(Notre Dame, Indiana) It's that time of year again, as head coach Bob Schermerhorn prepares to lead his team into the 2011 basketball season.
Holy Cross made considerable strides last season, including a stunning victory over then-ranked Judson at home in January, and has loaded up on recruits and transfers, which could prove to be a lethal combination when paired with Holy Cross' returning seniors.
Riley High School products Taylor Williams and J.T. Brevard will lead a hungry Saints team that Schermerhorn says, "possesses a strong togetherness. We have been having 7 and 8 AM practices all season long, and nobody misses them and nobody is late. We have good team chemistry, and are finding ways to put the ball in the basket."
The Saints return some size with seniors Adam Onderdonk (Clay High School) and Andrew Tullis (Orland, Indiana), who are both 6' 8" and combined for over 200 rebounds last season.
The Saints look forward to this year, after a four-win campaign last year Holy Cross has since added some weapons at guard in addition to sophomore Dane Okuda (Huntington Beach, California) who averaged over 6 points per game and dished out 103 assists.
The Saints added 6'1" junior Yama Kader from Trabuco, California, 5'11" Michael VanderPloeg out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, 6'1" Alajowon Edwards from nearby Michigan City, and 6'2" Darrell McIntyre from Indianapolis; each anticipating significant playing time.
Schermerhorn has reasons to be excited about his team this year noting that in practice his guys have made progress on offense and notes the transfers with impressive numbers are fitting together well with the senior veterans.
The team still has unresolved issues just short of a month before the season begins. Some players are having difficulty finding roles in the new scheme, and Schermerhorn is not necessarily worried. "We have all this talent, and we are still trying to find out how to maximize our potential. We have shuffled some players around, just seeing what works."
The Saints will be tested early, when the Saints jog over to rival Bethel College on November 2nd for a non-conference matchup against a well-balanced Bethel attack. The Saints had the Pilots down early last year at the Pfeil Center, but Bethel ended up pulling out the win 68-57.
Conference play starts at home on November 16th against Robert Morris, which leads into another huge rivalry game when IUSB pays a visit to the Pfeil Center November 26th. Last time around IUSB got the better of the Saints albeit barely, and snuck out with a 58-52 victory.
Be sure to follow the Saints basketball program throughout the season at www.hcsaints.com.