Chat with Inside Lacrosse
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, our friends from Inside Lacrosse will stop by to take your questions about the 2011 season.
Our experts may also be bringing by some special guests to the chat, so be sure to check it out!
Send your questions now and join Inside Lacrosse Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Matt Kinnear (2:01 PM)
Welcome to another edition of the Inside Lacrosse Thursday chat. Big, big weekend in college lacrosse with the NCAA Quarterfinals and lots of coaching openings and rumors swirling. Fire away any questions you might have for us, and we'll do our best.
What went wrong for Villanova versus Denver
Danielle Bernstein (2:05 PM)
I don't necessarily think it was as much what went wrong for Villanova as it was what went right for Denver. They've been a second half team all year. Matt Brown and Trevor Tierney made the proper second half adjustments. Offensively, Mark Matthews came alive in the second half, where he got all three of his goals. Defensively, Villanova had the unfortunate luck of hitting a hot goalie. Jamie Faus was a brick wall in the second half. He made some spectacular saves -- nine of his 13 came in the second half, six in the fourth quarter alone.
Matt Kinnear (2:08 PM)
Also, I don't think you can discount the penalty woes. Whether you agree with the calls or not 8-2 in penalties in favor of Denver is unacceptable.
Trevor (New Jersey)
Who are potential candidates to take over at Marist?
Matt Kinnear (2:11 PM)
Trevor, I broke the Marist-Binghamton news shortly before the school announced it. I honestly do not have any insight into that. We are working on a story that should be posted later tonight about all the job openings and candidates. I did talk with two people affiliated with Binghamton last night. They're excited about the hire and think Nelson's going to be good for the Bearcats. He has a lot of connections in that area, and it seems the consensus is he did a lot with a smaller budget at Maris. I know that doesn't answer your question, but hope that helps.
What is the most likely upset in the QF's?
Zach Babo (2:13 PM)
With how great all of these quarterfinal match-ups are, I don't know if you can really count any of the as true upsets. Maryland-Syracuse is probably the most glaring, as Maryland is technically "unseeded" and Syracuse is the top-seed, so a Terps win would sure look like an upset, but those teams seem very evenly matched, and I wouldn't be surprised to see that game go either way.
david (ithaca, ny)
What do the Big Red have to do differently in order to beat UVA this time?
Zach Babo (2:15 PM)
Cornell needs to play a full 60 minutes of defense and be smart with the ball late in the game. They can build a lead and I think are built to beat Virginia, but this Cavs team has shown all year that you can go up on them, but if you give them an opening, they can score in bunches as good or better than anyway. Look at the Bucknell game last week or the Hopkins game from earlier this year. Virginia was down big margins in both and all of a sudden scored four and five goals in just a few minutes, completely changing the complexion of those games. Cornell can't let a door fly open if they are winning late in the game.
John (St. Paul (MN))
With the Brattan twins out for this weekends game, who do u think will stand up and lead this Cav team this weekend?
Terry Foy (2:17 PM)
Steele Stanwick. The lead attackman took over the show last weekend, and I think he'll have every opportunity to do that again. Some of his best games of the year have come with the Brattons out. Additionally, I think they need one or two points from three or four midfielders, similar to what they got last week. Guys like Rob Emery, Matt Kugler, even d-middies Chris LaPierre and Blake Riley, can have a big impact if they get a point or two.
Is Denver on course to be a QF regular, or is this just a flash in the pan?
Danielle Bernstein (2:18 PM)
Absolutely not just a flash in the pan. First of all, they weren't far off from being a quarterfinal team last year. They came up just short. And second, Bill Tierney is bringing some good talent to the Mile High City and also making the most of that talent. Call me a bit biased but I really don't think this is the last we'll see from the Pioneers. They've been on the cusp for a while now. I think we're just seeing them get over the hump.
There's already been a lot of coaching upheaval and the season isn't fully over. Do you predict any more big changes in the next month or so?
Zach Babo (2:20 PM)
No, but then again i didn't expect many of the big changes that already happened. I think what we will see as the playoffs progress is maybe some assistant coaches from top teams joining the conversation for a lot of the current coaching vacancies. Since the trend in the sport right now seems to be getting younger coaches, or guys who were big time players not long ago, I think the most likely spot to find the next head coach for some of these now vacant spots is on the sideline of a quarterfinal or Final Four team.
What direction do you think Navy, Rutgers and Towson will go for their new head coach?
