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2013-14 Patriot League Post-Mortem

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

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In a crucial year, Holy Cross has some potential

by - Published November 3, 2013 in Columns
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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
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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
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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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Holy Cross could use some production on the wing

by - Published December 30, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
holycross

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – For much of the first half on Saturday, Holy Cross stayed with Boston College and led at times. The Crusaders had something to do with Boston College’s offense not looking good for most of the first ten minutes, although BC also looked like a team that had not played in a week and had a few days off from practice. But in the second half, Boston College was the more aggressive team and also shut down the Crusader offense for a big stretch, and in the 70-60 loss to the Eagles, some of Holy Cross’ offensive issues were there to see along with some hope.

Holy Cross isn’t without room for improvement defensively, and that was where Milan Brown got started after the game. In particular, the Crusader mentor noted that they knew how Boston College plays but didn’t defend quite according to the game plan, which was to make sure that BC would shoot more than drive to the basket and create. The Eagles were able to do that, however, and it was a key component of the win.

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Exhibition loss could be a blessing in disguise for Holy Cross

by - Published November 5, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – Sunday’s 71-63 loss to neighboring Assumption College was certainly not what Milan Brown wanted. But regardless of the result, the Holy Cross mentor, now in his third season at the school, was surely going to come away knowing his team had a good deal of work ahead.

“We knew there were some holes that we needed to fill,” said Brown after Sunday’s game. “I’m hoping that this is a blessing in disguise for us.”

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Quick Hitters – January 21, 2012

by - Published January 21, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Quick hitters as we head into a busy Saturday:

 

  • If there was any doubt as to the value of a point guard, look no further than Boston University and floor leader D.J. Irving. There are a few reasons the Terriers have now won five games in a row and is tied with Stony Brook (who they beat last Saturday) atop the America East Conference, but Irving’s return to health following a concussion last month is chief among them. That was readily apparent to one opposing coach, who thinks he’s the Terriers’ best player.

    “I think they’re at their best when the ball is in his hands and getting guys shots,” said Albany head coach Will Brown.

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Holy Cross may be turning a corner after pulling out a close one

by - Published December 4, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross may have conquered a demon in Saturday night’s 62-57 win over New Hampshire. The Crusaders appeared to have the game locked up in the final minute, leading by ten, but they allowed the Wildcats a couple of extra chances that suddenly made it a ballgame. A year ago, they might have ultimately blown this game, but the Crusaders pulled it out by doing just enough late.

 

The Crusaders led 60-50 with 38 seconds left after two free throws by Justin Burrell. The game was all but in hand at that point, especially since the Crusaders fought back rallies all night long. Then two missed free throws and two missed turnovers, one in their own end, helped New Hampshire suddenly get within 60-57. Burrell then sank two more free throws to finally seal the game and get the Crusaders over the hump.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

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