Feb. 15, 2008
GAME DAY QUICK FACTS:
The Teams: Holy Cross (13-10, 4-6 PL) vs. Bucknell (10-14, 5-5 PL)
Date: February 16, 2008
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Sojka Pavilion (4,000), Lewisburg, Pa.
ESPN2 Television: Eric Collins, play-by-play; Bucky Waters, color
Live Video Streaming: www.espn360.com
Holy Cross Radio: www.sportsjuice.com, internet; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play
Bucknell Radio: WEGH 107.3 FM, Sunbury, Pa.; Doug Birdsong, play-by-play; Doug Byerly, color
Sirius Satellite Radio: Frank Santore, play-by-play; Channel 130
Series Record: Bucknell leads, 26-20
Last Meeting: Bucknell 73, Holy Cross 65 (January 18, 2008; Worcester, Mass.)
PROBABLE HOLY CROSS STARTERS: Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. F 33 Colin Cunningham 6-6 210 Jr. F 53 Eric Meister 6-8 230 So. C 00 Tim Clifford 6-11 260 Sr. G 2 Kyle Cruze 6-2 175 Sr. G 22 Andrew Beinert 6-2 175 Fr.
THE SERIES WITH BUCKNELL: This will be the 47th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bison on the hardwood, with Bucknell leading the all-time series 26-20. Bucknell took this season's first meeting in Worcester on January 18, and has now won six of the last eight games played between the schools. For contests played in Lewisburg, Bucknell holds a 12-7 advantage, with a 5-1 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, 26-20
In Lewisburg: Bucknell leads, 12-7
At Sojka Pavilion: Bucknell leads, 5-1
Ralph Willard vs. Bucknell: 11-12
Pat Flannery vs. Holy Cross: 22-13
Current Win Streak: Bucknell, one game
In Overtime: Tied, 1-1
CRUSADERS CONTINUE ROAD TRIP AT BUCKNELL: Holy Cross will play the second of three straight games away from the Hart Center this weekend, when it travels to Bucknell for a contest which will be televised on ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 16. The Crusaders began the road trip with a 64-53 victory at Army on Thursday night. Holy Cross stays on the road next week with a game at Navy on February 20 at 7:00 p.m. The next home game for Holy Cross does not come until February 23, when it plays host to Northeastern in the O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters at 4:00 p.m.
CLIFFORD PLAYS BIG ROLE IN THE MIDDLE: Senior center Tim Clifford (Walpole, Mass.) is once again among the top big men in the conference this season, after earning second team All-Patriot League honors in 2006-2007. In 23 games played this season, he has averaged 16.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per contest, while hitting 54.7 percent (146 of 267) of his field goal attempts. In Thursday's victory at Army, Clifford led the team with 17 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. During the previous game against Lafayette, he totaled 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Clifford also played well against American, scoring a team-high 18 points. Some of Clifford's other top games this season have been against Siena (26 points on 11 of 16 shooting), Sacred Heart (24 points, seven rebounds and two blocks), American (24 points on nine of 11 shooting), Yale (23 points, eight rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists), Harvard (22 points and four rebounds), Hampton (22 points and six rebounds), Navy (20 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots), Dayton (20 points), San Francisco (17 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two assists), St. Joseph's (16 points and seven rebounds), Boston University (16 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots), Lehigh (16 points, six rebounds, four assists and a school record-tying seven blocked shots), Bucknell (16 points on six of 11 shooting) and Maryland (15 points, eight rebounds and three assists). In 34 games played last year, Clifford averaged 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest. He was even more impressive in Patriot League regular season games, averaging 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Clifford has now totaled 1,106 points, 481 rebounds and 194 blocked shots, while making 429 of 853 (50.3 percent) field goal attempts.
CLIFFORD BREAKS BLOCKED SHOT RECORD: Senior center Tim Clifford broke the Holy Cross record for career blocked shots during the victory over Yale on Nov. 28, 2007. Clifford's record-breaking block came at the 5:15-mark of the second half, when he swatted away an attempted jump shot by the Bulldogs' Porter Braswell. That block moved him past Nate Lufkin (2001-2005), who had 153 blocked shots during his Holy Cross career. Clifford, who currently has 194 blocked shots during his career as a Crusader, also tied the school single game record for blocks when he swatted away seven shots in the victory over Lehigh on Feb. 2, 2008. He tied the mark of Josh Sankes, who had seven blocks against Colgate on Feb. 5, 2000. In addition to those marks, Clifford owns three of the top seven spots on the school single season list for blocks (64 in 2006-2007; 51 in 2007-2008; 48 in 2005-2006).
