Welcome to another edition of the Inside Lacrosse live chat here on ESPN.This week, we have Denver assistant coach Matt Brown. The Pioneers take on Ohio State at 3 p.m. MT at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium on Saturday.Brown is the offensive coach for the explosive Denver team, and he works hands-on every day with Mark Matthews, Alex Demopoulos and Todd Baxter.
Fire away questions for Brown about his Pioneers, lacrosse in general, or MLL.
whats it like to work for bill Tierney and trevor tierney
It's been a fantastic experience so far and i've learned a ton from Coach T and Trevor. Coach T brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and is constantly teaching not only his players but his coaching staff. Trevor has a great defensive mind for the game and has really helped our goaltending play over the last two years.
First off, congrats on the win over Duke. What are some of the biggest benefits a 'field' player can get from spending time learning/playing box lacrosse?
Definitely playing box lacrosse, you develop a feel for handling the ball in tight quarters and learning how to score on smaller goals with bigger goalies. It teaches you how to read and react quicker as the ball is constantly in play.
What is your base offensive philosophy for success at Denver?
I believe in a motion offense that teaches our players how to play the game and not just be in certain spots at certain times. It is a six-man unit with a lot of ball sharing and constant movement.
Big win against Duke! What was your biggest win as a player or coach? also, who was your favorite player to play with in college.
I think as a player at DU, my biggest win was in 2005 at Notre Dame, beating them for the first time in school history. As a coach, my biggest win was this past weekend against Duke because we played a complete 60 minutes in front of a large crowd on the road against one of the nation's top teams.
My favorite player to play with in college was Scott Davidson. A face-off, offensive midfielder who had great vision and was very good in transition. Scott was a phenominal athlete and competitor and forever be one of the DU greats.what coach helped you most, and inspired you to want to
what coach helped you most, and inspired you to want to coach?
Former DU head coach Jamie Munro recruited me to play at Denver and was the one that got me into coaching field lacrosse and i am forever greatful for that. Along with Munro, Paul Delmonte and Dave Lough, who coached the Burnaby Junior A Lakers, were also instrumental in my coaching career.
Matt,Thanks for taking our questions.You are from Canada and there seems to be a lot of crossover athletes that play both lacrosse and hockey. Can you talk about some of the similarities in the two sports in strategy, training, eye-hand coordination ect.?Go DU. Beat the Buckeyes.
I think hand-eye coordination is probably the biggest cross-over from hockey to lacrosse, along with vision and anticipating the play. Many great hockey players are also great lacrosse players and if you look in the NLL there are a lot of former professional hockey players playing in the league. From a training standpoint, the shifts are very similar, therefore conditioning for both hockey and lacrosse are very similar in nature.
Coach, who are some of the best athletes on the team? It seems like you guys have some big fast players
I would say that we have three great defensive midfielders in Jamie Macdonald, Emerson Eichler and Alex Drexler, who are all seniors and phenominal athletes. They have really stepped up this season as leaders and have brought our team together.
I used to live in denver and occasionally played games on your field, I've been a fan since. What do you look for in recruits?
There are so many talented lacrosse players out there these days that the thing that separates them is by being a good student and showing how much they want to be a part of the program.
Considering your build, have you ever wanted to grab a long pole and play D?
This is a great question. I've always wanted to but I have slow feet so I don't think it would work.
Did anything change with the offense this year from last year? What's the key behind them being so successful this season?
I think that one of the biggest things for our offense is that we've now had a complete year under our belt, playing together in our offensive system. Our players now know what it takes from a physical standpoint and a strategy standpoint, of what we need to do to have success. This, along with exceptional individual development from a number of our players over the past year, is what has helped us to be in the position we are in now.
Hi Matt - I heard you are quite the innovator when it comes to dodging on the offensive end of the field, out the moves you have had a hand in developing, i.e. smashmouth, stick back early move, the hitch, the trip - which do you think is most effective?
When it comes to dodging, speed kills everything. If there is anything that young players can work on, it's making one quick move and going. Players have a tendency of trying to beat their defenseman multiple times, when it is not necessary. However, I do like the "hitch"
Whats the best thing to be doing over this summer off season besides wall ball?
