Holy Cross Returns To Action At Michigan

Justin Burrell

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Teams: Holy Cross (6-5, 0-0 PL) vs. Michigan (7-4, 0-0 Big Ten)
Date: December 28, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Crisler Center (12,707), Ann Arbor, Mich.
Big Ten Network Television: Eric Collins, play-by-play; Stephen Bardo, color
Holy Cross Radio: WNEB 1230 AM, Worcester; Dick Lutsk, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Gametracker
Series Record: Michigan leads, 2-1
Last Meeting: Michigan 100, Holy Cross 63 (Dec. 29, 1988; Utah Classic, Salt Lake City, Utah)

Pos., No., Name, Ht., Wt., Cl.
F, 13, Malcolm Miller, 6-7, 210, Jr.
F, 43, Taylor Abt, 6-8, 225, Jr.
C, 50, Dave Dudzinski, 6-9, 227, Sr.
G, 3, Justin Burrell, 5-9, 165, Jr.
G, 24, Eric Green, 6-4, 191, So.

CRUSADERS SET TO CONCLUDE NON-CONFERENCE PLAY: Holy Cross will play its final non-league game of the season, when it travels to Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 28, for a 6:30 p.m. game on the Big Ten Network. After the beginning of the new year, the Crusaders will open up Patriot League play at Boston University on Thursday, Jan. 2 (7:00 p.m.). Holy Cross then returns to the Hart Center for a contest against American on Sunday, Jan. 5 (1:00 p.m.).

THE SERIES WITH MICHIGAN: This will be only the third meeting between the Crusaders and the Wolverines on the hardwood, with Michigan leading the all-time series 2-1. The schools last played on Dec. 29, 1988, when the No. 2-ranked Wolverines posted a 100-63 victory in the consolation game of the Utah Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously, No. 1-ranked Michigan earned a 92-81 win on March 13, 1977, during the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Bloomington, Ind. The teams first met on March 18, 1948, when Holy Cross won 63-45 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

Overall: Michigan leads, 2-1
In Ann Arbor: First Meeting
At the Crisler Center: First Meeting
Milan Brown vs. Michigan: 0-0
John Beilein vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Current Win Streak: Michigan, two games

HOLY CROSS AGAINST THE BIG TEN: The Crusaders have an all-time record of 4-11 against the 12 schools which currently compete in the Big Ten Conference. Holy Cross stands 0-1 against Indiana, 0-1 vs. Iowa, 1-2 against Michigan, 1-1 vs. Michigan State, 0-1 against Minnesota, 1-1 vs. Northwestern, 0-3 against Ohio State and 1-1 vs. Penn State. The Crusaders have lost their last four games against Big Ten foes, since defeating Northwestern 83-78 on Dec. 21, 1992.

MILLER MAKES PRESENCE FELT ON THE WING: Junior forward Malcolm Miller (Laytonsville, Md.) has been one of the top perimeter players for the Crusaders in 2013-2014. In 11 games played this season, Miller is averaging 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. In the victory over New Jersey Tech, he led the team with 18 points, nine rebounds, a career-high seven blocks and three assists. Previously against Canisius, Miller recorded 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. He also played well at Hartford, scoring 18 points while hitting six of seven field goal attempts and four of five shots from three-point range. A few of Miller's other top games this year have been against Hartford (nine points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals), against Harvard (eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks), against Belmont (eight points, four steals, two blocks), against Albany (eight points, three assists, two blocks) and against Sacred Heart (eight points, three rebounds). In 2012-2013, Miller averaged 5.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks per contest. Some of his top games a year ago came at Navy (13 points, career-high 13 rebounds, first career double-double), against American (career-high 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks, two steals) and at Boston College (13 points, four rebounds, two steals). As a freshman in 2011-2012, Miller averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 312 points, 240 rebounds, 80 assists, 51 blocked shots and 36 steals.

GREEN MOVES INTO STARTING LINEUP: Sophomore guard Eric Green (Mountain House, Calif.) has taken over as a starter in the Crusader backcourt this season. In 11 games played, he is averaging 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. During the victory over New Jersey Tech, Green recorded 15 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds. Previously at Hartford, he totaled 12 points, three assists and three steals. A few of Green's other top performances this season have come in the first meeting with Hartford (career-high 18 points, six rebounds, five steals) and against Sacred Heart (10 points, five rebounds, five assists).

