgate (11 points, eight rebounds, three assists). Last season, Miller averaged 5.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks per contest. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 541 points, 362 rebounds, 120 assists, 88 blocked shots and 52 steals, while connecting on 71.1 percent (123 of 173) of his free throws.
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 54-65 and a 32-28 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 149-185 (.446). 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 AND EAGLES IN THE TOURNAMENT: When Holy Cross and American meet in the Patriot League semifinals, it will mark the first time the schools have played in the postseason since 2009. The Crusaders stand 3-2 all-time against the Eagles in the Patriot League Tournament, including a 1-0 mark in the semifinals and a 1-2 record at the Bender Arena. The previous postseason meetings between the schools came in the 2002 championship game (Holy Cross won 58-54 in Washington, D.C.), the 2003 championship game (Holy Cross won 72-64 at the Hart Center), the 2007 semifinals (Holy Cross won 55-53 at the Hart Center), the 2008 quarterfinals (American won 62-60 in Washington, D.C.) and the 2009 championship game (American won 73-57 in Washington, D.C.).
THE FIRST MEETING WITH AMERICAN: Dave Dudzinski recorded 15 points and six rebounds, but Holy Cross was defeated by American 69-54 at the Hart Center on Jan. 5, 2014. All five of the Eagles' starters scored in double figures, led by Jesse Reed with 14 points and six rebounds. The game was tied at 2-2 early on, when American scored 10 of the next 11 points to take a 12-3 advantage. The Eagles' lead would stand at 10 points (22-12) with 8:30 remaining in the first half, before the Crusaders used a quick 7-0 run to close the margin to three points (22-19). American came right back with an 8-0 run of its own to push its lead to 11 points, and eventually took a 34-28 edge into the locker room at halftime. A layup by Cullen Hamilton made the score 34-30 early in the second half, but the Eagles scored the next six points to reclaim control. American's lead would stay between seven and 11 points for the next several minutes, and would stand at 52-44 with 9:42 left in regulation. The Eagles then used a 9-0 run to put the game away, as Holy Cross could get no closer than 13 points in the closing minutes. American hit 51.9 percent of its field goal attempts on the day (27 of 52), and was a perfect 11 of 11 at the free throw line. The Crusaders managed to hit just 30.4 percent of their shots from the floor (17 of 56) and 23.8 percent of their attempts from beyond the three-point arc (five of 21).
THE SECOND MEETING WITH AMERICAN: Malcolm Miller totaled 14 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots, but the Crusaders were defeated by American 63-57 at Bender Arena on Feb. 1, 2014. Holy Cross made 60.0 percent of its field goal attempts on the day (24 of 40), while American just hit 48.0 percent of its shots (24 of 50). But the Eagles held a 24-21 rebounding advantage, and had only seven turnovers while the Crusaders gave the ball away 13 times. The game was close early on, with the score tied at 16-16 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. American then went on an 8-0 run over the next four minutes, to claim their largest lead of the day (24-16). Holy Cross scored the next five points to start a 9-3 run, as the Eagles eventually took a 27-25 advantage into the locker room. The Crusaders opened the second half with a quick 7-2 spurt to claim the lead (32-29), but American came right back with a 12-3 run of its own to take a six-point advantage (41-35). The Eagles' lead would stay between two and six points for the next several minutes, and American was eventually up 55-50 with 2:18 left to play. A short jumper by Justin Burrell and a free throw by Eric Green trimmed the margin to two points (55-53) with 1:18 remaining, before Jesse Reed and Darius Gardner made layups to put the Eagles back up by six (59-53). American would go on to make all four of its free throws in the final 30 seconds to hold on for the victory. Burrell finished the game with 13 points and three assists, while Anthony Thompson added 12 points and two rebounds. All five of American's starters scored in double-figures, led by Tony Wroblicky with 18 points and six rebounds.