Play as much box lacrosse as you can. As mentioned above, the box game really helps develop your individual skills and can definitely benefit your field game.
Hi Matt, what challenges does Ohio State present to your offense and what are you going to do to over come that?
Ohio State is a very athletic team that is well coached and plays a very "team" style of defense. Along with a great freshman goalie, OSU has a number of talented defensive players. We will definitely have our work cut out for us. We try to focus on the things that we can control, and continue week-by-week to make our team better as an offensive unit as well as be ready to make in-game adjustments.
What are your expectations for the Outlaws this season?
With it only being a six-team league, I think everyone's expectations are hoisting the MLL Championship trophy at the end of August. We've been able to get to the Championship Weekend, but have yet to bring the trophy home to Denver. Our focus this season will be getting more work done during the week, individually, and making sure that we are physically and mentally prepared for the weekend battles.
People mention it for every other sport that is played in Colorado, so in terms of lacrosse, how much do you think the altitude and location of UD - with the "thinner air" and all that - affects teams when they come play you?
I think that because people mention it so much, it has become a mental advantage for us. You can feel some effects but I wouldn't say it is significant. We face a challenge with our sticks when we travel down to sea level as they tend to bag-out. I feel that it balances out in the end when people mention altitude.
Not a surprise DU VS Duke victory was a legit win and your team is running outta the crease toward the NCAA Tournament~How do YOU
All you have to do is show our guys film of Ohio State and they immediately see how great of a team they are. OSU is a team that beat North Carolina earlier in the season and our guys know how big of a conference match-up this is. I feel playing at INVESCO is a great experience for our guys, and from the moment we step off the bus on Saturday we will feel that exciting energy.
What's it like coaching Canadian kids in the Denver? Is it hard to get them adjusted to the game here?
Canadian lacrosse has changed so much over the past 10 years that most of the players coming into the NCAA now have some sort of field experience. There are a number of programs in Canada that are doing a great job of preparing these athletes for the "college-life" experience, making it easier for them to adjust.
Recently on the team that I coach, we had a major offensive breakthrough working on rolling back ("Escaping") when we dodge and draw the slide. What are some other things you work on where you really see the light bulb go on for a lot of players on offense?
This is a great question. That is a huge breakthrough for your team, one that is not easy to teach. Learning how to draw a slide and move the ball, sounds simple, but in action is much more difficult to get players to realize. One area that I see players respond well to is moving without the ball and teaching them how to cut when their man looks away. Off-ball motion is very hard to cover from a defensive standpoint.
What is the status of Kurtis Green?
Kurtis Green is a current redshirt freshman on our team and has been injured for much of the season. He is working on getting healthy for next year.
How big of an impact will the Battle of Bethpage win have on DU recruiting?
This past weekend's win was huge for our program in all aspects. Long Island is definitely an area that we would like to focus on as we've not had anyone from there in recent years. The Town of Bethpage put on an amazing event and much thanks for John DeTomaso for making it all happen.
I think it depends on your personnel. In past years, I've seen teams go to Zone defense when having a great outside-shot stopping goalie. On the flip-side, I've seen teams play man that have great athletes that can stop dodgers one-on-one. I really believe it's all about who you have and what your strengths are.
How do you balance the roles between being a coach at DU and then becoming a teammate in the MLL or NLL?
I've noticed that more teams are going to the Zone Defense. Which style of defense do you see to be more effective right now?
Balancing it is surprisingly easy. I feel i'm very lucky to be able to coach college lacrosse and also play with a lot of the players I've coached and coached against. I have a great support staff around me in my family and friends that have made things very easy to handle.
How much does your offense change week-to-week? Do you change the game plan much depending on opponent, or do you just try to stay the same? would like to know for defense as well if you have insight.
What we try to do in the fall and in the early season is lay the ground work of our foundation offensively and defensively. We definitely have to make adjustments depending upon our opponent and their style of play. Our players this year have been great in making those adjustments and understanding the reasoning behind them. It's important to have a foundation, but at the same time be flexible if something is not working.
Matt Brown has to run, so thank you everyone for joining the chat. Make sure to visit InsideLacrosse.com this weekend for the live blog from Invesco Field as the Pioneers take on Ohio State.Thanks