DUDZINSKI PLAYS BIG IN THE POST: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) is once again a key player for the Crusaders in the low post this season, after being named second team All-Patriot League a year ago. In 11 games played, he is averaging 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks per game, while hitting 50.4 percent of his field goal attempts (66 of 131) and 80.4 percent of his free throws (45 of 56). During the New Jersey Tech game, Dudzinski recorded 14 points and six rebounds. Previously against Canisius, he posted his sixth career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Dudzinski also played well at Hartford, totaling 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists. A few of his other top performances this season have come against Sacred Heart (26 points, career-high tying 15 rebounds, three steals, two assists, two blocks), against Harvard (25 points, six rebounds, three steals), against Albany (22 points, seven rebounds), against Hartford (18 points, nine rebounds), at New Hampshire (17 points, eight rebounds), against Belmont (15 points, five rebounds) and at North Carolina (11 points, five rebounds). Last year, Dudzinski averaged a team-best 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest, while connecting on 48.3 percent (166 of 344) of his field goals and 81.7 percent (107 of 131) of his free throws. He scored a career-high 31 points at San Francisco last season, then matched that mark with 31 points in last year's game with Columbia. During the 2011-2012 campaign, Dudzinski averaged 9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, while making 48.7 percent (97 of 199) of his field goal attempts and 83.1 percent of his free throws (69 of 83). Over the course of his collegiate career, Dudzinski has now totaled 1,041 points, 531 rebounds and 74 blocked shots, while connecting on 49.5 percent (380 of 767) of his field goals and 80.1 percent (237 of 296) of his free throws.

DUDZINSKI NETS 1,000TH POINT: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski became the 47th 1,000-point scorer in the history of Holy Cross men's basketball on Dec. 7 at Hartford. He hit a turnaround jumper at the 4:27-mark of the first half to record the 1,000th point of his collegiate career. Dudzinski has now scored 1,041 points in 97 games as a Crusader, good for an average of 10.7 points per contest.

NEW JERSEY TECH RECAP: Malcolm Miller totaled 18 points, nine rebounds, seven blocked shots and three assists, to lead Holy Cross to a 74-55 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology at the Fleisher Athletic Center on Dec. 21, 2013. Miller tied his career high for points scored, while setting a new career high for blocked shots and a season high for rebounds. Eric Green finished the game with 15 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds, while Dave Dudzinski recorded 14 points and six rebounds. New Jersey Tech was led by Terrence Smith, who posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The game was close throughout the majority of the first half, as neither team led by more than three points for the first 19 minutes of play. The Highlanders held a narrow 23-21 lead with three minutes left before the break, when the Crusaders scored 11 straight points to take a 32-23 advantage into the locker room. Holy Cross came out on fire to start the second half, hitting its first four shots while scoring the next 12 points to cap a 23-0 run and make the score 44-23. The Crusaders would maintain a comfortable lead for the next several minutes, and led 57-40 with 7:50 remaining in regulation. New Jersey Tech then used a 9-1 spurt to cut the margin to single digits (58-49) with five minutes to go. But Miller knocked down three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt with 4:19 left on the clock, and Holy Cross would lead by double-digits the rest of the way. The Crusaders shot 41.5 percent (22 of 53) from the field and 36.4 percent (eight of 22) from three-point range on the day, while holding the Highlanders to 30.0 percent (18 of 60) shooting overall and 14.3 percent (two of 14) from beyond the arc.

BURRELL LEADS HOLY CROSS FROM THE POINT: Junior Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) is in his third season as Holy Cross' starting point guard. In eight games played this year, he has averaged 6.8 points, 2.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds per contest, while hitting 41.2 percent (seven of 17) of his three-point attempts and 78.6 percent (11 of 14) of his free throws. During the victory over New Jersey Tech, Burrell recorded eight points, three rebounds and two assists. Previously against Canisius, he totaled 11 points and two assists. A few of Burrell's other top games this season have been against Sacred Heart (nine points, eight assists), at North Carolina (nine points, two rebounds), against Harvard (eight points, four assists) and against Hartford (seven points, two assists). Last year, he averaged 12.1 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest, while hitting 91.3 percent (63 of 69) of his free throws. Burrell totaled a career-high 30 points, five assists and three rebounds during last year's victory at Sacred Heart, while recording 29 points, four assists and three rebounds in the win over Columbia. A few of his other top games last season came against Dartmouth (19 points, four assists), against Lafayette (19 points, six assists, two steals), against Yale (17 points, three assists, two rebounds) and against Texas-San Antonio (17 points, three rebounds, two steals). Burrell previously earned Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors in 2011-2012, after averaging 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per contest, and hitting 77.4 percent (65 of 84) of his free throw attempts. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Burrell has now totaled 630 points, 239 assists, 129 rebounds and 38 steals, while making 83.2 percent (139 of 167) of his free throws.

