Welcome to the ESPN/Inside Lacrosse chat. This week's participant is Cornell's Jack Dudley. Dudley and the Big Red will be playing No. 2 Virginia this weekend at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. It's going to be a huge event and a big game for both teams.
Make sure to visit FaceOffClassic.com and get tickets. Weather's supposed to be great in Baltimore this weekend. Sun and lacrosse is a great Saturday.
Also, check out InsideLacrosse.com for gameday info, such as vendors and the after-party.
How will you guys bounce back from last week's upset?
Coach has really been emphasizing the importance of "the next play". That's exactly how we plan to handle it. We have to have a short memory but take that sour taste of defeat from Army and use it as motivation. We've studied our mistakes on film and moved forward. It was especially good to get back after it last night against Canisius. Now, we have our sights clearly on Virginia and it comes down to how hard we are willing to prepare these next three days.
Lots of fans have asked questions about the status of Max Feely, David Lau and Steve Mock. Cornell's AD has told me that the team is "preparing to play without them."
Big big fan. How has the team transitioned from last year to this year?
Obviously, a lot of changes occured on campus, but like we've been saying since August when we got to campus, our system and our team mentality would always be a constant for us. Last year, we really felt like we were titled "the team without" (having lost the '09 Senior Class) and that gave us a chip on our shoulder when we played on the field.
This year, I think that mentality has carried over to some degree but each year, you have to establish a new identity as a team. Being under the lead of a new coaching staff, I think guys have really responded and are genuinely excited to just get out there and compete. There is a new energy and feel around this program for sure.
Hometown game in the big stadium....whats that like?
I was thinking about this last night haha. When I was a freshman, I used to get hyped in going back to Baltimore to play (being up at Cornell, you tend to be one of the few Baltimore/DC kids on the team). So it was always fun to be obnoxious and get everyone excited in going back to the hometown.
Now, being a senior and having played at in Baltimore a few times, I think I just treat it as every other game and really focus on getting excited for competition rather than the hometown appearance. I will say that one of the best parts of this trip is the fact that we play at M&T Bank Stadium--being from Baltimore, it is an honor to play on the field where you watch all the greats play and you can't help but smile when you think about it. That big stadium atmosphere (no matter where it is) is an experience that every young lacrosse player should dream about--it's worth it.
Your style of play seems to be all business, almost Ivan Drago-like in your approach. Is there a softer side to Jack Dudley away from the lacrosse field?
I definitely think I have two sides when it comes to being a player on the field and just a teammate and friend off the field. Some of the best memories I have at Cornell are relaxing and hanging with my roomates and teammates--I guess that is when our off the field personalities tend to take over. I think that is going to be the one of the biggest take-aways I have from Cornell.
Will there be any equipment changes that could increase scoring -- shortening the length of long stick midfielders and defenders, increasing the size on the head or the depth of the pocket?
I really don't know or have an opinion on those issues. I have never been a big stick guy, which is good and bad. I think we are just going to focus on putting the ball in the back of the net by any means. The rules are rules, we can't control them nor change them. What is in our control on Saturday will be playing good team offense and capitalizing on our scoring chances.
Who's the toughest defender you play in practice? Who's the toughest on an opposing team?
The toughest defender I have gone against in practice was Max Feely my freshman year. Although I never square up against him in practice for 1v1s, he has always been the hardest hitting, toughest defender I've played against. This year, I'd say it would be Jason Noble and Mike Bronzino (especially in ground ball or face off wing drills). Both of them are so good off the ground, its definitely is a great challenge everytime we square up on the practice field. Opponent-wise: Tom Palesky, have a lot of respect for him as a player and a leader of that defense.
Jack, what are your summer plans? will you continue to perfect your game ? if so with who and where?
No summer plans quite yet. I plan on really making an effort to play in some tournaments that I haven't played in before (Vail) and of course, Lake Placid with Norfolk and the Big Red Steelheads (one of my favorite events of the summer).
Can you talk about your experience at the Lake Placid Tournament this year?
It is a great tournament--Matt Norfolk, Chris Danler, Brian Rodgers, Anthony Pavone, and co. began the Big Red Steelheads two years ago and it has been a great time to play lacrosse with alumni and spend time with current teammates and their families. Awesome, awesome experience every year thus far.
Who is the best dancer on the team?
Haha JJ Gilbane. He redefined the Federline "Popozao".
What team will slow down the Cuse and prevent them from holding up the trophy in Baltimore?
Obviously, we have a great rivalry with 'Cuse in the past but to be honest, we are taking this season one game at a time. The season is long and is full of ups and downs. So who knows, we will prepare for 'Cuse when they appear on our schedule.
Let's go way back to high school. Which was your least favorite team to face in high school?
This may surprise some people but Mt. St. Joe always gave us a run for our money. They always were the team that looked for the big upsets and could do it on any given day.
Who's in charge of movies for the bus ride down and what will you watch?
The freshman inherit this duty--I think Joe Paoletta has been rumored to have quite the collection.
Needless to say, it's not tough to follow up last year's freshmen class's movie selection. Tom Trasolini once put on "Pimp My Ride: Season 3". Very questionable Traz. Hopefully, we will step it up this year. Would love to see the "Guardian" on the screen.
How are your chances at winning another Ivy League title this year? It looks like Penn is ready to compete for the title with Cornell and Harvard, Brown, Princeton, etc.
Besides Princeton, who are you expecting to give the toughest game in the Ivy schedule this year?
The Ivy League is extremely competitive this year. Any team on any day can win a game.
I think people who haven't experienced playing in an Ivy League game underestimate the competiveness and rivalry between each of the teams. Everyone on our Ivy Schedule will be huge games for us.
Jack actually has to run to practice now, but if anyone has any questions for the IL staff feel free to ask for the next few minutes.
Again, Cornell's AD told me that the team is "preparing to play without" Feely, Lau and Mock.
What ffreshmen other than Nicky Gelasso will have a major impact this year?
Well, your seeing what Thomas Schreiber, No. 2 Frosh, is doing with Princeton, leading the team in scoring. Big impact there.
And while Galasso is doing great, have to love what that entire class is doing (IL's No. 1 if you remember). No. 10 FOGO R.G. Keenan, No. 22 Will Campbell, No. 39 Pat Foster, No. 54 Mark McNeil and No. 62 Duncan Hutchins are all making major contributions for Carolina
Also like what No. 5 Jack Reilly is bringing to Hopkins' close defense.
Looks like that's going to be all for us folks. Thanks for stopping by. Remember, Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore this Saturday. Georgetown vs. Syracuse, Cornell vs. Virginia and Johns Hopkins vs. UMBC.
Weather is supposed to be great, so stop on by and see some great lacrosse. Thanks.