VANDER BAAN PLAYS KEY ROLE ON FRONT LINE: Junior forward Alex Vander Baan (Uxbridge, Mass.) is once again a key member of the Holy Cross lineup this year. He has averaged 8.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 17 games played this season, despite missing a good deal of time over the last six weeks due to injury. In Thursday's victory at Army, Vander Baan totaled 13 points and seven rebounds, while making four of five shots from the floor. Earlier in the season against Bucknell, he recorded 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Vander Baan also had a big night at St. Joseph's, totaling 16 points and seven rebounds, while making all four of his free throws in the final minute of play. Some of Vander Baan's other top performances this season have come against Harvard (18 points and eight rebounds), Hofstra (15 rebounds, 10 points, three assists and three blocks), Siena (13 points, six rebounds and two steals), Dayton (11 points and seven rebounds) and Fairfield (11 points and four rebounds). In 34 games played last year, Vander Baan averaged 6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest, while making 36.2 percent of his three-point field goal attempts (17 of 47). Over the course of his career as a Crusader, he has now totaled 560 points, 438 rebounds, 121 assists, 61 steals and 26 blocked shots.
CRUZE PLAYS KEY MINUTES IN THE BACKCOURT: Senior guard Kyle Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.) has developed into a strong player in the Holy Cross backcourt. Through 23 games played this season, Cruze has averaged 6.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. He has been particularly effective over the last eight games, averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds during that time. In the Lafayette game, Cruze totaled 11 points, three rebounds and three assists. Previously against American, he recorded 11 points and a team-best six rebounds. Cruze also played well against Lehigh, posting 13 points and eight rebounds. Some of Cruze's other top games this season have come against Navy (14 points, five rebounds and three assists), St. Joseph's (13 points and six assists), American (10 points, eight rebounds and three steals), Bucknell (10 points, three assists and two rebounds), Hofstra (10 points, two rebounds and two steals), Fairfield (nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Ohio (game-winning shot with 2.6 seconds remaining, while totaling seven points, four assists and three rebounds). During the 2006-2007 season, Cruze started 25 games for the Crusaders, averaging 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest.
ARMY RECAP: Tim Clifford totaled 17 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots, as Holy Cross posted a 64-53 victory over Army at Christl Arena on Feb. 14, 2008. The score stayed close early on, and the Crusaders were up 9-8 with 13:28 left in the first half. Holy Cross then went on a 21-4 run over the next 11 minutes to expand its lead to double figures (30-12). At one time during that stretch, the Black Knights went over eight minutes without scoring a single point. But Army then came back to close out the half with an 11-2 spurt of its own, leaving the Crusaders with a 32-23 lead heading into the locker room, Holy Cross scored the first four points of the second half, but the Black Knights came right back with a 6-0 run to keep things interesting. Army would eventually get as close as four points (47-43) with 6:58 remaining in the game, before the Crusaders regained their form on the offensive end of the court. Holy Cross would outscore Army 9-4 over the next four minutes, to run its lead back to nine points (56-47). The Crusaders then hit all eight of their foul shots in the final three minutes to clinch the victory. Holy Cross shot 55.3 percent from the field on the night (21 of 38), while hitting 80.8 percent of their free throws (21 of 26). The Crusaders also held a 35-19 rebounding advantage over the Black Knights. Alex Vander Baan posted 13 points and seven rebounds for Holy Cross, and Eric Meister added 11 points while making all four of his field goal attempts. Army was led by Jarell Brown with 21 points on nine of 16 shooting.
CRUSADERS REMAIN TOUGH ON DEFENSE: Holy Cross is once again among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2007-2008. In 23 games played this season, the Crusaders have held their opponents to 60.5 points per contest and 41.7 percent shooting from the field. Holy Cross is also outrebounding the opposition by 6.5 boards per game, while forcing 14.5 turnovers per contest. Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Holy Cross has held its opposition to only 58.8 points per contest. In addition, the Crusaders have ranked in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense in five of the last six seasons (sixth in 2001-2002 at 59.6; third in 2002-2003 at 58.7; seventh in 2003-2004 at 58.6; fifth in 2004-2005 at 56.8; and eighth in 2006-2007 at 57.5). Here is a look at Holy Cross' defensive statistics under Ralph Willard.
