Chat with Inside Lacrosse
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, our friends from Inside Lacrosse will stop by to take your questions about the 2010 season.
Our experts may also be bringing by some special guests to the chat, so be sure to check it out!
Send your questions now and join Inside Lacrosse Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Sean Burns (2:00 PM)
Good afternoon everybody, happy Thursday and happy NCAA tournament time. IL staffers are standing by to answer whatever questions you want to throw at us on the NCAA tournament (DI, II, III or women's DI are all in play), MCLA tournament, coaching, high school rankings or whatever.Set 'em up and we'll do our best to knock 'em down.
do you think curtis dickson should be a first team AA?
Sean Burns (2:06 PM)
I think he's got as good an argument as anybody, as he carried that Delaware team for stretches, particularly late in the season. Obviously you can't base it on this because they're decided by different people, but the fact that two attackmen were nominated as Tewaaraton finalists and he was one of them speaks volumes. There are certainly a ton of other attackmen that have a valid claim to an All-America spot but I think Dickson belongs on the first team.And for those that want to point to his being largely silent against North Carolina in the first round, I offer this. North Carolina decided to spend so much time keeping Dickson off the scoreboard with a shut-off at all times, but his teammates scored 13 goals. So maybe you can take him out of the contest, but you have to do so much to do so that it opens everything else up for the rest of the Blue Hens.
Now that 'Cuse is out, how assured is a UVa title?
Sean Burns (2:10 PM)
As the top overall seed and the only team left that has taken home a national title since North Carolina's last crown in 1991, Virginia certainly has to be considered the favorite, but you can't exactly engrave their name on the plaque just yet. Obviously, they are a team that has been on an emotional rollercoaster in the past few weeks, so that has undoubtedly taken a toll. Add to that a tough Stony Brook team in the second round that will have the benefit of a home crowd, plus the potential of either North Carolina or Duke in the semifinals if they get through this weekend, nothing is a given for the Cavaliers. Can they do it? Of course. Will they? We'll know in a little over a week.
Drew (North Carolina)
Hey guys! We've heard a lot about Stony Brook's solid midfield, how does their attack look? Do they pose a threat to UVA's longsticks?
Terry Foy (2:11 PM)
Drew, absolutely. Kevin Crowley's emergence as a recognized, well-known commodity is relatively recent compared to Jordan McBride's, who was an honorable mention AA as a freshman and had a huge 10-goal game against Delaware his freshman year. Tom Compitello has exploded on the scene this year after having a good year last year and has taken the reins as the guy with the ball. Kyle Belton on the opposite side from McBride is another Canadian finisher. They're an unorthodox bunch that presents unique challenges, not unlike Cuse's attack this year.
Who are the top candidates for the Penn State head coach position?
Terry Foy (2:14 PM)
im, I think the search process for Penn State is going to be a little slower than some fans might like because they've got a seach for a soccer coach going right now. But if I had to speculate, I'd say the pool includes some DI head coaches and some DI assistants like Cornell's Ben DeLuca. Another guy to keep in mind is former Denver coach Jamie Munro.
How much did Syracuse being in the Big East and playing inferior opponents in the last month of the season hurt them last week?
Sean Burns (2:21 PM)
It's really tough to say - Syracuse had plenty of tough games on their schedule early in the season, but after an April 13th challenge from Cornell, the Orange routed their final four opponents by no fewer than six goals, including Notre Dame. When you get down to it, from March 29th to the end of the regular season, only two games came against top 10 foes and only one of those (Cornell) was close. Obviously that's not the kind of stretch you want to go into before an NCAA tournament scenario because it can be tough to turn on that 'we or we're done' mentality if you haven't been challenged in over a month.
The Kyle Devitte (NH)
How is John Jiloty holding up with the Orange bounced by the future soldiers of the greatest fighting force on this planet?
Sean Burns (2:25 PM)
I didn't realize Army had Marines on their team (totally a joke, Army fans, please don't hurt me!)I'm pretty sure John's doing fine. The Orange got outplayed, plain and simple. Going back to the previous question, Syracuse hadn't played a tough game since Cornell in April and just wasn't ready for a team that would bounce back, especially after taking a 5-1 lead. Army dominated the second half and overtime. Even a Cuse grad like John can respect that (as have most of the 'Cuse fans that frequent our comment board)
Gordon (Battle Creek, MI)
There were quite a few disappointing seasons and upsets this year (Hopkins, Syracuse). Do you foresee any surprising coach turnovers?
Sean Burns (2:29 PM)
Is this actually coach Paul from Michigan testing the waters? To be honest, nowadays you never really know what to expect out of the whole summer coaching scene. Some folks are saying Pietramala should be on the 'watchlist' but that is insanity... He's not going anywhere unless he inexplicably decides to go for the Penn State job or resign and walk the earth like Kane on Kung Fu, a la Jules from Pulp Fiction. My guess is this summer will see a bit of a domino effect due to the PSU gig being filled, but whether it's head coaches or assistants depends greatly on who fills Glen Thiel's shoes in Happy Valley. We never know until the season finishes and these jobs start getting filled.