THOMPSON SELECTED TO ALL-ROOKIE TEAM: Freshman guard Anthony Thompson (Glenn Dale, Md.) has become a key part of the Holy Cross backcourt this year, and was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team. He is currently averaging 9.2 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game, while hitting 40.7 percent (35 of 86) of his three-point field goals and 77.5 percent (107 of 138) of his free throws. During the victory over Lehigh in the Patriot League quarterfinals, Thompson recorded seven points, six rebounds and a career-high nine assists. Previously at Loyola (Md.), he totaled 12 points, four assists and two rebounds. Thompson also played well against Navy, tying his career high with 17 points, in addition to posting three rebounds and three steals. A few of his other top games this year have come at New Hampshire (17 points, five rebounds), against Belmont (15 points, four assists, two steals), at Lehigh (13 points, two rebounds, two assists), at Army (13 points, two assists), against Lafayette (13 points), at American (12 points), at Bucknell (10 points, six rebounds, four steals), at Navy (10 points, four rebounds, two assists), against Sacred Heart (10 points, two steals) and against Colgate (10 points). Last season, Thompson was named the Montgomery County Player of the Year for the Bullis School in Potomac, Md.
CRUSADERS LOOKING FOR SIXTH PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CROWN: This year, Holy Cross will be looking to win the Patriot League Tournament for the sixth time in school history. 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.
BURRELL LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Junior guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) is in his third season in the Holy Cross starting lineup. In 28 games played this year, he has averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.8 rebounds per contest, while hitting 83.0 percent (44 of 53) of his free throws. During the victory at Lehigh, Burrell scored 13 points, including seven points in the final 30 seconds. Previously against Army, he tallied 10 points and a career high-tying nine assists, while hitting four free throws in the final 20 seconds. Burrell also played well against Bucknell, leading the team with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. A few of Burrell's other top games this season have been at Navy (17 points, three rebounds), at Lafayette (15 points, three rebounds), at Michigan (14 points, five assists), at American (13 points, three assists), at Bucknell (13 points, three assists), against Colgate (13 points), against Lehigh (11 points, three rebounds), at Colgate (11 points, three assists, key steal to set up the go-ahead basket), against Canisius (11 points) and against Loyola (10 points). 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 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 838 points, 286 assists, 168 rebounds and 55 steals, while making 36.0 percent (104 of 289) of his three-pointers and 83.5 percent (172 of 206) of his free throws.
CRUSADERS STEP UP PLAY ON DEFENSIVE END: Over its last 14 games, Holy Cross has turned in a number of outstanding defensive performances. During that stretch, the Crusaders are allowing just 58.2 points per game, while holding the opposition to 42.3 percent (304 of 719) shooting from the field. Holy Cross has also outrebounded its opponents by 3.9 boards per game over the last 14 contests, in addition to blocking 4.4 shots per game. On Jan. 18, the Crusaders held Lehigh to a season-low 42 points, while Bucknell scored a season-low 50 points on Feb. 9. Overall, eight of Holy Cross' last 14 opponents have scored less than 60 points, with only one team netting 70 or more points during that time.
GREEN PLAYING IMPORTANT ROLE ON THE PERIMETER: Sophomore guard Eric Green (Mountain House, Calif.) has developed into one of the top players in the Crusader backcourt this season. In 31 games played, he is averaging 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game. During the Boston University game, Green finished with 10 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals. Previously at Loyola (Md.), he totaled 12 points and six rebounds. Green also played well against Navy, recording 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. A few of his other top performances this season have come against Hartford (career-high 18 points, six rebounds, five steals), at Lehigh (14 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals), at New Jersey Tech (15 points, five assists, five steals, four rebounds), at Hartford (12 points, three assists, three steals), at Army (11 points, 10 rebounds, first career double-double), at Colgate (11 points, three assists, two steals), against Colgate (10 points, five steals, four assists, three rebounds, two blocks) and against Sacred Heart (10 points, five rebounds, five assists).
HOLY CROSS PICKS UP 19TH VICTORY: With the 54-48 victory over Lehigh in the Patriot League quarterfinals, the Crusaders recorded their 19th win of the year. This marks the most victories for Holy Cross in a single season since going 25-9 in 2006-2077. The Crusaders' 18-12 mark in the regular season was also their best since they had a 22-8 mark entering the Patriot League Tournament in 2006-2007. In addition, Holy Cross' 12 Patriot League victories this year tied for its fourth most ever, behind only the 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 teams (which all went 13-1).
