Chat with Quint Kessenich
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPNU's Quint Kessenich stops by to chat about this weekend of games, including Saturday's ESPNU airing of the fifth annual Konic Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Syracuse-Georgetown game airs at 11 a.m. ET and Cornell-Virginia airs at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Kessenich, a four-time All American and 1990 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, has covered lacrosse for ESPN for over a decade. His responsibilities include featured regular-season action and the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship.
Kessenich also serves as a play-by-play announcer and sideline reporter for ESPN's college basketball, college football and NCAA Championship coverage.
Send your questions now and join Kessenich Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:30 PM)
We're getting Quint right now!
Quint Kessenich (2:32 PM)
Welcome everybody. I'm heading over to the field in about an hour for tonight's game at 7 on ESPNU. Then the action starts on Saturday with the doubleheader at 11 a.m. ET.
Tommy Eckel (Baldwinsville, NY)
How do you think syracuse will do this season?
Quint Kessenich (2:32 PM)
Right now Syracuse is ranked No. 1 and they're leading the pack. They've got 7 exceptional seniors who have won two past titles and seem like they have the blinders on this year. They're 100% focused.
Jeff (Kansas City)
What should fans expect in Baltimore this weekend?
Quint Kessenich (2:34 PM)
The weather is going to be nice. That's a plus, it will be 58 and sunny. Game 1 with Syracuse and Georgetown, I would think they combine for more than 30 goals. Syracuse has to make sure they're emotionally over their big win last week against Virginia. Meanwhile, Georgetown comes in after losing Tuesday against Harvard. That game should be fun to watch.
virginias offense doesnt look as smooth as last years, why isnt Matt white getting the minutes he did last year he was the glue of that team?
Quint Kessenich (2:35 PM)
I agree. In the second half against Syracuse they had 10 turnovers. I spoke to coach Starsia this morning and asked him the same question about that third attack spot. Cockerton and English are natural left handed players. Matt White has been put into a backup role behind. I get the feeling that Virginia is still trying to figure out all of the pieces.
Do you think any of the top MCLA schools will make a push to D1 varsity anytime in the near future?
Quint Kessenich (2:37 PM)
I'm constantly hearing rumors about the University of Michigan. I spoke to their AD Dave Brandon at the OSU-Michigan football game. He feels that the money is in line from donors and alums that will cover the cost of the program. Look for Michigan to add a program.
Quint Kessenich (2:37 PM)
But he's waiting for it to have a fiscal backing. They have to be fiscally conscious.
Is Duke good enough to repeat? Is Danowski recruiting the right talent?
Quint Kessenich (2:38 PM)
I don't believe that Duke is good enough to repeat. I think the high for their season would be an NCAA quarterfinal appearance after losing such a great senior class. I like the new wave of recruits in the freshman class. The win over Maryland was a huge positive.
What is Penn doing right, and what is Navy doing wrong this year?
Quint Kessenich (2:39 PM)
Mike Murphy, the second year head coach at Penn, I spoke to him on the ESPNU podcast. They were 5-8 last year and they made some changes that weren't see right away in the W/L column. They have some nice recruits coming in and their defense is off to a great start this year.
Quint Kessenich (2:40 PM)
Navy just doesn't seem to have elite, top 10 caliber players on their roster. They were 7-8 last year. They're very young this year and it appears as if they'll have a similar record.
Quint, you planning on catching any interstate HS springbreak matchups in the Bmore area over the coming weeks?
Quint Kessenich (2:40 PM)
Maybe. I have this event this weekend and then next weekend I'll be in Philadelphia for four days covering the NCAA wrestling tournament.
What players and teams have surprised you this season?
Quint Kessenich (2:42 PM)
UMass. They lost to Albany last night, but they've been a surprise. Hofstra's success is not surprising. From a player's standpoint, I'm really surprised at UNC's defense. And Ohio State. Then Maryland losing to Duke was a surprise also.
Dom Starsia thinks lacrosse should follow basketball and get rid of the faceoff. What are your thoughts?
Quint Kessenich (2:43 PM)
Coach Starsia did not say that. He said that the faceoff needs to be cleaned up and fixed. The key comments I took from him are the addition of the shot clock. Unfortunately there are a number of conservative coaches who are against the clock and against change. The fans are suffering and we have a 3-2 game. This is lacrosse, not soccer.
Mike Long Island [via mobile]
Does Albany have enough talent to beat Stony Brook?
Quint Kessenich (2:44 PM)
Yes. The America East conference has always been a three-team league. Albany had their run. UMBC dominated and now it seems like it's Stony Brook time. Albany's win over UMass yesterday opened some eyes.
Who is the best player in the college game?
Quint Kessenich (2:45 PM)
Rob Pannell of Cornell, attackmen. He's averaging over 5 points per game. Crowley of Stony Brook. And Tyler Siorito, goalie from Princeton. Shamel Bratton. Those would be my player of the year front runners after the first few weeks.
Where do you see the most growth in the game?
Quint Kessenich (2:46 PM)
Florida is a huge area of growth right now. 152 high schools. Doubled within the last five years. California is another state with monstrous upside. Then there are small pockets like Birmingham, AL, Chicago, Minnesota, Charlotte. The game is rapidly expanding.
Should they change the rules and introduce a shot clock?
Quint Kessenich (2:48 PM)
I have loved the MLL 60-second shot clock. Lacrosse is billed as the fastest sport on two feet. In its current form at the collegiate level, it isn't. It's false advertising. I'm in favor of a shot clock. To me, a bigger change needs to be in stick technology.
Stan (Syracuse, NY)
Which teams will pose the biggest obstacles for the Orange?
Quint Kessenich (2:49 PM)
Virginia's going to improve. Maryland will, by the end of the year, be a top team. Notre Dame's defense is terrific. Stony Brook can score and keep pace with just about anybody. Right now, those are the top handful of teams.
What does lacrosse need to do to widen its appeal?
Quint Kessenich (2:50 PM)
I think that the game has changed in the last 25, even 15 years, where the college coaches now micromanage and exert control. Imagine college basketball where you could substitute on the fly on every possession. On offense, you bring out all of your shooters and defensively, you bring out 5 7-footers and no shot clock and the games are 35-32. How fun would that be to watch? That's what we're facing in the modern lacrosse era. Too much specialization and not enough free flow play.
Is Delaware as bad as the Johns Hopkins loss suggests? 18 to 5 is terrible.
Quint Kessenich (2:51 PM)
That wasn't a good day to be a Blue Hen. But if Delaware can clean up their defense, they will be in the hunt in the CAA. Their offensive production is -2 goals per game where it was last year, but their defense is giving up an additional 2. They have to clean up their defense. They have enough offense to challenge in that conference.
Quint Kessenich (2:53 PM)
It will be interesting tonight to see how Hopkins bounces back from their loss. I hope everyone tunes in Saturday at 11 for Syracuse-Georgetown and 1:30 p.m. ET for Cornell-Virginia on ESPNU.