ALEXANDER STEPS INTO PROMINENT ROLE: Freshman forward Malachi Alexander (Bowie, Md.) has been a key player for the Crusaders down low this season. He currently ranks third on the team with an average of 10.1 points per game, and stands second with an average of 4.6 rebounds per contest. During the victory over Albany, Alexander recorded 10 points and four rebounds. Previously against Hartford, he totaled 13 points and seven rebounds. Earlier in the season, Alexander posted his first career double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds in the victory over Sacred Heart. A few of his other top performances this year have come against Fairfield (13 points, five rebounds) and North Carolina (13 points, five rebounds). Alexander came to Holy Cross from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., where he led the team to an overall record of 27-1 and the Maryland Class 4A state championship as a senior.

HOLY CROSS NAMES CAPTAINS: Junior guard Justin Burrell and senior forward Dave Dudzinski have been selected as the Crusaders' captains for the 2013-2014 season. Both Burrell and Dudzinski were also among Holy Cross' leaders during the 2012-2013 season, serving as tri-captains along with Phil Beans.

THE LAST MEETING WITH MICHIGAN: Michigan's Glen Rice scored a game-high 28 points, to lead the No. 2-ranked Wolverines to a 100-63 victory over Holy Cross in the consolation game of the Utah Classic at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Dec. 29, 1988. The game was close early on, and the Crusaders held a 13-10 lead with 13:53 remaining in the first half. Michigan then went on a 22-2 run over the next 9:14 to take control. Mark Hughes scored eight points during that spurt, while Rumeal Robinson added five points. The Wolverines would eventually lead by 21 points late in the half, before taking a 43-25 advantage into the locker room. Michigan went on to expand its lead to 29 points (61-32) with 13:56 left in regulation, and Holy Cross would get no closer than 25 points the rest of the way. Grant Evans led the Crusaders with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Dwight Pernell added 12 points and four boards. Hughes finished with 21 points and six rebounds for the Wolverines. Michigan shot 51.4 percent from the field and 71.0 percent at the free throw line, while holding a 48-33 advantage on the glass.

THOMPSON PLAYING KEY MINUTES: Freshman guard Anthony Thompson (Glenn Dale, Md.) has become a key part of the Holy Cross backcourt this year, but missed the New Jersey Tech game due to injury. He is currently averaging 9.0 points, 2.8 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game, while hitting 76.8 percent (43 of 56) of his free throws. During the victory at New Hampshire, Thompson posted career highs of 17 points and five rebounds, while hitting all 10 of his free throw attempts. Previously against Belmont, he recorded 15 points, four assists and two steals, and knocked down four of five attempts from three-point range. Thompson also had a big game earlier in the year against Sacred Heart, totaling 10 points and two steals. Last season, he was named the Montgomery County Player of the Year for the Bullis School in Potomac, Md.

BROWN NOW IN FOURTH YEAR WITH CRUSADERS: Milan Brown is in his fourth season as the head coach at Holy Cross in 2013-2014, with an overall record of 41-58 and a 20-22 mark in Patriot League regular season games. With the win over Army on Feb. 9, 2011, he recorded the 100th victory of his collegiate head coaching career. Brown's overall career record now stands at 136-178 (.433). The 16th head coach in the history of the program, he came to Holy Cross after spending the previous seven seasons as head coach at Mount St. Mary's. During his final three years at Mount St. Mary's, Brown led the Mountaineers to three straight winning seasons and a pair of postseason appearances. His teams posted a 54-44 record (.551) during those three years, including a 35-19 mark (.648) in Northeast Conference play. During the 2007-2008 campaign, Brown led Mount St. Mary's to the first NCAA Division I Tournament victory in school history (69-60 over Coppin State).