LEHIGH RECAP: Malcolm Miller totaled 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, as the Crusaders defeated Lehigh 54-48 at the Hart Center in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament. Holy Cross turned in an outstanding defensive performance, holding Lehigh to 32.3 percent shooting from the field (20 of 62) and 14.3 percent shooting from three-point range (three of 21). The Crusaders hit 40.4 percent of their own shots (21 of 52) and 35.3 percent of their three-pointers (six of 17) on the night, but made just 54.5 percent of their free throws (six of 11). The game was close early on, and the Mountain Hawks held a 12-11 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. Holy Cross then went on an 8-2 run to claim the lead, and would later lead by eight points (28-20) late in the half. Lehigh responded with a quick 4-0 spurt of its own to make the score 28-24 at halftime. The Crusaders started the second half hot, using an 8-0 run over the first 2:27 to increase their lead to 12 points (36-24). Holy Cross was still up by 12 (39-27) with 14:36 left to play, when the Mountain Hawks used a 10-3 spurt to get back into the game. The Crusader lead would later stand at eight points (50-42) with 4:21 on the clock, before Lehigh used a 6-0 run to make it a two-point game (50-48) with less than a minute to play. But on Holy Cross' next possession, Dave Dudzinski hit a short jumper to put the Crusaders back up by four (52-48). The Mountain Hawks would not score again, and Miller added two free throws with 22.0 seconds on the clock to ice the victory. Dudzinski finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, while Justin Burrell added nine points, four rebounds and two assists. Anthony Thompson also played well, finishing with seven points, six rebounds and a career-high nine assists. Lehigh was led by Mackey McKnight with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
CRUSADERS HEAT UP: After beginning the season at 7-9 overall and 1-3 in the Patriot League, Holy Cross has turned things around in the last two months. The Crusaders stand 12-3 over their last 15 games, including winning streaks of five and four games. Holy Cross' mark of 12-3 since Jan. 11 is tied with Boston University for the best in the Patriot League.
CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross is once again a strong free throw shooting team in 2013-2014. In 31 games played, the Crusaders have hit 72.9 percent (496 of 680) of their foul shots as a team. Junior guard Justin Burrell leads the way by hitting 83.0 percent (44 of 53) of his free throws so far in 2013-2014, while sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) has knocked down 82.6 percent (19 of 23) of his foul shots. Freshman guard Anthony Thompson (77.5 percent, 107 of 138), junior forward Malcolm Miller (76.0 percent, 76 of 100) and senior forward Dave Dudzinski (75.2 percent, 112 of 149) are also hitting over 75 percent from the charity stripe 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).
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 seventh on the team with an average of 6.6 points per game, and stands third with an average of 4.3 rebounds per contest. During the victory at Loyola (Md.), Alexander narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Previously against Lehigh, he totaled 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. 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 at Army (16 points, five rebounds), against Hartford (13 points, seven rebounds), against Fairfield (13 points, five rebounds), at North Carolina (13 points, five rebounds) and against Albany (10 points, four 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.
PROTECTING THE BALL: In 31 games played this season, the Crusaders have committed only 364 turnovers, for an average of just 11.7 turnovers per game. Holy Cross currently stands third in the Patriot League in fewest turnovers, behind only Bucknell (10.7 turnovers per game) and Colgate (11.5 turnovers per game). The Crusaders' average of 11.7 turnovers per contest is the best in school history, breaking the record which had been set just last year at 12.4 turnovers per game (372 in 30 games).
CRUSADERS REACH DOUBLE-FIGURES IN LEAGUE WINS: Holy Cross posted a 12-6 record in Patriot League regular season play this season. This marks the ninth time the Crusaders have reached double-figures in conference victories since the Patriot League began play in the 1990-1991 season. The school record for most conference wins is held by the 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 teams, which all posted 13-1 marks in the Patriot League. In addition, the 1992-1993 team went 12-2, the 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 squads went 11-3, the 2000-2001 team was 10-2, and the 1991-1992 team had a 10-4 record. Holy Cross' nine seasons with double-figure conference victories are the second-most in Patriot League history, behind only Bucknell with 10.
SHARING THE ROCK: This season, four different Holy Cross players have handed out at least 60 assists. Freshman guard Anthony Thompson leads the way with 72 assists, followed by junior guard Justin Burrell (70), sophomore guard Eric Green (67) and junior forward Malcolm Miller (65). This marks the first time since the 1980-1981 campaign that four different Crusaders have dished out at least 60 assists in the same season. In 1980-1981, Eddie Thurman led the team with 154 assists, followed by Kevin Greaney (86), Garry Witts (71) and Dave Mulquin (65). In the history over Holy Cross basketball, this year marks only the sixth time there have been at least four players on the same team with 60 assists.
HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in five statistical categories, through games of March 2. In addition, four Holy Cross players stand among the best in the nation in various individual categories. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg.|
|Free Throw Percent||52||Holy Cross||73.2|
|Fewest Personal Fouls||62||Holy Cross||17.6|
|Scoring Defense||69||Holy Cross||65.9|
|Blocked Shots||84||Malcolm Miller||1.8|
|Fewest Turnovers||109||Holy Cross||11.7|
|Winning Percent||117||Holy Cross||60.0|
|Field Goal Percent||136||Dave Dudzinski||47.6|
DUDZINSKI NETS 1,000TH POINT: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski became the 47th 1,000-point scorer in the history of Crusader men's basketball on Dec. 7 at Hartford. He hit a turnaround jumper at the 4:27-mark of the first half to record the 1,000th point of his collegiate career. Dudzinski now ranks 20th all-time at Holy Cross with 1,323 points in 117 career games, good for an average of 11.3 points per contest.
CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Three current Holy Cross players have earned spots in the school's all-time record book. Junior guard Justin Burrell currently stands third all-time in career free throw percentage (.835, 172 of 206). In addition, senior forward Dave Dudzinski ranks eighth all-time in career blocked shots (91) and seventh in career games started (89), while junior forward Malcolm Miller is in fifth place on the single-season list for blocked shots (56) and 10th on the career list for blocked shots (88).
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 95th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1345-914 (.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.
CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 345-141 at the Hart Center, including a 9-4 mark 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 133-49 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including an 86-27 record against Patriot League foes.
HAMILTON BECOMES A TOP SCORING THREAT: Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton was a key player for the Crusaders on the wing this year, but has missed 13 games due to injury. Hamilton averaged 8.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game, while hitting 36.3 percent (29 of 80) of his three-point field goals and 82.6 percent (19 of 23) of his free throws. During the victory over Colgate, he posted 10 points and six rebounds. Previously at Boston University, Hamilton scored 16 points while hitting four of six attempts from three-point range. 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). A few of his other top performances this season came against Belmont (16 points, two rebounds, two assists) and at Fairfield (13 points, four rebounds). Last year, he was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team after averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, Hamilton has now totaled 338 points, 120 rebounds and 40 assists.
BURRELL & DUDZINSKI NAMED 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 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).
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 USE BALANCED SCORING TO DEFEAT COLGATE: During the 73-64 victory over Colgate on Jan. 8 , Holy Cross had six different players score in double figures. That marked the first time six Crusaders scored at least 10 points in the same game since Dec. 31, 2002, when six players reached double digits in an 87-54 victory at Fordham.
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.
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 11 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
March 8 at American: CBS Sports Network
HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Several 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
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 EAGLES: American enters the game with an overall record of 18-12 and a 13-5 mark in Patriot League play. The Eagles have won three of their last four games, and are coming off a 59-50 victory over Colgate in the Patriot League quarterfinals. Sophomore guard Jesse Reed leads the team with an average of 14.0 points per game, while hitting 47.5 percent (56 of 118) of his three-point field goal attempts. Junior guard John Schoof has added 11.9 points per contest while senior center Tony Wroblicky is chipping in with 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. American is led by Mike Brennan, who is 18-12 in his first season as the Eagles' head coach. Brennan previously spent time as an assistant at Georgetown, American, Princeton and Columbia.
DRIBBLES: During their Jan. 29 game against Loyola (Md.), the Crusaders collected donations to benefit Coaches vs. Cancer ... Holy Cross' opponents have made 73.5 percent (378 of 514) of their free throws this season. The school record for opponent free throw percentage for an entire season was set in 1985-1986, when the opposition hit 73.9 percent (526 of 712) of their foul shots ... 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 forward Taylor Abt (Darnestown, Md.) scored a season-high eight points during the Boston University game. He is now averaging 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest ... Freshman guard Robert Champion (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a career-high eight points against both Albany and New Jersey Tech. He is currently averaging 2.6 points and 1.0 rebounds per game ... 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 22 career games, totaling 43 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds and eight steals ... 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 ... The Crusaders took part in the Coach4aDay Program during the 2013-2014 season, as opportunities were auctioned off for a guest "assistant coach," with the proceeds going to charity. For more information, visit "www.coach4aday.com".