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The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 4, 2014

by - Published December 4, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

This introduction was going to be about one of the most anticipated games of the year so far, as Duke and Wisconsin squared off in a battle between top 5 teams, Final Four contenders and legendary coaches. That changed after midnight here in the Central time zone after watching Wichita State face Utah in what was maybe the second-most anticipated game-of at least the night, anyway.

The Utes picked up a signature non-conference win, edging the Shockers 69-68 in overtime. It’s a huge win for Utah, but if someone happened to turn this off late in the second half, they should know the win came far tougher for Utah than it may have looked late in regulation.
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Season opener a big boost for Holy Cross as they keep growing

by - Published November 17, 2014 in Columns
holycross

BOSTON – The Holy Cross players have believed in what Milan Brown and his staff are trying to do. The buy-in has been there and the team has grown in part by believing in the process and the game plan every time out. The gains have been incremental, with some good wins along the way, but there’s nothing like a big win to really drive it home and make them believe in it that much more.

The Crusaders got that with a 58-57 win over Harvard on Sunday, and in a game that showed how much they have grown up.

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The Morning Dish – Monday November 17, 2014

by - Published November 17, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

There will be plenty of chatter about Kentucky this season; in fact, there already has been. That will always be the case, as Kentucky will be relevant whether they win a national championship or have a losing record. Ever since several players decided to pass on early entry to the NBA Draft last spring, the hyperbole surrounding this team has been non-stop given the talent they have. And on Sunday, that was demonstrated even more.

Buffalo led Kentucky at halftime 38-33. The Bulls didn’t succumb to an early run, either, as Kentucky scored the first nine points of the second half only to see Buffalo rally to regain the lead. The Wildcats eventually won going away, but that’s not the big headline to take out of this game.

A lot of people are talking about how John Calipari didn’t go with a platoon in the second half. The talk is that he’s already abandoned it. The reality, of course, is a bit more complicated.

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Holy Cross is trying to take the next step

by - Published November 8, 2014 in Columns
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – Milan Brown says the mantra for Holy Cross is “Take the next step.” Since he arrived on campus, the program has taken many steps to get to where they are now, entering the season as Patriot League contenders once again.

It’s been a long road back to this point.

When Brown took over in 2010 following a one-year stint for Sean Kearney, the program was a far cry from what it was at the beginning of the century. At that time, Holy Cross and Bucknell ruled the Patriot League, with the Crusaders going on a roll first. But as Ralph Willard’s tenure came to a conclusion, the rest of the league was getting better and made up a lot of ground.

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2013-14 Patriot League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 15, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
patriotleague

Times are good in the Patriot League right now. The league just completed its first season with ten schools, and not only was it a success overall but there is plenty of reason to like what is ahead. The early verdict on the league’s expansion is that it is definitely a net plus.

Three teams saw postseason play, and all three had at least 20 wins. That marked the third time in league history that happened, with the previous instance being two years earlier. This season didn’t top that one overall, as that year two teams topped Boston University’s 24-win mark this season and both of those teams won a game in their postseason tournament, but there is reason to believe that the best is yet to come.

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For Holy Cross, the mentality makes a big difference

by - Published January 22, 2014 in Columns
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – It’s all about the mentality at Holy Cross of late. The last week has seen two good wins and the team play good basketball to get there, and with it a commensurate confidence boost. While there’s still a hill to climb, the Crusaders look to be in a good place in terms of how they are going about everything.

Holy Cross has had to deal with injuries, and while they haven’t had to as much as some teams have, they have had to adjust a good deal along the way. They had to go without Cullen Hamilton early on due to a knee injury, and just when he appeared to be coming into his own he then came back and aggravated it. They had to shut him down for a stretch so he can heal enough to play the rest of the season.

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Holy Cross Crusaders 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2013 in Conference Notes
holycross

Holy Cross Crusaders (12-18 overall, 4-10 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Justin Burrell
So. G Cullen Hamilton
Jr. F Malcolm Miller
Jr. F Taylor Abt
Sr. F-C Dave Dudzinski

Important departures:

Among starters, F Phil Beans (9.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and G-F Jordan Stevens (5.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg) are gone, and F Eric Obeysekere (4.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and G Dee Goens (2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg) have also departed.

