February 24, 2011

Three Is The Magic Number

By Matt Dougherty
Patriot League Media Relations Director

Shooting a three-pointer is supposed to be a difficult task, but don't tell that to Andrew Beinert. The Holy Cross senior holds one of the top three-point percentages in Patriot League history, and is among the active leaders in three-pointers made.

"I've been working on my jump shot ever since I can remember," Beinert said. "I worked on it with my father when I was young and then just wanted to keep progressing and always shooting. It's just part of my game that I really worked on and it always has been and always will be."

Despite his success from beyond the arc, Beinert has served as the point guard throughout most of his tenure at Holy Cross. He became the 31st player in Patriot League history with 300 career assists on Feb. 5 at Lafayette.

"Just because I've been playing it so much I feel comfortable as the point guard," Beinert said. "Whatever my team needs me to do I'll do it, but I feel good at that position."

While Beinert has succeeded at the three-point line, there's another "three" in his career that has posed a greater challenge. Beinert and the rest of the upperclassmen at Holy Cross are on their third coach in as many seasons. Ten-year head coach Ralph Willard left for Louisville after the Crusaders made it to the Patriot League Championship game in 2009, while his replacement, Sean Kearney, lasted just one year in the position. Now, Milan Brown is in his first year at the helm after coming over from Mount St. Mary's.

"There's no doubt that it's been a difficult situation," Beinert said. "We've heard different outlooks and different theories to the game in the past three years, but Coach Brown came in and set rules that we could play by. He made a great transition and we had a tough start but we've been getting better every game, and it's just been a great experience."

With the coaching changes, Beinert's role as a senior leader became magnified on the 2010-11 Crusaders. And that duty became even more important when significant players dealt with injuries and new contributors were called upon.

"Just being a leader is a very important role to me. I just wanted to help each guy understand his role on the team and to use that to play to the best of their ability."

He added, "We would do anything for each other. We've been through a lot but we'll always be together and always fight for each other."

Beinert will carry that role through the Patriot League Tournament, where he hopes to claim the ultimate prize after advancing to the title game as a sophomore in 2009 and the semifinals last season. Then, the sociology major will turn his attention towards what will come after he graduates from Holy Cross in the spring.

"I'm playing it by ear right now, just focused on winning the Patriot League Championship and after that I'll see whether I want to go play in Europe, go into the business world or continue in school."

Three options. His track record says Beinert will be successful with that number.

This story appears in the 2011 Patriot League Tournament program, which will be available for purchase at host sites for both the men and women's tournaments.