Preview: Holy Cross
What a painful way to open the season.
First, the summer brought us the saga of P.J. Hairston and his numerous encounters with law enforcement, and then after we finally broke the seal last Friday and were able to watch some hoops, we had to wait a WHOLE WEEK until the Heels take the floor again.
Luckily that ends tonight, when UNC takes on the Holy Cross Crusaders. The Heels will once again be without Hairston and Leslie McDonald, but you were probably expecting that anyway. Here’s what to look for tonight:
- Tonight’s match-up is technically the first game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off event. UNC will play Holy Cross and Fairfield in Chapel Hill before heading to Mohegan Sun Arena (home of the Connecticut Sun!) for the final two games, likely Richmond and Louisville.
- The Crusaders have an inside-outside punch with senior center David Dudzinski (6’9″, 227, at right) and sophomore guard Cullen Hamilton (6’2″, 185) both averaging more than 22 ppg through two games. Dudzinski is the focal point and was second team All Patriot League last season. He’s averaging 25.5 pts and 10.5 boards. Hamilton was on the league’s All Rookie team last year and is quickly becoming a scoring threat. Hamilton put up 35 in the Crusaders’ last game.
- In their first game, the Crusaders hung tough with a good Harvard team, only to fall in the final minutes. In their second game, they put up 122 in a double OT Catholic thriller against Sacred Heart with 991 people in attendance. C’mon, Holy Cross students! You gotta support your squad better than that!
- *Checks Holy Cross enrollment*
- Oh, I guess that’s a pretty good turnout actually.
- Holy Cross has actually beaten UNC before: The Crusaders won the first game between the schools 85-73 at the Dixie Classic in Raleigh, N.C., on Dec. 29, 1952. Carolina has won the other two meetings.
- Holy Cross actually boasts a plethora of guys 6’8″ or taller so it won’t be quite as easy for the Heels to simply dominate based on size like they can against some early season opponents.
Let’s see what happens when UNC undoubtedly doesn’t shoot 70 percent in the first half, though I still think the Heels will eventually be able to pull away. They will just have too much depth for the Crusaders and I predict Dudzinski gets in foul trouble.
Prediction: UNC 85, Holy Cross 70