Season PPG FG% 3FG% SPG BPG 1999-2000 63.3 39.6 31.3 6.5 3.8 2000-2001 62.3 38.2 35.2 6.3 5.2 2001-2002 59.6 42.0 38.5 7.8 3.1 2002-2003 58.7 40.6 33.2 7.9 4.5 2003-2004 58.6 40.3 32.9 10.7 4.5 2004-2005 56.8 38.9 36.3 10.3 5.0 2005-2006 60.5 40.2 30.3 9.1 3.5 2006-2007 57.5 41.4 37.8 9.5 3.6
WILLARD CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE RUN AT HOLY CROSS: Ralph Willard is now in his ninth season as the Crusaders' head coach, and currently owns a mark of 172-99 during his time in Worcester. He now stands in second place on the all-time school list for career victories, behind only George Blaney (357-276 / 1972-1994). Last season, Willard was selected as the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. He was previously named the conference's Coach of the Year during the 2000-2001 and 2004-2005 seasons, and in 2004-2005 he was also one of 10 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. Willard has led the Crusaders to four Patriot League tournament titles and four trips to the NCAA Tournament, during the 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 seasons. He has also guided Holy Cross to four Patriot League regular season championships in 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2006-2007, 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. 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 316-223. Willard is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross, and was a three-year letterwinner for the Crusaders.
THE LAST MEETING WITH BUCKNELL: Tim Clifford scored 16 points, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Bucknell 73-65 at the Hart Center on Jan. 18, 2008. Bucknell started the night hot, jumping out to a 16-7 lead after six minutes of play. Holy Cross responded with a 7-0 run of its own over the next four minutes to make it a 16-14 game. But a few minutes later the Bison used an 11-0 spurt to expand their lead to 13 points. Bucknell eventually took a 33-23 advantage into the locker room. The Bison pushed their lead back to 13 points early in the second half, and were still up 40-30 with 16:41 left to play. The Crusaders would then go on an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to take their first lead since the opening minute of the game, 41-40. Kyle Cruze, Pat Doherty and Adam May all hit three-point field goals during that time, with May's shot putting Holy Cross in front. The game stayed close for the next several minutes, and the score was tied at 46-46 with 9:22 left to play. Bucknell then went on a 10-2 run to go back in front for good, with Justin Castleberry scoring eight of those points. The Crusaders would get no closer than six points the rest of the way, as the Bison eventually posted an eight-point victory. Alex Vander Baan totaled 11 points, five rebounds and three assists for Holy Cross, while Cruze added 10 points and three assists. Castleberry led Bucknell with 22 points, and Jason Vegotsky scored 14 points.
MEISTER RETURNS TO ACTION: Sophomore forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.), who missed 11 games due to injury from Dec. 22-Jan. 30, made his return to the court against Lehigh on Feb. 2. In four games played since his return, Meister has averaged 7.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest, while hitting 73.7 percent (14 of 19) of his field goal attempts. In Thursday's victory at Army, he scored 11 points on four of four shooting from the field. Meister also had a big game against Lehigh, totaling 10 points, a team-high nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Some of Meister's top performances earlier in the season came against Yale (eight points and nine rebounds), Ohio (eight points and six rebounds) and Hofstra (seven points and nine boards). In 12 games played overall this year, Meister is averaging 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest, while hitting 56.4 percent (31 of 55) of his field goal attempts. Last season, he was selected to the Patriot League All-Rookie team, after averaging 3.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as the first big man off the bench for the Crusaders. Meister's top game last season came against Southern Illinois in the NCAA Tournament, when he scored a career-high 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
HOLY CROSS HAS GOOD SUCCESS ON THE BOARDS: The Crusaders have once again shown themselves to be an outstanding rebounding team this year. Holy Cross has been outrebounded only three times in 23 games this season, while averaging 34.1 rebounds per game and outrebounding the opposition by 6.5 boards per contest. The Crusaders have been even more impressive in Patriot League play, outrebounding conference foes by 7.9 boards per game. The rebounding load has been well balanced, with five different players averaging at least 3.6 rebounds per game. Junior forward Alex Vander Baan leads the team with an average of 5.9 rebounds per game, followed by senior center Tim Clifford with 5.4 boards per contest. Sophomore forward Eric Meister has totaled 4.8 rebounds per game, while junior forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) has added 4.2 boards per contest, and senior guard Kyle Cruze has contributed 3.6 rebounds per game. Last season, the Crusaders averaged 32.1 rebounds per game, and outrebounded their opponents by an average of 4.3 boards per game. Holy Cross really stepped things up in Patriot League regular season play last year, outrebounding the opposition by 8.0 boards per game, while allowing opponents to average just 25.2 rebounds per contest. Five different players averaged at least 3.6 boards per contest for Holy Cross in 2006-2007.