Terry Foy (2:22 PM)
Three different schools, three different jobs, three fairly different candidate pools. I know and have heard the least about Rutgers, likely because they made their decision most recently. I spoke with Towson AD Mike Waddell last night, and he said they're looking for a young, energetic bulldog Type A personality, and they're not narrowing there search to something like "only head coaches," "only assistants" or anything like that. Check InsideLacrosse.com later today for a full story. As for Navy, I haven't spoken with anyone in the department about who they're targeting, but the speculation is that they'll look to speak with head coaches, some experienced and prominent, some up-and-coming, to gauge interest moving forward.
Could Denver successfully host a FF? Also, what will happen to attendance in Baltimore if Hopkins doesn't make it?
Danielle Bernstein (2:23 PM)
I think Denver could successfully host a final four but not for a few years (which I realize would be the case since the locations are set through 2014). I think a beyond capacity crowd at the first round game and a dedicated fan base is a good indicator that Denver could support the event in the future. However, I think it's also important to take into consideration that Denver is a pro sports city. I know I'm a couple years removed from the state but the Mammoth and the Outlaws are the big lacrosse draws there just as people care more about the Broncos than Colorado football. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying there isn't potential. I think what Tierney's presence in Colorado has done for the college game in two seasons is pretty outstanding. I just think it's a little early to be calling for a Denver final four just yet
Keiser Sose (Maryland)
Can someone give an update on injuries? I know that Cummings and "the big cat" were nursing injuries and I'm wondering if their play will be affected against Syracuse. Also, do you think Syracuse will use zone defense against the Terps. UNC had some success in confusing the Terps using it and don't know how the teams match up with man-to-man. Thx
Zach Babo (2:24 PM)
Syracuse might use a little zone from time to time just mess with Maryland or foil plays coming out of timeouts, but the Orange D is good because of personnel. They excel at their matchups and work well on a pretty simple formula of winning your 1-on-1, and from there slide aggressively when needed. Maryland will probably utilize more zone than Syracuse, as they have often employed it during the year to throw a wrinkle at a different team and slow down an explosive offense. With the way Syracuse has struggled against zones most of the year, I don't know why Tillman wouldn't at least play with the idea.
Danielle may best be able to answer this, but who is the front runner to win the women's championship at this point? Do you see any big upsets happening this weekend?
Danielle Bernstein (2:26 PM)
I think Maryland is still the frontrunner for the title and with the Terps and Northwestern on opposite sides of the bracket, there is the potential for another Maryland-Northwestern final. Seeing that the biggest upsets that could happen this weekend would be Princeton over Maryland or Albany over Northwestern, I don't see any huge ones happening. Duke beating Florida is a possibility as well as Loyola over North Carolina, which I think are the most exciting matchups of the quarterfinals. Duke is very fast and athletic and when they're on, they're very good, which I think makes that a tough test for a young Florida team playing in its first NCAA Tournament. Loyola has a veteran team with a lot of athleticism as well and their defense, which has been very good this season, will really be tested against the Tar Heels.
bob (new jersey)
who are your final four picks?
Matt Kinnear (2:27 PM)
At this moment: Maryland, Notre Dame, Cornell and Johns Hopkins. But that could change by the time I submit my staff picks to Danielle.
Terry Foy (2:27 PM)
Cornell, Hopkins, Syracuse and Duke.
Danielle Bernstein (2:27 PM)
Hopkins, Maryland, Duke, Cornell
Danielle Bernstein (2:28 PM)
Women's: Maryland, Florida, Loyola, Northwestern
Zach Babo (2:28 PM)
My Final Four was Hopkins, Cornell, Duke, and Syracuse when this thing started, and I am standing by that for now, though I feel a lot less confident in the Foxboro side of the bracket than the Hempstead. Duke looks pretty beatable after that Delaware game, and I could see Syracuse v Maryland going either way
Let's say Michigan had played DI this year, what are the chances they could have made it to the tournament? And once they do go DI, how many years do you predict before they actually make it?
Terry Foy (2:30 PM)
Michigan's odds of making it into the 2011 NCAA Tournament, had they been eligible this year, would've been probably in the 150-1 area at the beginning of this season. There's just so much uncertainty about how they'll stack up. As for how long it'll take them to elevate to the level of a tournament team, we'll have to see how so many things unfold. Do they retain John Paul? Do they join a conference, and if so, which? Do they pick up an impact transfer or two, like Jack McBride? I think best-case scenario is that this year's freshmen compete for a tournament spot in their senior season. A much likelier guess is that they can compete for a spot three or four seasons after that.
Grasso (At Work)
Does Maryland stand a chance against Syracuse this weekend or will Syracuse simply embarass them?
