Feb. 7, 2007
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (19-6, 10-0 PL) vs. Bucknell (15-8, 9-1 PL)
Date: February 9, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Sojka Pavilion (4,000), Lewisburg, Pa.
ESPNU Television: Bob Socci, play-by-play; John Feinstein, color
Holy Cross Radio: WCUW 91.3 FM, Worcester; www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Bucknell Radio: Doug Birdsong, play-by-play; Doug Byerly, color; WEGH 107.3 FM, Sunbury, Pa.
Series Record: Bucknell leads, 24-19
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 65, Bucknell 60 (January 12, 2007; Worcester, Mass.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. F 10 Keith Simmons 6-5 205 Sr. F 21 Alex Vander Baan 6-8 205 So. C 00 Tim Clifford 6-10 270 Jr. G 1 Torey Thomas 5-11 185 Sr. G 2 Kyle Cruze 6-2 175 Jr.
THE SERIES WITH BUCKNELL: This will be the 44th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bison on the hardwood, with Bucknell leading the all-time series 24-19. Holy Cross took this season's first meeting in Worcester on January 12, but prior to that the Bison had won four straight meetings and six of seven games played between the schools. For games played in Lewisburg, Bucknell holds an 11-7 advantage, with a 4-1 lead for games played at Sojka Pavilion. The schools first met on January 12, 1991, with Holy Cross posting an 80-78 victory in Lewisburg.
SERIES QUICK FACTS:
Overall: Bucknell leads, 24-19
In Lewisburg: Bucknell leads, 11-7
At Sojka Pavilion: Bucknell leads, 4-1
Ralph Willard vs. Bucknell: 10-10
Pat Flannery vs. Holy Cross: 20-12
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1
CRUSADERS AND BISON SQUARE OFF IN KEY LEAGUE SHOWDOWN: Holy Cross and Bucknell meet each other in a battle of the top two teams in the Patriot League on Friday, February 9, at 7:00 p.m. on ESPNU. The Crusaders (10-0) could move two games ahead of the Bison (9-1) in the standings with a victory, and then need only one more win to wrap up the top seed in the Patriot League tournament. If Bucknell wins, it would move into a first place tie with Holy Cross, with only three regular season league games remaining. If the Crusaders and the Bison were both to finish at 13-1 in the Patriot League, the top seed in the league tournament would go to the school with the higher RPI according to Collegiate Basketball News.
SIMMONS ENJOYING OUTSTANDING SENIOR YEAR: Senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) has been Holy Cross' top player this season, averaging 17.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 25 games played. He has scored in double figures in 36 straight games dating back to last year, and has led the team in scoring 13 times this season. During Tuesday's victory at Army, Simmons recorded 26 points, six rebounds and two steals. In the previous game against Lafayette, he totaled 17 points and nine rebounds. Simmons also had a big game against American, posting 11 points, six rebounds and three steals. Some of Simmons' other top performances this season have come against Lafayette (26 points, six rebounds, three steals), Niagara (23 points, three rebounds), Syracuse (game-high 22 points), Navy (22 points, seven rebounds), Bucknell (22 points, four rebounds, three assists), Boston University (21 points, 11 rebounds), Harvard (20 points, six rebounds), Providence (20 points, four rebounds, three steals), Hampton (19 points, six rebounds), Siena (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Army (18 points, seven rebounds, four steals, three assists). Prior to the start of the year, Simmons was selected as a 2006-2007 preseason mid-major All-American by CollegeInsider.com (one of just 25 players from across the nation to be chosen to the squad). He was also named preseason All-Patriot League, after earning first team all-conference honors in both his sophomore and junior years. In 32 games played last season, Simmons averaged 14.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 52.5 percent (158 of 301) from the field and 47.6 percent (60 of 126) from three-point range. Entering the Bucknell game, Simmons has scored 1,525 career points as a Crusader, while making 49.7 percent of his field goal attempts (516 of 1039) and 43.1 percent from three-point range (187 of 434).
