July 24, 2008
WORCESTER, Mass. - Heading into the 2008-2009 season, the Holy Cross men's basketball team looks to return to its place as one of the top teams in the Patriot League. The Crusaders are coming off an injury-plagued campaign, in which three of the team's top seven scorers all missed significant action. But Holy Cross does return three starters, and 10 out of 12 players who saw action in at least 10 games last season. With the addition of two talented freshmen, the Crusaders have the ingredients necessary to return to the upper echelon of the conference.
Holy Cross is coming off a 2007-2008 campaign in which it posted an overall mark of 15-14, good for its seventh winning record in the last eight years. But injuries caught up to the Crusaders in the second half of the season, and the team finished with a losing record in the Patriot League (5-9) for the first time since 1999-2000.
Holy Cross did continue to impress with its defensive play last year, ranking 16th in the nation in scoring defense (60.5 points per game), 26th in rebound margin (+5.6 rebounds per game) and 47th in field goal percentage defense (41.0 percent). The Crusaders also led the Patriot League in scoring defense, rebounding margin, field goal percentage defense and blocked shots (3.9 blocks per game).
If Holy Cross can avoid key injuries this season, expect the Crusaders to be among the Patriot League's best, and in contention for a postseason tournament bid in March.