Matt Kinnear (2:33 PM)
As you just saw with my Final Four picks, I think Maryland has a very legit shot against Syracuse this weekend. It's all about momentum for me. Syracuse looked downright sloppy against Siena last week. Maryland has been extremely inconsistent all season, but I think they're capable of putting three more exceptional games together. Based on talent, Cuse should win. Throw in momentum, emotion and coaching, I'm giving Maryland the edge.
I know salary info is sensitive and difficult to verify, but what is the Head Coach salary gap between a top ranked D1 team, and a mid/lower D1?(Small/Medium/Large/Huge)?
Terry Foy (2:35 PM)
I'm not sure how sensitive it is, particularly given that roughly half DI coaches' salaries can be found online. It's difficult to verify because so much of lacrosse coaches' income comes from non-salary streams of revenue, particularly camps. That said, talking strictly salary, I'd classify the gap as huge. I think the difference between the best-paid and worst-paid DI men's lacrosse head coaches is about 10 times the lesser paid coach's salary.
Grasso (At Work)
Finals picks? Men & Women
Matt Kinnear (2:36 PM)
I'm going Cornell vs. Maryland, with Cornell bringing home the title. Rob Pannell is just insane.
Danielle Bernstein (2:37 PM)
Hopkins-Syracuse and for women, Maryland-Northwestern
What are your attendance guesses for the quarterfinals and Final Four weekend?
Matt Kinnear (2:40 PM)
For the quarters in Hempstead, they've already sold 8,000 tickets. The Final Four in Baltimore is going to depend very much on the teams. Lucky for the NCAA, there's a lot of big-ticket teams still in it. If there's Maryland-JHU in the finals, it's going to break 2007's record easily. Look for 55K if that's the case. UVA and Cuse will also bring a lot in. If a non-regional team like Cornell or Denver is in the final, expect a dip to like 45K.
Rhammel is out this weekend, if UVA makes it to Baltimore what are your thoughts on whether Starsia will play him? It seems almost unfair to the rest of the team if he gets to hit the field.
Is the IL staff attending the QF games? or watching from B'more?
Matt Kinnear (2:42 PM)
We'll have correspondents from each area at the game, but the staff will be watching from Baltimore. Terry Foy is reviving his couch blog, and I'll be managing the website and our correspondents. Drinks are on Terry as he's blogging from Federal Hill.
Zach Babo (2:44 PM)
Rhamel question:So Shamel is gone, and we know that, and Rhamel is suspended, and like many expected, he did not play against Bucknell. But the announcement that Rhamel will not play against Cornell seemed very odd. Why suspend him but not let him play, whereas Shamel you booted outright. It's not like Starsia can suspend Rhamel for the postseason to learn a lesson and then bring him back next year. Rhamel is done when UVa is done, so to not let me play is effectively kicking him off the team. And if Starsia was aiming on just sitting him for the first two rounds, why would you bring him back for the Final Four? What kind of message does that send to the team? "Well, you were good enough to win the first two rounds, but I don't think this team is good enough to win the next without Rhamel." Do you really want to mess with middie lines and chemistry in the Final Four by bringing him back? I am just confused what the intentions for Rhamel are. Is he such a good lockerroom guy that you want him on the sideline even if you would rather not play him, because that seems at odds with the picture painted of the Brattons (maybe unfairly painted by Shamel, making Rhamel guilty by association)? Or is this something where if UVa wins it all, Rhamel gets a Championship Ring and Shamel doesn't, a consolation to Rhamel at least, but a pretty painful way to leave Shamel out. The Brattons are a story that I don't think anyone can figure out, but the melodrama is palpable.
What do you expect to be the best and most competitive game of the four this weekend, and why? The least competitive?
Matt Kinnear (2:47 PM)
George this is really, really tough to call. I personally think Cornell is going to roll past UVa. I think Notre Dame-Duke is going to be very close, but the Irish are going to control it for most of the game. The score might not be indicative of the outcome. Cuse-MD, while I'm picking the Terps, I think it's going to be a matter of which team shows up. So whoever wins, I don't think it's going to be tightly-contested. Denver-JHU is my most competitive matchup of the weekend for me. Goaltending, coaching and face-offs are going to determine the winner.
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Will Virginia have to climb me to make their way to the Finals?
Matt Kinnear (2:49 PM)
Certainly an uphill battle for them. Injuries, suspensions and the like have been detrimental to the Cavs' flow. They've got the talent to make a run, for sure. But I think the Bucknell game proved they're going to have to scratch and claw their way to each win.
John (St. Paul (MN))
With the 2010 championship rematch game this weekend between Duke and Notre Dame, do you think Duke has what it takes to get the win?