CRUSADERS GET OFF TO FAST START IN LEAGUE PLAY: Holy Cross has opened Patriot League play with a perfect 10-0 mark in its first 10 conference games. This is the best league start ever for the Crusaders, with the previous mark held by the 1992-1993 squad which won its first seven conference games. Prior to this season, the Crusaders' best conference start under Ralph Willard came during both the 2000-2001 and 2002-2003 campaigns, when Holy Cross started league play at 4-0. In Patriot League history, only one other team has ever started the conference season with at least nine straight victories. That came in 2005-2006, when Bucknell won all 14 of its league games. The next best start prior to this season belongs to Navy, which posted nine straight conference wins to open up the 1997-1998 campaign.
CRUSADERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: A number of Holy Cross players have placed their names in the school's all-time record book this season. Senior guard Keith Simmons ranks second on the school career list for three-point field goals made (187), second in three-point field goal attempts (434), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (43.1 percent), fifth in steals (176), seventh in minutes played (3,215) and ninth in games played (117). He also ranks among the Patriot League's all-time leaders in three-point field goal percentage (43.1 percent, 1st), field goal percentage (49.7 percent, 7th), steals (176, 10th) and points scored (1,525, 14th). Senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.) currently stands third all-time at Holy Cross in steals (238), sixth in assists (429) and fifth in minutes played (3,291). He also ranks third all-time in the Patriot League in steals and eighth in assists. In addition, Simmons tied the Holy Cross single game record for steals with seven against William & Mary on Nov. 25, 2006, while Thomas matched that record with seven steals against Lehigh on Jan. 26, 2007. Junior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) has also placed his name in the record books, standing fourth all-time at Holy Cross and 11th all-time in the Patriot League in blocked shots (121).
HOLY CROSS EXTENDS LEAGUE WINNING STREAK: The Crusaders enter the Bucknell game having won 14 straight Patriot League regular season contests, good for the fourth-longest conference winning streak in league history. Holy Cross has not lost a regular season Patriot League game since Feb. 11, 2006, when it fell to Bucknell (57-52). The Crusaders have also become the only team in Patriot League history to win 10 conference regular season games in a row on three different occasions. Here is a look at the longest regular season conference winning streaks in Patriot League history:
Rank Games School Dates 1. 17 Bucknell Feb. 26, 2005-Jan. 9, 2007 2. 16 Navy Jan. 29, 1997-Feb. 8, 1998 3. 15 Holy Cross Jan. 12, 2005-Jan. 11, 2006 4. 14 Holy Cross Feb. 15, 2006-present 5. 13 Lafayette Jan. 20, 1998-Jan. 20, 1999 6. 12 Navy Jan. 23, 2000-Jan. 17, 2001 7. 11 Fordham Jan. 8, 1991-Feb. 16, 1991 8. 10 Holy Cross Jan. 31, 2003-Jan. 10, 2004 10 Navy Feb. 1, 1995-Jan. 17, 1996
ARMY RECAP: Keith Simmons recorded 26 points and six rebounds, to lead Holy Cross to a 70-54 overtime victory over Army at Christl Arena on Feb. 6, 2007. The score was close through most of the first half, before the Crusaders eventually took a 22-21 lead into the locker room. Holy Cross increased its lead to four points (31-27) early in the second half, before Army went on an 11-0 run to go back in front. But the Crusaders refused to go away, eventually coming back to tie the score at 49-49 with 2:10 left to play on a basket by Simmons. The score was still tied at 50-50 in the final minute, before Simmons scored again with 13.5 seconds left to put Holy Cross back in front. But Jarell Brown came back to hit a runner in the lane with just 0.5 seconds on the clock to force overtime with the score tied at 52-52. The Crusaders then took control of the game in overtime, beginning with two free throws from Torey Thomas and a slam dunk by Simmons. Tim Clifford and Pat Doherty then hit back-to-back three-pointers, before Clifford added a layup to make the score 64-52. The Crusaders would go on to hit all four of their free throws in the final minute to the final score 70-54. Thomas finished the game with 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals, while Clifford added 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Army was led by Brown with 21 points and five rebounds.