Returning:

68 percent of scoring and 66.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Malachi Alexander
Fr. G-F Robert Champion
So. F Riley Criswell
So. G-F Eric Green
Fr. C Matt Husek
Fr. G Anthony Thompson

Schedule Highlights:

The non-league slate will be a tough one, especially with just three home games. They also open against Harvard at the Boston Garden. They play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at North Carolina and Fairfield before two games at Mohegan Sun Arena, the first of which is against Belmont. Later, they close the slate at Michigan. They open and close Patriot League play with Boston University, and in between they have corresponding road-heavy and home-heavy portions, though five of the last seven are at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Year four under Milan Brown has arrived, and it’s a crucial one for this program from a progress standpoint. Holy Cross has just one senior in Dudzinski, but the sophomores and juniors are the key to where they are headed. Burrell will have the keys to the offense again, and while he shot the ball better from deep and was second in scoring, his turnovers were up from his freshman year. Hamilton looks like more of a complete player, which should help him shoot better than he did last year. Thompson will be the primary backup at the point and at times play with Burrell for a quick lineup, and his competitive motor will energize the second unit. Green sat out last year but is ready to go after being one of their best players in practice and could play as a third guard as well. Up front, Abt and Alexander will be the main complements to Dudzinski, while Christopher Morgan started some games late last year but is not as good as the other two. They like Husek’s potential, but he isn’t physically ready to play significant minutes. Miller is the team’s X-factor on the wing, and while Alexander may see time there Champion could be in the mix as well. While Holy Cross could still stand to improve defensively, they were a solid bottom-half team at the offensive end last season in shooting and turnovers, and as a result scoring suffered. If the offense gets better and they at least maintain their defensive performance from last season, they can move up in the standings.

Next: Lafayette Leopards

Back to Patriot League Preview

In a crucial year, Holy Cross has some potential

by - Published November 3, 2013 in Columns
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – The fourth season for a head coach at a program that was not winning when he took over is often a very crucial one, if not a do-or-die season for his tenure. Milan Brown is now in that year at Holy Cross, and while no one thinks he’s in any danger if the Crusaders don’t win this year, the team’s personnel is such that this year will tell a lot about where they are headed.

Holy Cross isn’t lacking talent or experience, although they have less of the latter since senior big man Dave Dudzinski is the only senior on the team. They return over two-thirds of their scoring and rebounding from last season. In addition, it’s a team full of his players as no one currently in the program played for a prior coach at the school. The classes that will determine where this team goes are largely the junior and sophomore classes, all of whom have pretty good experience for where they are in college and thus need to show good growth.

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Quick Hitters – September 29, 2013

by - Published September 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

It’s a great time of the year. Prep school visits are winding down and college teams have started practice, signs that the season isn’t far away. Also, college schedules are finally coming out, with a few more game times to be determined due to television.

Before getting back to some of the final prep school visits, here are some quick hitters from around college basketball.

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Holy Cross hopes end to losing streak is the start of something better

by - Published February 13, 2013 in Columns
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross needed a win, simply put.  They came into Tuesday night having lost five in a row.  But more than that, they could have used a good, convincing win, especially since they at one point looked like they might have a chance at just that.  They’ll be content with their 66-57 win over Navy, but not content with how they had to hang on at the end.

“You definitely would rather win ugly than lose pretty,” said sophomore guard Justin Burrell.  “We’re definitely not content with the way we played in the second half.  We talked about some of the mistakes that we made.  We’re not satisfied with our play, so we’re going to continue to build off of that with these couple of days that we have in practice, and hopefully we can get better.”

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Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

Saturday Notes – January 10, 2015

January 11, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Conference play is now in full swing, and on Saturday we saw a number of games tell us something about teams and conferences in the early going. In that respect, one conference appears to be standing out right now.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.