Holy Cross 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
Holy Cross Crusaders - Patriot League (25-8, 13-1)
Seed: #13 - West Region
Big Wins: 11/18 Siena (65-57), 1/12 Bucknell (65-60), 3/9 Bucknell (74-66)
Bad Losses: 12/2 at Dayton (53-69), 12/21 George Mason (46-58), 12/29 at Niagara (61-67)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2003, First Round loss to Marquette
Coach: Ralph Willard (2-5 in 5 NCAA appearances)
Probable Holy Cross Starters:
Torey Thomas, Senior, Guard, 13.6 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.8 rpg
Kyle Cruze, Junior, Guard, 2.1 ppg, 1.0 apg
Keith Simmons, Senior, Guard, 17.3 ppg, 1.9 apg, 5.8 rpg
Alex Vander Baan, Sophomore, Forward, 6.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Tim Clifford, Junior, Center, 11.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.9 bpg
Key Roleplayers for Holy Cross:
Pat Doherty, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 2.1 apg
Eric Meister, Freshman, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Colin Cunningham, Sophomore, Forward, 1.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Greg McCarthy, Sophomore, Center, 2.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Holy Cross has the best backcourt duo in the conference with Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas. Simmons is the explosive scorer and averages 17.3 points per game. The senior is also statistically the best rebounder on the team. Thomas is a great floor leader, averaging 4.8 assists. Thomas has developed into a good shooter as well and is a threat to score from anywhere on the court. Both are good defenders and the duo combines for over five steals a game.
The third scorer for the Crusaders is 6-10 center Tim Clifford. The junior provides a much needed scoring threat in the paint and will block some shots on the defensive end. The rebounding is not as good as it could be, and the 270 pound Walpole, MA native needs to use that big body to get on the boards. Clifford will not get to the line too much, but he is the best free-throw shooter on the team. When he is getting touches and being aggressive, Clifford can be difficult to handle.
Why Holy Cross Can Disappoint:
The Crusaders lack a real threat off the bench. Kyle Cruze, who usually earns a starting nod, only averages 2.1 points per game. Pat Doherty can provide that spark, but is not a consistent enough shooter to do it game after game. Forward Eric Meister is a good rebounder, but will not replace the scoring punch of the starting frontcourt and Colin Cunningham and Greg McCarthy need to build up their experience before being counted on to provide quality minutes.
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Who To Watch:
Alex Vander Baan had a promising freshman season and has built on that as a sophomore. The 6-8 power forward will battle in the paint and can hit the mid-range jumper. He is a good rebounder and will do the dirty work to free up the scorers.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.2 (256th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.4 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (186, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (63, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (38, 2)
Rebound Margin: 4.4 (49, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (148, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (215, 5)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Southern Illinois
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