CRUSADERS KNOCK DOWN FREE THROWS: Holy Cross is once again an excellent free throw shooting team in 2013-2014. In 11 games played, the Crusaders have hit 73.7 percent (216 of 293) of their foul shots as a team. Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton (Washington, D.C.) leads the way by hitting 88.2 percent (15 of 17) of his free throws so far in 2013-2014, while senior forward Dave Dudzinski has knocked down 80.4 percent (45 of 56) of his foul shots. Junior guard Justin Burrell (78.6 percent, 11 of 14), freshman guard Anthony Thompson (76.8 percent, 43 of 56), freshman forward Malachi Alexander (75.0 percent, 42 of 56) and sophomore guard Eric Green (70.0 percent, 21 of 30) are also hitting at least 70 percent from the charity stripe this year. In 2012-2013, the Crusaders made 75.3 percent (351 of 466) of their foul shots as a team, good for the second-best single-season free throw percentage in school history behind only the 1961-1962 Holy Cross squad which knocked down 77.6 percent (505 of 651) of its free throws. Prior to last year, the Crusaders had not made at least 75 percent of their foul shots for an entire season since 1978-1979 (75.1 percent, 560 of 746).

HOLY CROSS IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: The Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I leaders in two statistical categories, through games of Dec. 22. In addition, senior forward Dave Dudzinski, sophomore guard Eric Green and junior forward Malcolm Miller stand among the best in the nation in various individual categories. The rankings:

Category Rank    Player / Team Avg.
Free Throw Percent 53   Holy Cross 73.7
  223   Dave Dudzinski 80.4
Steals 60   Eric Green 2.0
Blocked Shots 101   Malcolm Miller 1.7
Three-Point Percent 101   Holy Cross 36.4
Rebounding 129   Dave Dudzinski 7.6
Field Goal Percent 138   Dave Dudzinski 50.4
Scoring 146   Dave Dudzinski 17.1

CRUSADERS AT THE HART CENTER: Holy Cross currently owns an all-time record of 339-138 at the Hart Center, including a 2-1 mark so far this year. The Crusaders posted their 300th win in the building against Sacred Heart on Nov. 14, 2008. Holy Cross had a 23-game winning streak at the Hart Center from Feb. 15, 2006-Jan. 2, 2008, which was the longest streak in the history of the building and the sixth-longest home court winning streak in the nation at the time. In 2006-2007 the Crusaders posted a perfect 14-0 mark at the Hart Center, setting a school record for the most home victories since they moved into the building. During the Hart Center's history, Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in 32 out of 38 seasons, while recording double-figure home victories 17 times. The Crusaders stand 126-46 at home since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season, including a 79-24 record against Patriot League foes.

HAMILTON BECOMING A TOP SCORING THREAT: Sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton is a key player for the Crusaders on the wing this year, but has missed the last six games due to injury. Hamilton is averaging 16.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, while hitting 41.2 percent (14 of 34) of his three-point field goals and 88.2 percent (15 of 17) of his free throws. During the Belmont game, he led the team with 16 points, two rebounds and two assists. Previously against Fairfield, Hamilton recorded 13 points and four rebounds. He also had a huge night against Sacred Heart, totaling a career-high 35 points, three rebounds and three assists. Hamilton hit 11 of 21 field goal attempts and six of eight free throws against the Pioneers, while tying the school single-game record with seven three-pointers made (on 13 attempts). Last season, Hamilton was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team after averaging 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, and making 36.1 percent (22 of 61) of his three-point attempts in Patriot League regular season play. During last year's home game with Lafayette, he scored a season-high 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Over the course of his collegiate career, Hamilton has now totaled 271 points, 101 rebounds and 32 assists, while hitting 31.7­­ percent of his three-point attempts (52 of 164).

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: This year marks the 95th season of Holy Cross men's basketball. The Crusaders own an overall record of 1332-907 (.595), while making 24 postseason tournament appearances — 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament and 12 to the National Invitation Tournament. In the history of collegiate basketball, Holy Cross is one of only 16 schools to have won the NCAA Tournament (1946-1947) as well as the National Invitational Tournament (1953-1954). Throughout its history, Holy Cross has had six first team All-America selections, sent 10 players to the National Basketball Association, had four players and coaches inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 23 players drafted by professional teams, had three players go on to coach professionally, and had 15 players who have coached in college.

CRUSADERS PICKED SEVENTH IN PRESEASON POLL: In the 2013-2014 Patriot League preseason poll, Holy Cross was picked to finish in seventh place in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders received 70 total points in the conference preseason poll. Boston University placed first in the poll, with 162 total points and 18 first-place votes, followed by Lafayette in second with 130 points and two first-place votes, Army in third (115 points), Bucknell in fourth (113 points), Loyola (Md.) in fifth (109 points) and Lehigh in sixth (93 points). The preseason rankings were rounded out by Colgate (eighth, 49 points), American (ninth, 36 points) and Navy (10th, 23 points).

