Previewing Holy Cross

North Carolina returns to the court on Friday to face Holy Cross of the Patriot League. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at the Smith Center and the game will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (1-0) vs. Holy Cross (1-1)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
Friday, 8:00 p.m.
ESPNU (Roy Philpott, Fran Fraschilla)


"It's good to see us as a group just be relentless. That's what we were. We'll just play to the whistle. As long as there's time on the clock, we're going full speed. That's what we're going to do." - Holy Cross head coach Milan Brown following his team's double overtime win over Sacred Heart


Season to Date: Holy Cross enters Friday night's contest with a 1-1 record. The Crusaders dropped their season opener to Harvard, 82-72, despite using a 10-1 run to take a 61-60 lead with 5:49 to play. Milan Brown's squad bounced back with a 122-118 double overtime victory over Sacred Heart on Wednesday.

Preseason Accolades: Holy Cross was picked seventh in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, which is voted on by coaches and sports information directors. The Crusaders finished the 2012-13 season with a 12-18 (4-10 Patriot) record.

Dud in the Post: Senior forward Dave Dudzinski is Holy Cross's primary scoring option, averaging 25.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The 2012-13 second-team All-Patriot League member is converting 54.8 percent of his field goal attempts and 93.8 percent of his free throw attempts. Last season, the 6-foot-9, 227-pounder averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest. He posted his fifth career double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds in the Crusaders' win over Sacred Heart.

Scoring on the Wing: Cullen Hamilton has provided key scoring from the perimeter this year following a solid freshman season that resulted in a Patriot League All-Rookie team selection. The sophomore guard is averaging 22.0 points per game, thanks in large part to his career-high 35-point effort against Sacred Heart. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder connected on 11 of his 21 field goal attempts, including a 7-of-13 display from 3-point range.

Stat Crunch: Holy Cross is shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, while allowing opponents to convert at a 48.2 percent clip. The Crusaders are knocking down 43.2 percent of their 3-pointers compared to a 37.2 percent defense effort from beyond the arc. Holy Cross is positive in turnover margin (plus-0.5) yet negative in rebound margin (minus-3.0).

Stat of the Day: Holy Cross and Sacred Heart set Hart Center records in the Crusaders' win on Wednesday. Both teams combined for 77 made free throws on 94 free throw attempts, while Holy Cross made 45 free throws on 56 attempts.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Holy Cross, 83-70, on Dec. 22, 1956 at the old Boston Garden.

Series History: The series is tied at 1-1. The first meeting between these programs occurred at the Dixie Classic in 1952. The Crusaders won 85-73 in Raleigh, N.C. on Dec. 29.

Projected Starters:
3 Justin Burrell (5-9, 165, Jr.) - 8.5 ppg, 6.0 apg
5 Cullen Hamilton (6-2, 185, So.) - 22.0 ppg, 2.0 apg
43 Tyler Abt (6-8, 225, Jr.) - 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
13 Malcolm Miller (6-7, 210, Jr.) - 8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
50 Dave Dudzinski (6-9, 227, Sr.) - 25.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg

Top Reserves:
21 Malachi Alexander (6-7, 217, Fr.) - 15.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg
2 Anthony Thompson (5-10, 150, Fr.) - 8.5 ppg, 1.0 apg
24 Eric Green (6-4, 191, So.) - 7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Location: Worcester, Mass.
Enrollment: 2,891
Conference: Patriot
Nickname: Crusaders
Colors: Royal Purple
Head Coach: Milan Brown (3rd season)
2012-13 Record: 12-18 (4-10)

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(Photos courtesy Holy Cross)

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