Zach Babo (2:50 PM)
Probably because they are young, Duke has been kind of a hot/cold team at points this year. If they can just pour it on with offensive fire power, I think they can win, but if this becomes a pitched defensive battle, I am not liking things for Duke. Notre Dame knows the slowdown game and is much more veteran, so making smart decisions and not panicking is a proclivity of the Irish, not the Blue Devils. I liked Duke in this one a lot more before they let Delaware start scoring at will in their first round game. Duke needs to be able to score goals, and that is not easy against Notre Dame.
Nibb High Football RULES!!!!
Matt Kinnear (2:51 PM)
I lived with my exchange family in New Jersey last year and got very into lacrosse. Nobody plays it in Spain. How long do you think it will take the sport to go international?
Matt Kinnear (2:52 PM)
Juan, check out this site: www.spainlacrosse.com/
Matt Kinnear (2:53 PM)
This year Spain launched the 1st Spanish Lacrosse League (LEL) which includes seven teams participating in the tournament. Click on the following link to read the entire newsletter: Read more http://www.spainlacrosse.com/TEAM-SPAIN-NEWSLETTER-APRIL-2010.pdf (PDF)
who do you think will be the next team from a bcs conference to go men's d1? Obviously it is difficult with football schools and title IX but possible if michigan did. maybe a good mcla team or a natural place for a team like uconn?
What does the IL staff see as the most important factor for the continued expansion of lacrosse? TV, Title 9 repeal, etc.?
Matt Kinnear (2:56 PM)
Dan and Steve, Danielle's answering these questions as a pair, because the answer's a little intertwined.
Horace (Harrisburg, PA)
Who are the role players for each team that will have to step up for their teams to win this weekend?
Zach Babo (2:58 PM)
Wow, this could be one long, long list. I'll stick to seniors for now. Cornell's is beyond obvious-Pannell. The thing with him is that he doesn't even need to do that much, just his presence on the field will change that game. If he manages one of his typical 4+point games, I see Cornell winning. UVa will have a similar situation with Steele Stanwick. Last week's game showed that the story for four years about Virginia has been kind of misguided. The Brattons are far less important to Virginia's success than Stanwick. He is the quarterback, the engine, the author, whatever you want to say for that offense and subsequently team.
Zach Babo (2:58 PM)
For the Duke v Notre Dame game, I think this will come down to Zach Howell dictating the offense for Duke and capitalizing where he can. That leaves Kevin Ridgeway a big task of stopping him, which the Irish defenseman did effectively last year. For Notre Dame though, the real leader for them will be David Earl. I know Brenneman is a more obvious offensive threat, but Earl is so creative and opportunistic, if you lose him for a play, he can burn you badly.
Danielle Bernstein (3:01 PM)
For Dan and Steve's question: It's hard to say which team will be the next to make the jump. Michigan had a very unique situation and while there are some good MCLA programs at schools with big athletic departments, that alone doesn't mean a DI lax program will be in the future. That being said, I think one of the more realistic programs to look toward is USC. They've already started a women's program and during the time when they were making that announcement, expressed a desire to add a men's team as well. While this might be a little bit in the future, it's still an exciting possibility. USC-Notre Dame anyone?!
Zach Babo (3:01 PM)
For Hopkins vs. Denver, it will be a bit of a mix I think. If Jamie Faus stands up in net that can go a long way, because so far, in every Hopkins game, they have had better goalie play than their opponent, and it will be hard for the Denver freshman to outplay Pierce Bassett. Dolente needs to win face-offs and dictate pace, especially because Denver is built for instant offense off the face-off, and Hopkins has at times been beaten by transition and quick tempo this year. I think Chris Boland and Kyle Wharton also need to make sure the Jays play smart on offense but cash in when they can.
Zach Babo (3:04 PM)
The Syracuse and Maryland game will really be which senior class steps up. This game will dictate the legacies of both those classes so significantly that I can't say who has the edge. If difference between winning and losing for the Maryland seniors is the difference between finally living up to potential and coming up big in the biggest game of their careers, or being a very talented class that just couldn't seem to get it together on the biggest stage. For Syracuse, it's the difference between potentially winning three championships and going down as one of the greatest classes in NCAA history, to being a class that won as underclassmen, but couldn't take over the championship reigns as they inherited the leadership roles.
Matt Kinnear (3:05 PM)
That's going to wrap it up for our live chat this week. Check back to InsideLacrosse.com tonight and tomorrow for anonymous scouting reports from coaches, some more insight into the coach openings and much more.