What does Maryland need to do to get to the Final Four again?
Sean Burns (2:31 PM)
The short and sarcastic answer would be a win over Notre Dame. In order to beat Notre Dame, I think they need to do more of what they did against Hofstra last weekend: spread the ball around and use their unique combination of transition speed and bruising size on the attack and defense to capitalize on mismatches where they can manage them. The smart money is on the Terrapins to take the quarterfinal matchup with the Irish, but if the Irish can get another big game out of Scott Rodgers like they did against the Tigers, this one could be very interesting. (Also of note: if you've followed my Pick-em record, you know I'm not the best 'game picking advice' guru you could consult)
Drew (North Carolina)
To further Sean's comments about Dickson, I was at the UNC/DU game. UNC didn't treat him as an All-American, they treated him as All-World. He was shut-off by Jarvis for most of the game, then if they did get the ball to him, he was double and triple teamed right away. I think at least 5 flags were thrown against UNC defending him so, he was respected.
Sean Burns (2:33 PM)
Very much so. Any player can get shut out of a game if the opposing team wants to spend enough resources to make it happen. The key is, if doing that costs you so much that the rest of the team is basically playing 5-on-3 when they have the ball, that's still having a major impact on the game, even if you're not the one scoring.
The Kyle Devitte (NH)
How come several MLL players (like Joe Walters, Kyle Harrison and Sean Morris) have chosen to turn their backs on the league this year? I find it hard to believe that their other options are better, especially if they want to maintain their popularity/status in the lacrosse community.
Sean Burns (2:38 PM)
From what I have heard, the players that chose to participate in the LXM Pro Tour event in Texas earlier this year are not eligible to compete in the 2010 Major League Lacrosse season. To be honest, I don't know their reasoning. I've heard from various folks that the reduced amount of games and travel by going with LXM provides players more opportunities to coach summer travel and/or work camps, but I don't really know if that is the case. As far as I'm concerned, if a player has the option to go with one or the other, I'm not going to judge them for which way they go. Both have their merits and flaws, but either way, these guys are still getting to play the game they love and give back to the lax community in one way or another, so who are we to judge?
What's happpened to UNCs defense? How do you think they'll hold up to Dukes explosive offense?
Geoff Shannon (2:39 PM)
Its a tough question and I don't really have a great answer for it. UNC's unit is basically the same they've been running all year. They do play an aggressive, attack-oriented defense which allows for some extra looks at the net, and the matchups they've faced -potent Robert Morris, a young but talented Ohio State, a high-scoring Delaware squad- can mean some defensive struggles. The Duke offense is on fire though, so for UNC's sake they better continue to bend but not break.
fred (long Island)
Who are the Key player for Stony Brook if they are going to win the game?
Sean Burns (2:42 PM)
I think for Stony Brook, this Virginia team is a challenge that is going to require big games from all 11 players on the field, their coaches, their second lines, their training staff, their ballboys and the fans that helped sell out the quarterfinal venue by mid-week (which will be selling standing-room tickets and should be PACKED for Sunday's double-header.
Sean Burns (2:45 PM)
Obviously, the offensive trio of Tewaaraton finalist Kevin Crowley, All-American Jordan McBride and Tom Compitello will be expected to do big things against a Virginia defense that can be a nightmare with its speed and aggressiveness. Likewise, there will be a ton of pressure on the defense, particularly LSM Steven Waldeck, to try to slow down Virginia's explosive midfield trio of the Brattons and Brian Carroll. Their goal will have to be to force off-angle shots and hope that goalie Charlie Parr can step up and make the saves he has to and hope that the crowd can help carry them to what would be a huge upset.
Tommy, what'd you think of that Stevenson-Roanoke game yesterday? I didn't have a chance to see it but from the look of the stats it appeared that Roanoke dominated but Hebert was the difference.
Tommy Kehoe (2:46 PM)
Roanoke was in control for most of the day, but neither team was able to dominate. Hebert was outstanding, but a lot of those saves were easy outsiders too.
Tommy Kehoe (2:46 PM)
To be honest, both team's played, very well; it was one of those games that came down to who had the ball last and with that in mind, the difference was Stevenson making plays when they had to, including Ray Witte winning the face-off in overtime. If anything won or lost the game for either team, it was that OT face-off, because both teams were humming along nicely.
Who do you like Saturday night - BL or St. Paul's?
Geoff Shannon (2:53 PM)
I like Boys' Latin's offense, arguably the best high school attack in the nation this year. But, St. Paul's defense has been playing like gangbusters of late. This one is officially too close to call - just like the 11-10 triple-OT game that BL took over St. Paul's during the regular season.
Sean Burns (2:56 PM)
Alright folks, it looks like we're pretty much out of time, so thanks again for taking the time to chat it out with us. Be sure to check ESPNU on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, where they'll bring you live coverage of all four NCAA Division I quarterfinals. We'll have coverage of all those games as well on InsideLacrosse.com, plus coverage of the women's Division I quarterfinals, men's Division II semifinals and men's Division III semifinals as well.