HOLY CROSS WINS 12TH STRAIGHT: With Tuesday's win at Army, Holy Cross posted its 12th straight victory, good for the second-longest current winning streak in the nation. This also marks the seventh time the Crusaders have won at least 12 consecutive games in school history. The last time Holy Cross had a double-figure winning streak came in 2004-2005, when it won 16 games in a row. During their current 12-game streak, the Crusaders averaged 65.9 points per game, while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor, 40.2 percent from three-point range and outscoring the opposition by 10.9 points per contest. Here is a look at the longest winning streaks ever by Holy Cross:
Rank Streak Dates 1. 29 games March 4, 1949-March 3, 1950 2. 26 games Jan. 7, 1947-Dec. 13, 1947 3. 20 games Jan. 8, 1948-March 20, 1948 4. 16 games Jan. 12, 2005-March 6, 2005 5. 13 games Feb. 6, 1906-Jan. 29, 1908 6. 12 games Dec. 30, 2006-present 12 games Jan. 31, 2003-March 14, 2003 8. 11 games Feb. 4, 1961-March 17, 1961 11 games Jan. 2, 1960-Feb. 16, 1960 11 games Dec. 30, 1955-Feb. 8, 1956 11 games Jan. 16, 1954-Feb. 24, 1954 11 games Dec. 5, 1953-Jan. 12, 1954 13. 10 games Jan. 5, 1963-Feb. 8, 1963 10 games Feb. 10, 1953-March 13, 1953 10 games Feb. 4, 1952-March 1, 1952 10 games Feb. 12, 1930-Dec. 10, 1930
THOMAS SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINT: Senior guard Torey Thomas became the 43rd 1,000-point scorer in the history of Holy Cross men's basketball during the Jan. 26 victory over Lehigh. He hit a layup at the 11:51-mark of the first half to record the 1,000th point of his collegiate career. Thomas now ranks 38th on the all-time Crusader scoring list with 1,062 points in 116 games, good for an average of 9.2 points per contest. Last season, senior guard Keith Simmons became the 42nd 1,000-point scorer at Holy Cross, netting his 1,000th point at Colgate on Feb. 22, 2006, when he threw down a slam dunk at the 17:46-mark of the second half. Simmons now stands in 11th place all-time at Holy Cross with 1,525 points, needing 86 more points to move into the top 10 in school history.
THE LAST MEETING WITH BUCKNELL: Keith Simmons totaled 22 points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals, to lead the Holy Cross men's basketball team to a 65-60 victory over Bucknell at the Hart Center on Jan. 12, 2007. The Crusaders opened the game with a quick 5-0 lead, and were able to stay ahead for the remainder of the first half. The Holy Cross lead would range from four to eight points, until it eventually took a 31-25 advantage into the locker room. After the break, the Crusaders opened the second half with a 7-2 run to build their lead up to double figures (38-27). Bucknell came back with an 8-2 spurt a few minutes later to make it a four-point game (42-38 with 12:13 left), but Holy Cross responded with an 8-2 run of its own to build the lead back up to 10 points at the 8:23-mark (50-40). The Crusader lead would grow as large as 14 points (57-43 with 7:16 to play), before the Bison started to rally. Bucknell used a 9-1 run to get back into the game, and eventually cut the Holy Cross lead to one point (61-60) with just under a minute remaining. But the Bison would not score again, as the Crusaders hit four of five free throw attempts in the final minute to seal the win. Torey Thomas finished the night with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Tim Clifford added 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Bucknell was led by Justin Castleberry with 16 points, while Donald Brown added 13 points and eight rebounds.
THOMAS SHINES IN SENIOR SEASON: Senior point guard Torey Thomas is once again among the top players in the Patriot League this season, averaging 13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.6 steals per contest. In Tuesday's victory at Army, Thomas totaled 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals. During the previous game against Lafayette, he recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Earlier this year, Thomas had 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against Siena, while posting 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals against Fairfield, including a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining in overtime to win the game. Some of his other top performances this season have come against Lehigh (18 points, eight assists, seven steals, six rebounds), Lafayette (18 points, six assists, five rebounds), American (16 points, four rebounds, four assists), Army (16 points, three assists, two steals), Boston University (16 points, three assists), Niagara (15 points, seven assists, six rebounds), La Salle (14 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals), Providence (13 points, four rebounds, four steals), Bucknell (13 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Dayton (13 points, four rebounds, four steals). Thomas was named preseason All-Patriot League prior to the start of the year, after being named second team all-conference last season. A year ago he averaged 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game, while making 34 of 96 attempts (35.4 percent) from three-point range. Thomas finished the 2005-2006 season as the Patriot League's leader in assists, while ranking second in steals, fourth in rebounding and 14th in scoring. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Thomas has now totaled 1,062 points, 471 rebounds, 429 assists and 238 steals.
CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2006-2007. Through the first 25 games of the year, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 58.4 points per game, 41.9 percent shooting from the floor, and 37.6 percent shooting from three-point range. Holy Cross has also averaged 9.6 steals and 3.5 blocks per contest, while forcing the opposition to commit 17.0 turnovers per game and outrebounding its opponents by 3.9 boards per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have held 17 of their first 25 opponents to under 60 points during regulation. Last season, Holy Cross allowed just 60.5 points per game, while holding its opponents to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 30.3 percent shooting from three-point range. The Crusaders also forced their opponents to commit 16.0 turnovers per game, while averaging 9.1 steals and 3.5 blocks per contest, and outrebounding the opposition by 3.9 boards per game. Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Holy Cross has held the opposition to only 58.8 points per contest. In addition, the Crusaders ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense in four of the last five seasons (sixth in 2001-2002 at 59.6; third in 2002-2003 at 58.7; seventh in 2003-2004 at 58.6; and fifth in 2004-2005 at 56.8).
HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is presently ranked 61st in the nation in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5727 through games of February 6. The Crusaders are currently the highest ranked team in the Patriot League, with the second-highest ranking belonging to Bucknell (110th, .5342). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 130th best in the country, and the hardest in the Patriot League. The Crusaders concluded the 2005-2006 season ranked 111th in the country in the RPI with a rating of .5304. Holy Cross also ranked 49th in the nation in the RPI at the end of the 2004-2005 season with a mark of .5657, to place ahead of four at large selections to the NCAA tournament.
CLIFFORD PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Junior center Tim Clifford has established himself as one of the top big men in the Patriot League this season. During Tuesday's victory at Army, he totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and a season-best six blocked shots. In the previous game against Lafayette, Clifford posted 11 points, five assists and three rebounds. He also had a strong game against Lehigh, recording 12 points and nine rebounds. Some of Clifford's other top performances this season have come against Harvard (22 points on nine of 11 shooting from the field), Providence (21 points, seven rebounds), American (19 points, nine rebounds), Colgate (18 points, four rebounds), Boston University (16 points, three blocks, three assists), Bucknell (13 points, eight rebounds), William & Mary (13 points, six rebounds), George Mason (12 points, four rebounds), Lafayette (11 points) and Army (10 points, three rebounds). Through the first 25 games of the year, he is averaging 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. Overall last year, Clifford averaged 7.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game, while making 96 of 194 (49.5 percent) field goal attempts. He was even more impressive against Patriot League opponents, averaging 9.7 points per contest and hitting 54.2 percent (52 of 96) of his shots from the floor. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Clifford has now totaled 595 points, 316 rebounds and 121 blocked shots.
STEALING THE SHOW: Through the first 25 games of the 2006-2007 season, Holy Cross has averaged 9.6 steals per game. The Crusaders have reached double-figures in steals 11 times this year, including highs of 16 steals against Fairfield, and 15 steals at American and against Lafayette. Senior guard Torey Thomas leads the team with 65 steals on the season, while senior guard Keith Simmons has totaled 62 steals, and have also both tied the school single-game record with seven steals (Simmons vs. William & Mary, Thomas against Lehigh). Sophomore guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) has added 26 steals on the year, while junior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) has chipped in with 19 steals. In 32 games played last season, the Crusaders totaled 290 steals, for a Patriot League-best average of 9.1 steals per game. Kevin Hamilton led the team with 102 steals last year, while Thomas added 77 steals last season. With his 102 total steals, Hamilton set new Holy Cross and Patriot League single season records.
CRUSADERS REACH DOUBLE-FIGURES IN LEAGUE WINS: Holy Cross currently has a record of 10-0 in Patriot League play. This marks the seventh time the Crusaders 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 and 2004-2005 teams, which both posted 13-1 marks in the Patriot League. In addition, the 1992-1993 team went 12-2, the 2005-2006 squad went 11-3, the 2000-2001 team was 10-2, and the 1991-1992 team had a 10-4 record. Holy Cross' seven seasons with double-figure victories are the most in Patriot League history, as no other school has accomplished the feat more than five times.
