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Holy Cross Basketball Season Preview

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

 

Head Coach Milan Brown and the Holy Cross Crusaders come into the 2014-2015 season looking to take the next step after having success in 2013-14. Last season the Crusaders won 20 games for the first time since 2006-2007 and finished third in the Patriot League. That got them an invitation to the Collegeinsider.com postseason tournament where they defeated Brown University in the first round. That win was their first in a national postseason tournament since 2004-2005.

"Hopefully, we can continue to build on the success from last year. But at the same time, we understand that last year was last year and we have to make new memories this year," said Head Coach Milan Brown about building off of last season's success. 

This season the Crusaders return with a veteran line up and good depth at just about every position. They were picked to finish third in the preseason polls but with the group the Crusaders have, they will be expecting to finish higher.

"It gives us more of a comfort level with each other. A better understanding of what we have to do on a day to day basis," Brown said about the veteran group he has coming back. 

The Crusaders tip off their season on Sunday evening at the TD Garden against IVY League Power #24 Harvard. 

Guards

The Crusaders will be led at the guard position by senior Justin Burrell who last year averaged nine points and 2.4 assists per game, playing and starting in 31 games last season. Burrell can hit jump shots and create plays off the dribble either for himself or his teammates. With his speed, Burrell is a very good defender especially when it comes to pressuring the ball.

One of the players competing for a spot next to Burrell will be junior Cullen Hamilton. Hamilton will be looking to bounce back from last years injury plagued season where he missed 16 games. In the 18 games that he did play, he averaged eight points per game and shot just over 36% from three-point land. Hamilton can make plays off the dribble and with his size, he can help rebound the ball.

Sophomore Anthony Thompson will look to crack the starting line up this season after starting in 21 of the 32 games he played last year as a freshman. Thompson averaged 9.4 points and 2.5 assists per game last season and shot 41% from behind the three-point line. Thompson is a good defender that can pressure the ball and come up with steals as he averaged just under one steal per game last year.

Forwards

Malcolm Miller is the leader of the Holy Cross Crusaders and comes into his senior season after a tremendous junior season and because of that, he was named to the preseason All-Patriot League team. Last year, Miller started all 34 games and averaged 11 points and just under six rebounds per game. Miller can shoot the three ball, last season shooting over 40% from behind the arc which makes him tougher to guard.

Miller is a big defensive presence as well for the Crusaders, ranking second in the Patriot League in blocked shots last season. His 95 career blocks is good enough for eighth best all-time at Holy Cross. 

"I'm extremely proud of his growth, hopefully he takes another step this year and acts like a first team all-conference player," Brown said about Miller's rise through the program. "He helps us in style of play, his length and athleticism allows us to do different things on the court, both offensively and defensively," the coach added.

Junior Eric Green, who last season started in 27 of the 34 games for the Crusaders, and averaged eight points and four rebounds per game. Green is a very good perimeter defender, last year averaging 1.7 steals per game and finishing fifth in the Patriot League in steals. With his size, Eric Green can play either the guard or forward position, giving coach Brown some options with his line up depending on match ups.  

Taylor Abt, a 6'8" senior, will look to break into the starting line up this season after starting in 14 games last year for the Crusaders. He is a big man that can run the floor but also can make jump shots. Last season, he averaged 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He will look to improve on those numbers this season. 

For a full look at the Crusaders roster, click here. 

The Schedule

Holy Cross opens their season playing in the Coaches vs. Cancer triple-header at the TD Garden against #24 Harvard on Sunday, November 16th at 5:30 p.m. before hosting Brown and Nichols College. Coach Brown has also gone out and set some challenges for the team as the Crusaders will pay a visit to Syracuse and Pittsburgh, two games that should have them ready for conference play.

"We have a chance to challenge ourselves against one of the best teams in the country," Brown said about playing #24 Harvard in the first game of the season. 

Click here to see the full schedule. 

The Crusaders have high expectations this season and they will look to accomplish them starting on Sunday evening.  

 

Related Slideshow: Projected Holy Cross Starting Line Up 2014-2015

The Holy Cross men's basketball season is upon us. Here is the projected 2014-2015 starting line up for the Crusaders who are coached by Milan Brown and on the court will be led by Malcolm Miller.  

Prev Next

Guard- Justin Burrell

Justin Burrell is a 5'9" senior guard who last season played in 31 games for the Crusaders and started all of them. He averaged 8.9 points and 2.4 assists per game last season while playing tremendous defense. 

Burrell is a quick player who handles the ball and can make open shots and can create off the dribble, Burrell will return to the starting line up this season for the Crusaders. 

Prev Next

Guard- Anthony Thompson

Sophomore Anthony Thompson started 21 of the 34 games last season for the Crusaders and averaged 9.4 points and 2.5 assists per game. The 5'10" Thompson can hit shots from beyond the arc, last season shooting 41% from three-point land. 

Thompson is also a good defender and like Burrell, can pressure the ball, averaging just under one steal per game. 

Prev Next

Guard/Forward- Eric Green

Eric Green, a 6'4" Junior, can play both the guard and forward position giving Coach Brown some line up options, making the Crusaders more versatile. Green started 27 of the 34 games last season for the Crusaders. 

Eric Green averaged just under eight points and four rebounds per game. He is also a great perimeter defender, last season he ranked fifth in the Patriot League in steals.

Prev Next

Forward- Malcolm Miller

Senior Malcolm Miller is the leader of this Holy Cross team and returns for his final season after a great year last year. The 6'7" Miller averaged 11 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season earning preseason All-Patriot League team honors.

Miller is great offensively but is just as much of a force on the defensive end. Last season, he ranked second in the Patriot League in blocked shots and has 95 blocks in his career, eighth best all time at Holy Cross. 

Prev Next

Forward- Taylor Abt

Taylor Abt, a 6'8" senior, will add height and rebounding to the Holy Cross starting line up. Last season, Abt averaged 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game and will look to improve on those numbers.

Abt will also help on the defensive end as last year he led the team in blocks four times and steals once.  

Prev Next

6th man- Cullen Hamilton

Cullen Hamilton is a 6'2" Junior who last season missed 16 games because of injury. In the 18 games that he played, he averaged eight points per game and shot 36% from beyond the arc. 

Hamilton is a good scorer who can make plays off the dribble and will look to bounce back from last years injury plagued season. 

 
 

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