DUDZINSKI NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski has been selected to the preseason All-Patriot League team, in voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Dudzinski was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Bucknell senior guard Cameron Ayers, Loyola (Md.) senior guard Dylon Cormier, Boston University senior guard D.J. Irving and Lehigh senior guard Mackey McKnight. In addition, Irving was selected as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year.

CRUSADER VISION & THE PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK: Live video streaming of all Holy Cross home non-conference games and most Patriot League regular season games during the 2013-2014 season will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision and the Patriot League Network. The package, done in association with Campus Insiders, is available free of charge. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision or the Patriot League Network, click here.

CRUSADERS ON TELEVISION: Holy Cross will have at least 10 games shown on live television during the 2013-2014 season. The Crusaders had seven television appearances last year, while appearing on television seven times in 2011-2012, eight times in 2010-2011, nine times in 2009-2010, 10 times in 2008-2009, eight times in 2007-2008, 13 times in 2006-2007, 10 times in 2005-2006 and 10 times in 2004-2005. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2013-2014 season:

Nov. 10 vs. Harvard: New England Sports Network
Nov. 15 at North Carolina: ESPNU
Nov. 30 at New Hampshire: Live Well Network
Dec. 28 at Michigan: Big Ten Network
Jan. 8 vs. Colgate: Charter TV3
Jan. 22 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Jan. 29 vs. Loyola (Md.): Charter TV3
Feb. 4 at Colgate: CBS Sports Network
Feb. 9 vs. Bucknell: CBS Sports Network
Feb. 15 at Lehigh: Service Electric Cable

HOLY CROSS ON THE RADIO: Twelve of the Crusaders' basketball contests during the 2013-2014 season will be carried by Emmanuel Radio, WNEB 1230 AM in Worcester.  Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 27th season calling the play-by-play for Crusader basketball on the radio. In addition, Jeremy Lechan and Dick Lutsk are in their 10th year on the Holy Cross broadcast crew, and will handle either play-by-play or color commentary for selected games. All games aired on Emmanuel Radio can also be heard live over the internet by clicking here. WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will also carry a number of games this year.

CRUSADERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Updates on Holy Cross basketball can be found through the Holy Cross Athletics pages on the following social media networks:

Facebook: Holy Cross Athletics
Twitter: @GoHolyCross
YouTube: GoHolyCross
Instagram: GoHolyCross

E-MAIL ALERTS: Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross men's basketball team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, click here.

SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES: Michigan enters the game with an overall record of 7-4 on the season. The Wolverines have split their last six games, and are coming off a 68-65 victory over Stanford last Saturday. Sophomore guard Nik Stauskas leads the team with averages of 18.1 points and 3.2 assists per game, while hitting 45.8 percent (27 of 59) of his three-point field goal attempts. Sophomore forward Glenn Robinson has added 13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest, while sophomore guard Caris LeVert is chipping in with 12.8 points per game. Michigan is led by John Beilein, who is 129-89 in seven seasons as the Wolverines' head coach. Beilein's career record stands at 680-407, including five seasons at West Virginia, five years at Richmond, five seasons at Canisius, nine years at LeMoyne, one season at Nazareth and four years at Erie Community College.

DRIBBLES: During the Nov. 24 victory over Hartford, the Crusaders allowed the Hawks to make just one field goal in the first half. That tied the NCAA single-game record for fewest field goals allowed in a half (since the shot clock era began in 1986), matching Kansas State, which held Savannah State to just one made shot in the second half on Jan. 7, 2008 ... Freshman guard Robert Champion (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a career-high eight points against both Albany and New Jersey Tech. He is currently averaging 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game ... Junior guard De'Vaughn Reid (West Orange, N.J.) made his first career start at New Hampshire, scoring six points. A walk-on, Reid has now played in 14 career games, totaling 39 points, nine rebounds and six assists ... In the latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate Report, for the four-class aggregate of entering classes from 2003 through 2006, the Crusader men's basketball team posted a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. Holy Cross' overall Graduation Success Rate for all student-athletes was 98 percent, tied for the fourth-best mark among all Division I schools.