CRUSADERS KEEP WINNING AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross stands 10-0 at the Hart Center so far this season, and now owns an all-time record of 286-105 in the building. The Crusaders currently have a 14-game home winning streak, after going 13-2 at the Hart Center last season with an 8-1 mark against Patriot League opponents. Holy Cross also stands 42-5 in Patriot League regular season home games since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, with an overall home record of 74-12 during that time. In 2004-2005, Holy Cross posted an overall record of 12-3 at home, including a 10-game winning streak. The building opened on Dec. 1, 1975, and since that time Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 28 out of 32 seasons, while posting double-figure home victories 15 times.
VANDER BAAN BUILDS ON ALL-ROOKIE SEASON: Sophomore forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.) is once again a key member of the Holy Cross lineup this season, after being selected to the 2005-2006 Patriot League All-Rookie Team. In last Wednesday's victory over American, Vander Baan totaled 10 points and seven rebounds. Earlier this year in the victory over Navy, he scored a season-high 13 points on five of nine shooting, to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Some of Vander Baan's other top performances this season have come against Siena (11 points, 10 rebounds, first career double-double), Yale (10 points, seven rebounds, four assists), Hampton (nine points, six rebounds), Lafayette (nine points, four rebounds), Lehigh (nine points, two rebounds) and Syracuse (eight points, career-high 11 rebounds, four assists). In 25 games played so far this season, Vander Baan is averaging 6.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest, while making 44.3 percent of his field goal attempts (54 of 122). In 32 games played last year, Vander Baan averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest, to rank ninth in the conference in rebounding. He also led all Patriot League freshmen by earning league Rookie of the Week honors four times last season.
WILLARD CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE RUN AT HOLY CROSS: Ralph Willard is now in his eighth season as the Crusaders' head coach, and currently owns a mark of 153-86 during his time in Worcester. He stands in third place on the all-time school list for career victories, behind only George Blaney (357-276 / 1972-1994) and Lester "Buster" Sheary (155-36 / 1948-1955). Willard has led the Crusaders to three Patriot League tournament titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, during the 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons. He has also guided Holy Cross to Patriot League regular season championships in 2000-2001, 2002-2003 and 2004-2005, with the 2002-2003 squad posting an overall record of 26-5 to come up just one win shy of the school single season record for victories. During the 2000-2001 and 2004-2005 seasons, Willard was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year, and in 2004-2005 he was also one of 10 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Willard spent five seasons as the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, and four years as head coach at Western Kentucky University. He led Western Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament during each of his final two seasons (advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1992-1993), and his overall career record stands at 297-210. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.
HOLY CROSS HAVING GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders have averaged 32.2 rebounds through the first 25 games of the 2006-2007 season, and are currently outrebounding their opponents by an average of 3.9 boards per game. Holy Cross has really stepped things up in Patriot League play, outrebounding the opposition by 8.3 boards per game, while allowing opponents to average just 24.7 rebounds per contest. The Crusaders' top rebounding game so far this year came against Siena, when it held a 43-21 advantage on the glass. The rebounding load has been well balanced, with five different players currently averaging at least 3.4 boards per contest. Senior guard Keith Simmons leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, while sophomore forward Alex Vander Baan has averaged 5.2 boards per contest. Junior center Tim Clifford (4.7 rebounds per game) and senior guard Torey Thomas (4.7 rebounds per game) are also enjoying fine seasons on the glass, while freshman forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) is chipping in with 3.4 boards per game.
DOHERTY PROVIDES DEPTH IN BACKCOURT: Sophomore guard Pat Doherty has been the first guard off the bench for the Crusaders this season. In last Wednesday's victory over American, Doherty scored 10 points on three of three shooting from the field. Earlier in the season at Yale, he led the team with a career-high 18 points, four assists and three steals, while making five of six shots from the floor, all four of his attempts from three-point range, and all four of his free throws. Doherty also scored 10 points in the game at Lafayette, while totaling nine points and three assists at Dayton. In 19 games played this season, he is now averaging 6.1 points, 2.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest. Doherty returned to the Holy Cross lineup this year, after missing the majority of the 2005-2006 campaign due to injury, and receiving a medical redshirt. As a freshman in 2004-2005, Doherty was honored as the Patriot League Rookie of the Year.
HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in three statistical categories, through games of Feb. 4. Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas are also listed among the national leaders in steals. The rankings:
Category Rank Player / Team Avg. Steals 16 Keith Simmons 2.5 16 Torey Thomas 2.5 16 Holy Cross 9.5 Scoring Defense 15 Holy Cross 58.6 Winning Percentage 34 Holy Cross 75.0
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 88th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1243-795 (.610), while making 23 postseason tournament appearances -- 11 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 to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college, including current Crusader coach Ralph Willard.
SCOUTING THE BISON: Bucknell has an overall record of 15-8 on the season, with a 9-1 mark in the Patriot League. The Bison have won seven straight contests since falling to Holy Cross (65-60) on Jan. 12, and are 10-1 in their last 11 games. Bucknell's leading scorer, senior forward Donald Brown, has averaged 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, but is not expected to play due to injury. Junior guard John Griffin has added 10.0 points per contest, while senior center Chris McNaughton is chipping in with 10.6 points per game. Bucknell is led by head coach Pat Flannery, who owns a 215-158 record during his 13 seasons with the Bison. Flannery's career record stands at 310-201, including five years as the head coach at Lebanon Valley College.
HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Once again this season, the majority of the Crusaders' basketball contests will be carried by WTAG 580 AM in Worcester. For the 18th straight season, Bob Fouracre will call the play-by-play for most of the games. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their third year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. WTAG is currently scheduled to air 22 of the Crusaders' 30 regular season games. In addition, WCUW 91.3 FM in Worcester will air seven Holy Cross contests which are not included as part of the WTAG package. All 30 regular season games will also be carried live over the internet at "www.sportsjuice.com". In addition, the Holy Cross student station, WCHC 88.1 FM, is scheduled carry a number of games this year.
CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross is currently scheduled to have 11 games shown on live television during the 2006-2007 season, with other television appearances possible during the postseason. During each of the last two years, the Crusaders had 10 television appearances, including four games on ESPN2. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2006-2007 campaign:
Date Opponent Television Outlet Nov. 27 Syracuse ESPNU Dec. 6 Duke ESPN2 Jan. 3 Boston University CN8 Jan. 6 Lafayette CSTV / Lafayette Sports Network Jan. 9 Army WCTR-TV3 Jan. 12 Bucknell ESPNU Jan. 26 Lehigh ESPNU Jan. 31 American WCTR-TV3 Feb. 9 Bucknell ESPNU Feb. 17 Hofstra ESPNU Feb. 25 Lehigh Service Electric
DRIBBLES: The Crusaders stand 4-0 in overtime games this season, and have now won their last seven overtime contests ... Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas are the Crusaders' captains for the 2006-2007 season ... The Crusaders were a perfect 13 of 13 at the free throw line against Niagara on Dec. 29, marking the first time in school history Holy Cross has made all of its free throw attempts ... The crowd of 19,235 at the Holy Cross-Syracuse game on Nov. 27 was the largest to ever witness a Crusader game during the regular season (attendance records are not available prior to the 1982-1983 season). It is also the third largest overall crowd to ever see Holy Cross play, behind the Kansas game in the 2002 NCAA Tournament (26,612) and the Marquette game in the 2003 NCAA Tournament (20,960) ... Sophomore forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) had eight points and two assists in the overtime victory at Boston University, including a pair of key three-pointers late in regulation. Earlier in the year, he scored a season-high 11 points at Syracuse ... Junior guard Kyle Cruze scored a career-high 15 points in the victory at La Salle, then had career-highs of six assists and six rebounds against Niagara ... Sophomore center Greg McCarthy (Mansfield, Mass.) scored a career-high 11 points on four of five shooting from the field in the Feb. 3 victory over Lafayette ... Freshman forward Eric Meister has started his collegiate career strong, averaging 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. He pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds at Harvard, and had nine rebounds at Boston University ... Holy Cross was picked to finish second in this year's Patriot League preseason poll, behind Bucknell ... Senior guard Keith Simmons and senior guard Torey Thomas were both named preseason All-Patriot League this year, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors ... The Crusaders are ranked 15th in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 Poll from CollegeInsider.com, released on Feb. 5.