DOHERTY TAKES OVER AT THE POINT: Junior guard Pat Doherty (Scranton, Pa.) has taken over as the top point guard for the Crusaders this year, after serving as the first guard off the bench in 2006-2007. He has averaged 7.9 points, 4.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 19 games played this season, despite missing a good deal of time over the last six weeks due to injury. In last Saturday's victory over Lafayette, Doherty recorded six points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, to earn the Martin J. O'Malley Award as the most valuable player of Holy Cross' winter homecoming game. Previously at San Francisco, he posted 16 points and four rebounds, while hitting six of 10 shots from the field. Doherty also had a big day against Boston University, leading the team with a career-high 20 points, in addition to posting three assists and three steals. Some of Doherty's other top performances this season have come against Hofstra (18 points, four assists and three rebounds), Siena (15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals), Ohio (12 points, six assists and three steals) and Fairfield (11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals). In 28 games played last season, Doherty averaged 5.3 points, 2.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest. Doherty returned to the Holy Cross lineup last season, 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. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, he has now totaled 454 points, 224 assists, 149 rebounds and 100 steals.
CUNNINGHAM ENJOYING SOLID SEASON: Junior forward Colin Cunningham has taken over as the starting small forward for Holy Cross this year, and has been one of the Crusaders' top players. In the Navy game, he recorded 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Previously against Lafayette, Cunningham totaled 12 points, a team-high seven rebounds and two steals. Earlier in the season against Boston University, he posted 16 points, four rebounds and three steals, while hitting four of five attempts from three-point range. Some of Cunningham's other top performances this season have come against Fairfield (career-high 17 points, 10 of 10 on the free throw line), Siena (15 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals), Yale (13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, first career double-double), Harvard (13 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals), Ohio (12 points and three rebounds), Hampton (10 points, six rebounds and five assists) and Sacred Heart (10 points and four rebounds). Overall this season, Cunningham is now averaging 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, while hitting 36.2 percent (21 of 58) of his three-point attempts.
CLIFFORD SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINT: Senior center Tim Clifford became the 44th 1,000-point scorer in the history of Holy Cross men's basketball during the Jan. 23 game against Navy. He hit a layup while being fouled at the 3:43-mark of the first half to record the 1,000th point of his collegiate career. Clifford has now scored 1,106 points in 117 games as a Crusader, good for an average of 9.5 points per contest. Last season, Torey Thomas became the 43rd 1,000-point scorer at Holy Cross, netting his 1,000th point against Lehigh on Jan. 26, 2007, when he made a layup at the 11:51-mark of the first half.
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 89th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1262-809 (.609), while making 24 postseason tournament appearances -- 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and 12 to the National Invitation Tournament. In the history of collegiate basketball, Holy Cross is one of only 16 schools to have won the NCAA Tournament (1946-1947) as well as the National Invitational Tournament (1953-1954). Throughout its history, Holy Cross has had six first team All-America selections, sent 10 players to the National Basketball Association, had four players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 23 players drafted by professional teams, had three players go on to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college, including current Crusader coach Ralph Willard.
HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in five statistical categories, through games of February 10. In addition, senior center Tim Clifford stands among the national leaders in field goal percentage and blocked shots, while junior guard Pat Doherty is nationally ranked in assists. The rankings:
Category Rank Player / Team Avg. Scoring Defense 28 Holy Cross 60.9 Rebound Margin 29 Holy Cross +6.0 Blocked Shots 31 Tim Clifford 2.2 Field Goal Percent 54 Tim Clifford 54.9 Field Goal Percent Defense 75 Holy Cross 41.6 Free Throw Percent 75 Holy Cross 71.9 Steals 95 Holy Cross 7.6 Assists 97 Pat Doherty 4.4
HOLY CROSS SHOWS BALANCE ON OFFENSE: The Crusaders graduated the top two scorers off of their 2006-2007 team in Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas, but a number of players have stepped up on the offensive end to make up for those losses. Holy Cross currently has seven players averaging at least 5.7 points per game this season. Senior center Tim Clifford leads the team in scoring at 16.6 points per game, followed by junior forward Alex Vander Baan at 8.6 points per contest. Junior guard Pat Doherty has averaged 7.9 points per game, junior forward Colin Cunningham has added 7.3 points per contest, and senior guard Kyle Cruze is chipping in with 6.0 points per game. In addition, sophomore forward Eric Meister has averaged 5.9 points per contest, and sophomore forward Adam May has added 5.7 points per game.
