Saints say goodbye to ‘tremendously productive’ senior teammates
Jamison Cook | Friday, May 21, 2021
The Holy Cross men’s basketball had a successful 2020-21 season, finishing with a 13-7 record. This year, the Saints made their second straight appearance in the National Association of Intercollegiate (NAIA) Men’s Basketball National Tournament. The Saints earned an automatic bid to the tournament after finishing in second place of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) with an 8-3 conference record.
“Overall, I think it was very successful. We finished second in our league, which is always a very good accomplishment,” head coach Mike McBride said. “We wish we could’ve done more, we think we could’ve done more, but at the end of the day we weren’t able to get that done, but we did achieve at a high level. We had some great wins throughout, and we were able to get back to the National Tournament for a second consecutive year, which was huge.”
Holy Cross was led by a stellar class of seniors, which included Storm Cook, Jordan Gaines, Trey Shabazz and Jason Dockery. Cook, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer this season (1,581 points), led the team with 17.4 points per game. He was named to the All-Conference Second Team for the 2020-21 season. Gaines also contributed in a big way for the Saints, scoring 13.4 points per game and leading the team with 3.3 assists per game. The prolific defender was named to the All-Conference first team and was also recognized as an honorable mention for the NAIA All-American teams.
Coach McBride expressed his gratitude for this senior class and what has made them, especially Gaines and Storm, so successful at Holy Cross.
“Those two — as well as our two other seniors — were the backbone of our team. They were responsible, to a great degree, for our success,” he said. “Jordan and Storm in particular had tremendously productive years. They’re both four-year starting guards, so they had tremendous winning experience so they knew what it would take to compete at a high level. And then they assumed a leadership role within the team.”
Replacing this class will be difficult, but McBride is confident in the group he is bringing back next year. Holy Cross will look to make a run at its third consecutive appearance in the National Tournament next season and to take the next step by advancing deeper into the tournament.
“Our returners have the experience, they know what it takes to get to the National Tournament and to win,” he says. “Now, because the blueprint is there, the feeling of having accomplished it is there, hopefully, the new guys we add will be able to contribute in that same manner.”