WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross head men's basketball coach Milan Brown announced today that four student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play for the Crusaders. Malachi Alexander (Bowie, Md.), Riley Criswell (Carrollton, Ga.), Matt Husek (Stewartsville, N.J.) and Anthony Thompson (Potomac, Md.) will join the Holy Cross program in the fall of 2013.
"We are excited about adding these four young men into our basketball family," said Brown. "I think this recruiting class is a talented, basketball savvy group. I love the fact that they all come from very good high school and AAU programs."
Alexander is a 6-foot-7, 195-pound forward, who plays for head coach Brendan O'Connell at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md. A preseason fourth team All-State selection by MarylandHoops.net, he averaged 9.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game last year while helping lead his team to an overall record of 22-5. Roosevelt advanced to the state finals in 2012, with Alexander posting 11 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game. He also played AAU ball for Team Takeover.
Brown on Alexander: "Malachi is a versatile player. He will be a small forward but we can slide him to the power forward position if we need him there. He has a chance to be an excellent wing defender because of his length, athletic ability and toughness. On the offensive end, he possesses the ability to slash to the basket off the dribble as well as score in the post. Once he gets a consistent three-point shot, I think his game will jump to another level."
Criswell is a 6-foot-7, 175-pound guard / forward, who plays for his father, head coach Tim Criswell at Carrollton High School in Carrollton, Ga. He averaged 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game last sason, while hitting 52.0 percent of his field goals and 40.0 percent of his three-pointers. Selected as the Carroll County Times-Georgian Newcomer of the Year as a junior, Criswell helped lead his team to the Region 6-AAA tournament title. He also played AAU ball for the Atlanta All-Stars.
Brown on Criswell: "Riley is a long, skilled wing player. He has the ability to score using screens, posting up, knocking down threes or with offensive rebounding. His father is his high school coach and he plays like it. He has a great basketball IQ and we love that he will be a legit 6'7" guard. Once his strength catches up to his skill level, that is when he will be able to show how good he really is."
Husek is a 6-foot-11, 240-pound center, who plays for head coach Mike Frew at Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem, Pa. During his junior season, he averaged 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game. Husek played AAU ball for the New Jersey Cyclones.
Brown on Husek: "Matt is a big, skilled post player. He can knock down shots from 15 to 17 feet and already has a decent awareness of how to score in the low post. He has no problem being physical and he runs the floor very well for a player his size. We think he also has the ability to help us on the defensive end because he is going to contest shots at the rim. In time, I think Matt will be a post player we can count on to score for us inside and out."
Thompson is a 5-foot-10, 150-pound point guard, who plays for head coach Bruce Kelly at the Bullis School in Potomac, Md. He averaged 12.0 points and 4.4 assists per game as a junior, while helping lead his team to an overall record of 24-3. Bullis also won the IAC tournament championship, with Thompson scoring 16 points in the title game. He also played AAU ball for Team Takeover.
Brown on Thompson: "Anthony has a good understanding of how to be a point guard. He is quick, smart and has a very good stroke from three-point range. His biggest asset may be his ability to pressure the ball. He can really make the opponent work to bring the ball up the floor. Anthony will allow us to continue to push the ball up the floor because of his speed. His heart is as big as his chest and you need that if you are going to be a good point guard."
|HOLY CROSS MEN'S BASKETBALL LETTER OF INTENT SIGNEES|
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown / High School|
|Malachi Alexander||F||6-7||195||Bowie, Md. / Eleanor Roosevelt|
|Riley Criswell||G/F||6-7||175||Carrollton, Ga. / Carrollton|
|Matt Husek||C||6-11||240||Stewartsville, N.J. / Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic|
|Anthony Thompson||G||5-10||150||Potomac, Md. / Bullis|