Good afternoon everybody, hopefully you're getting a chance to enjoy the sweet weather we're (finally) having here on the east coast. IL staff members Sean Burns, Terry Foy, Tommy Kehoe, John Jiloty and Geoff Shannon are all around, so shoot us whatever questions your heart desires and we'll do our best to get as many answered as possible...
When do you think lacrosse will become a big enough sport so the games are televised on ESPN, and not just ESPNU or 360; including the MLL.
Well, I think we should all take a step back and realize how far the so-called Worldwide Leader has come in its coverage of the game in a very short time. While I was in high school in Connecticut (graduated '99, for time reference purposes), you got to see one lacrosse game on TV a season: the NCAA finals on Memorial Day.Fast forward ten years and you've got 40 games on TV during the season and every playoff game going on either ESPNU or ESPN2 and the finals on the flagship. So there's not a lot that lax fans can complain about - save for if their cable provider doesn't carry ESPNU.That said, I think we'll only see more games on TV because ESPN seems to truly be committed with the sport, from the increased coverage on TV to the event their running in East Hartford in April to their ramping up of features for their own website... It seems like their here to stay and that means more TV coverage will continue.
i have unc, hopkins and virgina going to championship weekend this year who do you think would be a good 4th team?
There's a lot of teams that could vie for that 'fourth team' spot. Syracuse is a no-brainer on the list, and Hofstra has been playing great lacrosse. Princeton is a one-goal loss to UNC away from perfection and Maryland has continued to play great lacrosse in the first half. It's really too early to prognosticate because there are plenty of teams out there besides those already mentioned that maybe have a loss or two at this point, but are just waiting for the right thing to click into place and go on a run.
Team USA lost to a #2 ranked Duke college team. Now Duke isn't even that great of a college team. Should that make the Team USA fans even more concerned? Or are college teams just better because they get so much practice time together?
I think it's more the latter. Obviously Duke has had some hiccups, but I wouldn't be to hasty about saying that they're not a good college team... Their only bad loss was to a very good UNC team, and there's still time to get things going in Durham and make the tournament. The big thing though is that you have to consider that Duke had been practicing together for weeks before that scrimmage and they were juiced up for a chance at knocking off the so-called best in the world. The Team USA guys (who are arguably the best in the world) had no practice and no game plan in place. Mike Pressler is too good of a coach to not have them ready for Manchester.
What do you think about Penn? They've played some close games against top opponents this year (Duke, UMD)...are they on the right track?
Coach Murphy is an excellent coach, and an excellent recruiter. Right now I think he's over-achieving with his roster. They're keeping games tight on the back of strong play and solid game-planning, but they're still a few play makers from being a top-tier team. As he settles in and brings in his players, I think you'll see Penn competing for Ivy league title.
Who do you think are the dark horses for division I, II, and also III?
This is complicated... I'll give my thoughts for DI and DII and we'll let Tommy chime in after for DIIIIn the DI ranks, its tough to call out a 'dark horse' at this point because its still so early. Teams like Yale and LaFayette COULD make those runs from out of nowhere like they have to start the season, but we'll know a lot more after this weekend which has the Bulldogs taking on Cornell and the Leopards visiting Bucknell. Is Duke or Johns Hopkins a dark horse after they started? What about a team like Loyola that seems to be able to play the best teams tough, but can't get the big W when they need it?As far as DII goes, I think the teams I've looked the most at that could fill those roles are Bentley out of the NE-10 and St. Leo's out of the Deep South. Both have big wins so far (Bentley beat NYIT last week, St. Leo's beat Merrimack) and both could be very good in their regions.
Anyone other than Gettysburg, Stevenson, Cortland or Salisbury. My favorite is Denison, but that may just be because I'm from Ohio and like their talent. But they don't have a marquee win yet (though they did win last night against St. Mary's in Maryland), they have Haverford on Saturday and then a relatively easy slate until coming to Baltimore for Stevenson on May 1.
Nazareth, Geneseo, Lynchburg, Springfield and St. Lawrence all have the horses to make a run at it.
Who do you like this weekend...Cuse v. Hop?
Cuse is the favorite, no question. Hopkins' homefield advantage, however, is better than pretty much any one in the nation outside - up there with Cuse and Virginia. That, and the fact that Hopkins defensive deficiencies may not be as exposed against Syracuse as they will be against Virginia and North Carolina because the Orange aren't as fast at attack, make this a better matchup for the Jays than one might expect. Still, the smart money's on Cuse.
Do you think a MCLA player like Connor Martin could make it in the MLL or any major league?
