We're getting Quint!
It has been an unpredictable season, with an important slate of games on Saturday. Maryland-UNC at noon on ESPNU. I will be at Virginia-JHU, 2 p.m. ET, ESPNU.
Duke jumped from 8 to 4 in the rankings this week....do you think that was a valid move?
At the beginning of the week, I would have said yes, very valid. But after watching UNC struggle with Dartmouth last night, I'm a little confused about Carolina's relative strength. Duke's win may not be as good as it looks.
The Blue Devils have shown rapid improvement.
An interesting match today with Notre Dame and Ohio State. Who do you like in that one?
It's just a big game in the midwest. Notre Dame, with their defense, is a slight favorite. But Ohio State stood toe to toe with Virginia and will be dangerous.
I would rate Notre Dame as a two-goal favorite.
Harvard is looking pretty good right now. What's been the key to their success?
They're talented and they're playing a style that is electric. They're averaging 49.5 shots per game. Dean Gibbons, Jeff Cohen are emerging stars on a national level.
Is it a foregone conclusion that Syracuse wins? They look stronger and stronger each week.
Stronger and stronger each week? OT win over unranked Georgetown and escaping OT over Hopkins is not getting stronger and stronger. The Orange have proven that they can play great defense, but the offense can look very human when they can't penetrate.
They are no foregone conclusions.
Quint, I haven't had a chance to listen to today's podcast yet...what do you talk about?
A couple of real interesting guests, Joe Beninati and Mark Dixon. Mark talked about the controversial goal that was taken away from Hopkins last week. And I interviewed three coaches who have their teams off to a great start, Villanova's Corrado, Bucknell's Frank Fedorjaka and Harvard's Chris Wojcik. We're spreading the wealth, speaking to some emerging programs.
An interesting ACC matchup Saturday with UNC-Maryland. Who looks better in that matchup?
After seeing UNC in person, I will be surprised if Maryland doesn't win that game. Carolina's relying on too many freshmen and struggled for three quarters against Dartmouth.
Just how strong is Virginia this year?
Offensively, they're the best in the country, averaging over 14 goals per game. They're ridiculously fast. They're man-up unit is 58%. And I don't think they can be held to single digits. Question marks remain on the defensive end, where their coach Dom Starsia told me this afternoon that they're looking to tighten some things up. If they can improve their defense, the gold trophy may be in the cards.
How big of a gut check will Saturday's game with Virginia be for JHU?
The Blue Jays have lost six in a row to Virginia and a few of those games have gotten ugly. Can Hopkins run with Virginia and can they compete for ground balls? Many are calling last week's OT loss to Syracuse a moral victory, but at Hopkins, that's not the mindset.
I expect this game to be very close.
In Coll. Lax, we see top programs play against each other every week. How great is that for the sport, compared to other coll sports?
I love it. With the ACC and the Ivy League and Johns Hopkins, to get to the NCAA tournament they have to play a highly rated schedule. It's great for the fans and for the players.
To me, meaningful games drive interest.
How good is duke
Not yet championship material. They're the most improved team since February. Their wins over Loyola and UNC are less impressive than initially thought of. But clearly Duke has put themselves in a playoff position and is capable of winning a game or two in the playoffs.
As a JHU guy, what was your opinion on the crease call (As a Cuse guy, I thought he jumped and it was the right call)? Also, why wasn't the game in HD?
I thought it was a dive. I thought the refs got it right. With 4 seconds to go in the game, it was the kamikaze move. I thought he was pushed from the side and his intended pass was not tangent to the crease but in the direction into the crease. It's the toughest call for these officials.
Penn has looked good from the Ivy League so far. What do you think of their season so far?
Big story in Philadelphia -- the play of Penn. I love their defense, holding opponents to 14 shots on goal per game. With wins over Bucknell and Duke, they are very much in the hunt for the NCAA tournament.
A rule change, automatic stall call after 60 secs once the ball enters the box. Would stop the 45 second player sub and take the judgement call from the refs and speed the game up.
I love the shot clock in Major League Lacrosse, but I believe the problem with the game is the sticks and the excessive ball retention that makes take away checks impossible. I would encourage referrees to give the quick stalling call before we add a shot clock.
We hear a lot about concussions in other physical sports...what has lacrosse done to address the issue?
There's a greater sensitivity to student-athletes' safety. The rules have been amended to discourage high hits to the head and neck. It's a point of emphasis in 2011. I think there is a sensitivity about it from helmet manufacturers, coaches, doctors, trainers to protect the student-athlete. Safety is a crucial key if the game hopes to continue its rapid growth.
ESPNU Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET, we have a studio show on the first part of the season. I will be at Virginia-Johns Hopkins, ESPNU, 2 p.m. ET on Saturday as spring is finally here.
Thanks for chatting Quint!