A little less than two weeks after deciding to relieve Milan Brown of his head coaching duties, it’s been reported by multiple outlets that Holy Cross has found his replacement.
According to reports from Andy Katz of ESPN.com and Jennifer Tolland of the Worcester Telegran and Gazette, the Patriot League school will announce Bill Carmody as its new hire on Thursday. Carmody, who has been a Division I head coach at Princeton and Northwestern, was named special assistant to Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson in late January.
In his 17 seasons as a head coach Carmody has led his teams to two NCAA (both at Princeton) and six NIT (four at Northwestern) appearances. Carmody was relieved of his duties at Northwestern at the end of the 2012-13 season, ending a 13-year run at the Big Ten school.
In five seasons under Brown’s leadership the Crusaders made just one postseason appearance, as they played in the CIT last season.
Ralph Willard, who served as head coach at Holy Cross from 1999-2009, led his alma mater to four NCAA tournaments and one Postseason NIT. The hope is that Carmody is the man who can push Holy Cross basketball back in that direction. Holy Cross loses its top two scorers from this past season’s team, as Malcolm Miller and Justin Burrell are both out of eligibility.
Holy Cross fires head coach Milan Brown after five seasons
Brown, who arrived at Holy Cross in 2010 after leading the program at Mount St. Mary’s, spent five seasons at Holy Cross and put together a record of 69 wins and 83 losses. Holy Cross finished the 2014-15 season with a 14-16 overall record, going 8-10 in Patriot League play.
“I am disappointed that we must make this change, but the success of our men’s basketball program has not been commensurate with our competitive expectations under Coach Brown’s leadership,” Holy Cross athletics director Nathan Pine said in the release. “I thank Coach Brown for all his efforts at Holy Cross and his many contributions to the College community, especially his care and concern for our student-athletes.”
Next season the Crusaders will have to account for the loss of their top two scorers from this year’s team, as forward Malcolm Miller and guard Justin Burrell are both graduating. Their top scorers who have eligibility remaining are forward Malcolm Alexander (8.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg as as sophomore in 2014-15) and guard/forward Eric Green (6.5, 3.2 as a junior).
Patriot League Tournament Preview and Postseason Awards
Despite losing both games to Colgate, Bucknell still managed to claim the Patriot League regular season title by one game over the Raiders. That should tell you how competitive this week’s tournament should be. Lehigh routed Bucknell one week ago and Lafayette, another contender, has notched wins over each of the top three teams in the league. Leading the list of dark horses were two of the preseason favorites, American and Holy Cross.
The Bison won the regular season title league for the fourth time in six years. Bucknell made noise early in the season, giving Villanova, now considered a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, a scare. But the Bison began league play 2-2 before rallying off win streaks of five and six games to win the Patriot League outright. It’s a young roster, but the Bison will hold home court and will have the guidance of Dave Paulsen, looking to take his third team to the NCAA tournament.
And if they lose?: Colgate
We’ve seen how important guard play is in March. The Raiders have a talented perimeter attack with senior scoring guard Damon Sherman-Newsome, Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Luke Roh and junior Austin Tillotson. Colgate has also shown it can win on the road with victories at Lehigh, Lafayette and Bucknell.
Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks went 1-2 down the stretch, but that win was a 19-point win over league favorite Bucknell and those two losses — to fourth-place Lafayette and second-place Colgate — were by a total of eight points. A young roster got battle-tested in the last week of the season and they could use that, and the play of big man Tim Kempton, to make a run this March.
American: Let’s not count out the defending champion. The Eagles still have Jesse Reed and Pee Wee Gardner. They also defeated three of the top four teams at least once this season.
Player of the Year: Dan Trist, Lafayette
The senior forward was conference’s top scorer at 17.7 points per game while grabbing 6.7 boards a night, good for fourth in the Patriot League. He went for 20 or more in both games against first-place Bucknell, including 29 points and 11 boards in a 84-74 win on Feb. 4. He also had strong outings against Colgate and Lehigh, the other two teams ahead of the Leopards in the league standings.
Coach of the Year: Dave Paulsen, Bucknell
The Bison were slotted to finish in the middle of the pack in the Patriot League preseason poll. Paulen, in his seventh season at Bucknell, took a young roster — seven freshmen and sophomores compared to two seniors who see significant minutes — and led them to the top spot in the standings, the fourth time the Bison have won the regular season title during his tenure.
All-Patriot League Team:
Tim Kempton, Lehigh: The sophomore big man was the league’s top rebounder (8.6) while averaging 15.1 points per game. He recorded six of his 13 double-doubles during Patriot League play.
Damon Sherman-Newsome, Colgate: The 6-foot-5 senior guard led the Raiders to a second-place finish, pacing the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game.
Cedric Hankerson, Boston University: The Terriers experienced a lot of turnover from last year. Hankerson embraced a larger role, increasing his scoring average by nearly 10 full points at 15.9 points per game. He also averaged 4.6 boards and 2.6 assists per game.
Chris Hass, Bucknell: The junior scoring guard scored 15.4 points per game, fifth in the Patriot League.