I do think an MCLA player can make it in a pro league, either indoor or outdoor (and several have done well indoors). One of the unique things to professional lacrosse is exactly how important commitment to fitness and fine-tuning your skills away from practice are because teams are together so little. As a result, we've seen DIII and lower tier DI players attain stardom in the MLL because they were willing to outwork some of their DI counterparts who were stars in college. There's no reason a talented, committed MCLA player couldn't pull that off.
Look at Stephen Berger, Glenn Adams, Justin Smith, Eric Martin... the list goes on and on. Not to mention Colorado State goalie Alex Smith, who's been with the Denver Outlaws for years.
are you guys doing those college lax video blogs this year? and who do you think is going to be the next big college football or bball school to get a d1 lax program?
We sure are, they're posted over on video.insidelacrosse.com - there's one from Notre Dame's spring break posted now...As far as the other question, I think the obvious short answer is Michigan, which has a wildly successful 'virtual varsity' MCLA program and widespread support throughout the athletic department. But even they have their difficulties.
Tommy Kehoe, what does "flow" mean to the game? Why is it such an integral part of the "lax-lovers" community?
Flow has become apart of the lacrosse landscape, it was apart of the lax culture well before I even born. It reflects our rebellious attitudes, our willingness to tie ourselves to the game 24/7 and the fact that it looks pretty freaking sweet coming out the back of a lax lid.
As for its recent explosion into main stream and grass roots conversations, well, that's just technology tying us together, allowing us to share our passion for good looks and quality play. I don't see flow going anywhere anytime soon.
Do you have UNC vs. Princeton highlights?
Jacob, I just checked with our video editor Joe Sweeney and he's working on them now, check out our site later today and they'll be there for ya...
Lacrosse is growing faster than any other sport at the High School level, except bowling, who cares about bowling. However, how long do you think it will take before university's start funding their lacrosse programs to compete in the NCAA and not MCLA?
It's a tough proposition Josh. Title IX really handcuffs any school with a football program from ever adding another men's sport. A lot of the rumors I've heard of major schools adding men's lacrosse, a big financial investor has been a big part. An individual that can endow the program with one check. Those guys aren't easy to come by, especially in these economic times. There's also the safety of an MCLA team offering its school a very high-profile club sport yet not really requiring anything to make it happen. So a school gets the benefits of having a lacrosse team without having to really pay for it. Good news is, the NCAA Final Four and lacrosse's TV presence grow every year. Those are things that could convince an AD to push a program to varsity. If there can be some Title IX changes, it would really open some doors for more lacrosse growth on the NCAA level.
I don't get it. Why is Hopkins still in the top ten with their record. Lafayette hasn't lost, why don't they switch places!
Its a good question, Mr. Suave. For better or worse, the historical success of programs like Johns Hopkins and Syracuse and Virginia, etc. give them the benefit of the doubt in the eyes of both the coaches and the media who do those polls. Schools like Lafayette, that have never had a major amount of success...Don't.I think at this point of the season, Lafayette's record is tough to gauge because they have not played a tough schedule as of yet, with a win over what can only at this point be considered a down Navy team. You can argue that Hopkins hasn't had a good win either (losses to good teams are still losses), but I think things will stay this way until Lafayette gives us no choice but to put them in the Top 10... or Hopkins gives us no choice to take them out.
Can you please come to Columbus ohio and make lacrosse bigger here
How much bigger do you want it to get? I remember playing at Coffman on a Friday night in like 2001 and there were more people there than there were at any MIAA game I went to last season.
Hey Guys,Who of the "mid-majors" that are doing great so far do you think has a legitimate chance of going far in the tournament? Stony Brooke, Bobby Mo, Lafayette, Drexel or maybe another sleeper? On another note, I am excited to hear your answers, but what is up with no player this week? I think Eddie Loftus from Duke woulda been a great addition to the ESPN/LI chat this week...kid is gonna be a stud
I think the teams that have proven they're for real out of thatlist are Drexel and Stony Brook - the Dragons beat Notre Dame, and that's no joke. The Seawolves have been racking up points like it's going out of style. I'm going to hold off on Lafayette until we see them this weekend against Bucknell. If they come away from Lewisburg with another win, then they are officially official in my eyes. And as far as the players, we had one school lined up that suddenly had a change in practice schedule mid-week, and the last-minute replacement didn't have any players that were available at this time. Don't worry, we'll be back to players next week (requests are welcome, for the record, though we already did Ned Crotty, so we'll probably rotate away from Duke for a while)
Do you think Virginia can keep the momentum rolling this year, even though they almost lost to 'Cuse, and win it all this year?
