Fall Ball Festival Thoughts: Stuff I'm Curious About

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

It's a big weekend for college lacrosse's fall ball season. Here's some stuff that I'd keep an eye on.

This weekend is chock full of crazy big fall scrimmages throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Four big festivals will dominate the landscape over Saturday and Sunday, and while fall ball isn't necessarily the best indication of what teams will look like and do in the spring, it is a nice opportunity to see what, exactly, is going on at some Division I schools that are staring down some questions entering the 2013 season.

Here's a bunch of stuff that I'm curious about relative to schools playing in the major "tournaments" over the next couple of days.

Nicholas Colleluori Fall Classic
Saturday at Folsom, Pennsylvania

  • Marquette/High Point/Michigan: First of all, what kind of talent are High Point and Marquette rolling with? The jump from the non-varsity level to Division I is a steep curve, and this is everyone's first real look at what Joe Amplo and Jon Torpey have at their disposal. For Michigan, it's Year Two with Class One; what's the growth exponent for the Wolverines? Michigan was competitive in spots throughout 2012; how are they approaching the fall with an eye towards grabbing a few more wins in 2013?
  • Lehigh/Colgate/Villanova: Villanova has question marks and holes all over the place; Lehigh and Colgate will have an opportunity to run out some fresh legs and try some new combinations in a scrimmage setting. These are high-major programs that will have a chance to provide some new looks; the issues for these teams, accordingly, is how it'll all mesh and the overall feel.

Play for Parkinson's
Saturday at Alexandria, Virginia

  • Georgetown: It's a totally new regime at Georgetown with Kevin Warne -- and his concentrated intensity -- leading the show for the Hoyas. Much was made about the Hoyas new culture during the fall, the early morning workouts and re-dedication, but it has yet to manifest itself for all of our prying eyes. The Hoyas have a shot at making some noise in 2013, but the first issue is how they're approaching the game, itself, during Fall 2012.
  • Virginia: The Cavaliers have talent everywhere and were willing to run a lot of legs against Lynchburg last week. This will be another effort in seeing what Virginia has between the pipes and what kind of offensive cohesion the team will look to develop in the absence of Steele Stanwick.

Boiardi Foundation Capital Lacrosse Classic
Sunday at Bethesda, Maryland

  • Coaching: This is the biggest thing for me this weekend: Ben DeLuca, Joe Breschi, Jeff Tambroni, and Dave Pietramala will all be giving a free clinic on how to implement a fall ball plan to prepare for what should be solid 2013 seasons for all of their programs. I want to know:
    • How have they adjusted to the new rules, especially the lack of horn and quick restarts?
    • How are they integrating established commodities with new toys?
    • Where do these teams seem to have their strength and where will they build their success from?

Catamount Classic
Sunday at Braintree, Massachusetts

  • Hartford: How do those mustaches look? Do they carry tangible superpowers?
  • Providence: Chris Gabrielli, like Warne at Georgetown, is looking to establish a new culture at Providence. What has been the functional effect? What is Gabrielli building on, if anything?
  • Brown/Siena: Squarely in the beefy middle of college lacrosse, what is crawling around those programs as shimmering pieces of potential?

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