Team preview: Holy Cross

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 1, 2005, 3:10 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Opponents that think they'll be able to enter the Hart Center, or take the court anywhere with Holy Cross, and score points at an easier clip now that the likes of center Nate Lufkin, forward John Hurley and guard Greg Kinsey have graduated are in for a rude awakening.

The team that finished fifth in the nation in scoring defense (56.8 points per game), sixth in steals (10.3 per game) and seventh in opponents' field-goal percentage (38.9 percent) still plans to deny baskets at a similar stingy pace this winter. With more experience at the guards than up front, the Crusaders will just perform their point prevention in a slightly altered manner.

"I think we'll be able to extend the defense a little bit more, do some things like that because we're going to have good quickness and athleticism," said coach Ralph Willard, entering his seventh season. "I think we've been very successful over the last few years the way we've been doing it. The kids take great pride in the way they defend, and I don't see any great changes."

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