I would never sweat a team for almost losing, it's so hard to run the table that I would almost prefer to drop a game in the early to mid-season to correct whatever become vulnerable, which could just be a case of over-confidence.UVA has the two most important ingredients, a coach who's done it before, and a deep, talented roster.
Northwestern seems to be running away with it again this year - is Maryland going to be able to challenge them, or is the rest of the season a waste of everybody's time?
I don't think Northwestern is going to run away with it and to be honest, I think Maryland might be the better of the two teams but when it comes to the polls, voters seem to be doing what they did with Syracuse - vote them number 1 until there's a reason not to, which is the Orange's case, was when they lost to Virginia. With Northwestern, they haven't lost yet and the only team that seems to have been able to play with them has been Georgetown. They still have Syracuse, Duke, Penn, Virginia, and UNC on the schedule, all games they can and should win. The only time they would see Maryland would be in the NCAA Tournament, which I think just about every fan of women's lacrosse is hoping for.
Fellas, I know the season is still early, but who do you see getting more teams in the tourney: Ivy League or Big East?
Definitely too early to tell... I mean, the Big East has Notre Dame, Georgetown and Syracuse all in the Top 20 right now, with Rutgers sitting at 4-1 and Villanova at 3-2 with the potential for making noise. The Ivies have Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and Yale repping the league and all seven teams are rocking winning records right now... We won't know until they start playing each other how these teams will be stacking up, but both leagues look primed for a lot of representation in May
Hofstra has shown an impressive team early this season. Do they have what it takes to win the CAA, again?
Of course - a three goal loss to Princeton to start isn't going to hurt anything, and the Pride have looked great of late. The CAA has looked tough as we expected though, with Delaware making some noise, UMass sitting at 4-2 and Drexel sitting an 11-8 loss against NO. 1 Virginia away from perfection. It's gonna be a dogfight for that top seed.
hi, i was just wonnering why do you think lacrosse does not get as much publicity as other sports like baseball? why has baseball become the national past time and lacrosse cast away?
Well, Lacrosse is still a sport in its infancy as far as national attention goes. In a lot of ways, it's light-years ahead of the days when it was only an east coast thing. But there's still a lot of ground to cover to try to compete with any of the major established sports leagues in the country. The biggest thing will be to see if the explosion in participation in the game turns into a generation of fans filling the stands in 15-20 years. If that happens, you can bet the sport will get right up there with the big boys in the future.
Fellas... Hopkins only has one good-ish win this season (at home against Delaware), just got embarassed by Hofstra and is expected to lose three in a row (Syracuse, UVa and UNC coming up). As a fan, should I be scared they won't even make the tournament this year? Or is there no need to panic?
As I said before, JHU is a team that has always seemed to put together that big run and make the dance at the end of the season, but things are certainly precarious at Homewood right now. I wouldn't put it past the Jays to steal an unexpected win against one of their next few opponents and get things turned around, but if they go three straight losses and fall to 4-5, it might be panic time. At that point, the Blue Jays would have Albany, Maryland, Navy, Towson and Loyola left on the schedule, and with Albany, Navy and Towson clocking in disappointing seasons thus far, there might not be enough quality there to get them back to where they could get into the dance even if they win out.
Why don't more teams come out west? If I want to see a DI game, Denver is the closest option and that's terrible, even with more games on TV. We play lax too!
Baby steps Bill. The sport keeps growing in participation out west, so its only natural that it will eventually hit the tipping point and DI programs will spring up. But until then, the MCLA and Denver will have to do. (There are some good women's DI programs out there though)
Do you see closer parity between tier 1 college teams, (like Hopkins, UVA, Princeton, Syracuse) and lower tier schools not in traditional hot bed areas? It seems there are more D1 schools adding Men's lacrosse every season. Jacksonville is a good example...5 years ago one may not have considered looking to Florida for D1 lacrosse.
There's been more and more parity every year in men's DI lacrosse. First it started impacting the regular season, when a team like Virginia, the defending national champ from 2003, went out to Denver and dropped two games early in 2004. That was a big shock at the time, but now you're seeing that more teams are taking down the big guns. It's seeping into the postseason as well. In the 2007 NCAA Tournament, Delaware got to the Final Four and UMBC upset Maryland. That was big. The fact that Jacksonville can come in and, in their first month of existence, beat Denver and stand 5-4 on the season is pretty impressive. Tells you how much more lacrosse talent is out there these days.
Sorry, that last answer was from John Jiloty, not me (I'm just typing them into the system)Sorry John...Anyways, that's all the time we've got, so thanks again for checking in with us and be sure to keep up with all the action over the weekend on ESPNU and InsideLacrosse.com