CRUSADERS KEEP WINNING AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross stands 7-4 at the Hart Center so far this season, and now owns an all-time record of 298-108 in the building. The Crusaders recently had a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center, 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. Last season Holy Cross posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since it moved into the building. During the Hart Center's history, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 28 out of 32 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 15 times. The Crusaders stand 85-16 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 54-9 record against Patriot League foes.
HOLY CROSS IN THE RPI: Holy Cross is currently ranked 134th in the nation in the Ratings Percentage Index, with a rating of .5209 through games of February 14. The Crusaders are the second-highest ranked team in the Patriot League, behind only American (130th, .5239). In addition, Holy Cross' non-conference schedule ranks as the 124th-best in the country, and the hardest in the Patriot League. The Crusaders concluded the 2006-2007 season ranked 59th in the country in the RPI with a rating of .5730. Holy Cross was also ranked 111th in the RPI in 2005-2006 (.5304) and 49th in 2004-2005 (.5657).
SCOUTING THE BISON: Bucknell has an overall record of 10-14 on the season, with a 5-5 mark in the Patriot League. After starting conference play at 4-1, the Bison have lost four of their last five games, including two straight losses at Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell's leading scorer is senior guard John Griffin, who has averaged 13.8 points and 3.0 assists per game. Junior guard Justin Castleberry has added 11.8 points per contest, while sophomore forward Stephen Tyree is chipping in with 7.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Bucknell is led by head coach Pat Flannery, who owns a 232-173 record during his 14 seasons with the Bison. Flannery's career record stands at 327-216, including five years as the head coach at Lebanon Valley College.
HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Once again this season, a number of the Crusaders' basketball contests will be carried by WTAG 580 AM in Worcester. For the 19th 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 fourth 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 18 of the Crusaders' 28 regular season games. All 28 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, will carry a number of games this year.
CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross is currently scheduled to have eight games shown on live television during the 2007-2008 season. The Crusaders had 13 television appearances last year, and 10 television games during both the 2005-2006 and 2004-2005 campaigns. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2007-2008 season:
Date Opponent Television Outlet Jan. 2 Boston University WCTR-TV3 Jan. 8 Maryland Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Jan. 12 Lafayette Lafayette Sports Network Jan. 18 Bucknell ESPNU Feb. 2 Lehigh ESPNU Feb. 16 Bucknell ESPN2 Feb. 27 Colgate WCTR-TV3 Feb. 29 Lehigh ESPNU
CRUSADER ALL-ACCESS: Live video streaming of a number of Holy Cross basketball games will be available over the internet through Crusader All-Access. The package, done in association with College Sports Television Online, is available for a $9.95 monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Crusader All-Access, click here.
DRIBBLES: The Crusaders' 0-4 start in Patriot League play was their worst since 1998-1999, when they opened conference action at 0-5 ... Holy Cross' five-game losing streak from Jan. 8-23 was its longest since the 1998-1999 season, when it had losing streaks of five games and six games ... The Crusaders' 39 points against Army on Jan. 16 were the team's fewest ever for a game played at the Hart Center. The previous low came in a 46-42 loss to Colgate on Jan. 16, 2002 ... With the victory at San Francisco, Holy Cross improved to 1-1 on the season in overtime games. The Crusaders now stand 11-3 in overtime contests under Ralph Willard ... Senior center Tim Clifford and senior guard Kyle Cruze are serving as the Crusaders' captains for the 2007-2008 season, while junior guard Pat Doherty and junior forward Alex Vander Baan are co-captains ... Holy Cross was picked to finish first in this year's Patriot League preseason poll ... Senior center Tim Clifford was named this season's Patriot League preseason Player of the Year, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors ... With the victory over Hofstra on Nov. 10, the Crusaders improved to 64-25 all-time in their opening game of the season, including a 7-2 mark under Ralph Willard.